DEVELOPING: FBI Searches Allentown City Hall

pawlowskiThere’s something happening in Allentown, what it is isn’t exactly clear.

The news was somewhat buried by the long Fourth of July weekend, but on Thursday the FBI searched Allentown City Hall.

According to Emily Opilo of the Morning Call, the inquiry concerned a warrant for records dating back to 2005.

The subpoena was related to a grand jury investigation and agents asked employees about city contacts.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski didn’t give any comment on the matter until two days later at a Fourth of July event. He brushed off any questions but his staff did issue a statement.

“While the city was not informed of the reasons for this investigation, we believe from the nature of the documents requested that the city’s contracting process is under review,” city spokesman Mike Moore stated. “The mayor would like the public to know that the city maintains a transparent contracting system, which, under city ordinance, requires employees solicit bids for specific items and quantities or prepare requests for proposals for any contract that exceeds $40,000.”

While it’s unclear at this point whether the investigation has anything to do with Pawlowski, this could very well still hurt the Mayor’s young Senate campaign. It would also be terrible news for the PA Democratic Party which has already seen Rob McCord resign and Kathleen Kane implode this year.

Nevertheless, Pawlowski is still campaigning and even attended a hometown event with his primary opponent Joe Sestak this weekend.

While this story has yet to fully develop, it is definitely one to keep an eye on.

UPDATE: In a scathing blog post, Bernie O’Hare of Lehigh Valley Ramblings alleges that Fleck Consulting has also been raided by the FBI. Fleck Consulting is run by Mike Fleck, a former campaign manager for Pawlowski and a highly influential figure in Lehigh Valley politics.

If true, this would make it much more likely that the investigation involves the Mayor in some manner. PoliticsPA attempted to reach out to Fleck for comment but could not get a hold of him.

UPDATE 2: Even more intrigue:

UPDATE 3: It now appears Fleck’s political consulting firm no longer exists:

July 6th, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Senate, Top Stories | 12 Comments

12 thoughts on “DEVELOPING: FBI Searches Allentown City Hall”

  1. Nellie says:

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  2. David Diano says:

    New details about Fleck’s consulting firm.

    http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-ed-pawlowski-senate-race-20150706-story.html

    The termination letter to employees was written by a criminal defense attorney (rather than a business attorney). That seems significant.

  3. David Diano says:

    The website is up currently. It may have gone down from people checking it. 🙂

    I think quarterly campaign finance reports are due to the FEC by July 15th. It often takes another week for them to show up online.

  4. 13thDistrctDemocrat says:

    Allentown City Hall + Fleck Consulting = Ed Palowlski. No idea what they’re looking for, but it’s something to do with the mayor and his campaigning.

  5. jmarshak says:

    A treehugging dingbat like McGinty is exactly what PA needs…

  6. David Diano says:

    Ricdw-

    Agreeing with me just means you are getting wiser as you are getting older. 🙂

    My Allentown FB friends have complained about Ed in the past. It was mostly centered on him building up downtown business district and ignoring other parts of the city to poverty. They felt/suspected that kickbacks and influence were involved, but this story is the first time I’ve read any details or particulars.

    My original thought was that the FBI was finally catching up with him for all those years of “squeezing the Charmin”. 🙂

    The story also mentions Montco Dem Chairman, Marcel Groen. With the recent push to oust Party Chair Jim Burn, Marcel’s name has come up as a potential/likely replacement. It’s unclear if Ed’s problems will spill over to Marcel or not, but if things go badly for Ed, then the state committee may take the association into account when considering if Groen should replace Burn.

    After the McCord fiasco, the party can ill afford more of this type of scandal.

  7. Larry says:

    Governor McGinty? Ambitious as hell with nothing to offer but unqualified views on Marcellus Shale and a knife at the ready to stick in your back.

  8. @DraftMcGinty says:

    Let’s make history and elect the first woman United States Senator from Pennsylvania in 2016!!

    And follow us on twitter @DraftMcGinty
    https://twitter.com/DraftMcGinty

  9. @DraftMcGinty says:

    Let’s make history and elect the first woman United States Senator from Pennsylvania in 2016!!

    Be sure to check out our new web video on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0CAyxoNt3k

  10. @DraftMcGinty says:

    Let’s make history and elect the first woman United States Senator from Pennsylvania in 2016!!

    Be sure to check out our new web video on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0CAyxoNt3k

    And follow us on twitter @DraftMcGinty
    https://twitter.com/DraftMcGinty

  11. Ricdw says:

    Cant believe i agree with a DD post. But Ohare is spot-on. Dinosaur from the days of real investigative journalism. Good work/update.

  12. David Diano says:

    The following blog post by someone who has been checking up on Mayor Ed for years outlines a number of complaints about how city hall has (allegedly) been run. If any of these activities has actually taken place and was on the FBI radar, then McCord looks like a saint by comparison.

    lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2015/07/pawlowski-federal-investigation-no.html?m=1

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