Pawlowski Campaign Manager, Confidant Pleads Guilty

Fleck-PawlowskiThe FBI’s investigation into contracting practices at Allentown City Hall has claimed another scalp.

Mike Fleck, campaign manager for Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s short-lived U.S. Senate bid, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery offenses and one count of tax evasion, Emily Opilo and Peter Hall of the Morning Call report.

Fleck is facing up to 10 years in federal prison, though he has been cooperating with the FBI’s investigation of old-school pay-to-play contracting practices in Allentown city government.

Fleck’s plea could have Pawlowski looking over his shoulder with court documents linking a “Public Official No. 3” to the political corruption. Public Official No. 3 has run state and federal campaigns, according to court documents, a description that would only match Pawlowski, though prosecutors have yet to name the official.

In early July 2015, the FBI raided Allentown City Hill looking for contracts dating back over a decade. Just hours before the raid, Pawlowski discovered his best friend, Fleck, was wearing a wire for the agency.

Only a few days later, Pawlowski suspended his fledgling U.S. Senate campaign.

Though Mayor Pawlowski remains in office, it is still unclear whether he will serve out his term, with the Allentown City Council urging him to resign, or if he will face federal charges.

Along with Fleck, former assistant solicitor Dale Wiles and former finance director Gary Strathearn have pleaded guilty for roles in the kickback scheme, as well as former Allentown City Controller Mary Ellen Koval.

Allentown Council President Ray O’Connell is calling on Pawlowski to resign once again in the wake of Fleck’s plea.

“Each day this web becomes more entangled,” O’Connell told the Morning Call. “Each day the cloud over the city becomes darker. Each day as we move forward, the uncertainty grows in the ability of the mayor to lead this city.”

9 Responses

  1. I had a friend who encouraged me to work for Fleck a few years ago and I didn’t have the heart to tell him why I wouldn’t. I just never trusted Fleck. Apparently, for good reason.

    Just waiting for some more “shoes to drop” in the City of Reading.

  2. Bungy: If ‘him’ and ‘her’ are in any way connected to the Bazzano-Zappala-Porter family mafia, they will have no concerns at all. Go back twenty years to Pgh. U.S. Attorney Fred Thieman, then fast forward. No Zappala insider ever got indicted by the Feds, excluding Conahan, who so far is a non snitcher the mob fixes everything that could touch them…cash for kids, Lurid Luke’s thievery, the great bond credit swaps that even got Junior’s brother fired by Wall Street, but no indictment. All the Feds have to do is follow the money but they never do. I wonder why.

  3. What until you hear who the WIRE got. I would Be very nervous, If I were HIM And HER.

  4. Diano – It is very light. But, the Government hooked him because of his cooperation i.e., wearing the wire.

  5. thanks to the f feds for saving us Pawloski as the chosen candidate of the big blue machine. wonder if they would have poured $4million to buy the primary for him ?

  6. One count of conspiracy?

    That seems low for years of ongoing pay-to-pay contracts

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