You'll be pleased to know that DiFrancesca is one of the 76 people that Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski reports having paid $100 on election day to visit Allentown neighborhoods, replacing her drug paraphanelia for campaign literature.
DiFrancesca is just one of several people with shady backgrounds that Pawlowski claims, in his amended post election report, to have paid between $100 and $200 to visit Allentown homes on election day. In addition to people who obviously have drug and alcohol problems, Pawlowski reports having sent people who've been charged with theft, criminal mischief and defiant trespass. One of them was charged with robbery, although those charges were later withdrawn. Another was wanted for escape at the very time that he may have been knocking on your door.
Kinda' makes you wonder whether these folks were really distributing campaign literature or casing your joint.
These 76 trombones come from all over the place, from Tamaqua to Brockton to Bath to Bethlehem. But what really hit me were the five names from Easton. One of these Eastonians lived at Lafayette Hotel, a known dive and the other four reportedly lived at Easton's homeless shelter, Safe Harbor.
I spoke with Safe Harbor caseworker Tyler Rogers, who initially told me he had no recollection of anyone working on election day. But when I mentioned the names, he did recall that residents Anthony Finelli, Damien Robinson, Timothy Cumer and William Owens were part of a four-man crew that did go out to distibute some kind of literature somewhere.
Of this crew, only William Owens still resides at Safe Harbor. Robinson has moved to Las Vegas, Cumer has had a drug relapse and Finelli is only seen sporadically. Rogers put me in touch with Owens.
Claiming to be a freind of Pawlowski campaign manager Michael Fleck, Owens tells me he did go to Allentown on election day for the Pawlowski campaign. He knocked on doors, helped people get to the polls. He claims Fleck paid him $100, in cash, at the end of the day, and that he has worked for Fleck before.
"I was cut right out for this," he told me.
Asked whether he was a registered voter, he told me he's registered in Allentown, where he voted for Pawlowski.
"But don't you live in Easton?"
"Yeah, but I'll vote anywhere."
It's nice to know that Easton's homeless helped elect Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski.
I've spoken to a political consultant who tells me Pawlowski uses SEIU "volunteers" on election day to get out the vote, although they are actually paid by the union. Allentown's Bob Romancheck spotted their tent at Walnut Street. Given this heavy union effort, I'm told there should be no need to risk what could happen by hiring the people Fleck used, many of whom have disturbing recent pasts.
Interestingly, Pawlowski's post election finance report fails to show this union support or the payments made to SEIU "volunteers" as an in-kind from the union.
What his report does show is a reckless disregard for the public safety of Allentown citizens. People like the ones I describe below were sent into your neighborhoods and among your children. I've omitted common names like Maria Rodriguez and Rose Martinez, and decided to ignore the traffic offenses on file against most of the people listed. I never looked up the people from Brockton or Tamaqua, or the two people who have no address at all. But what I found reflects an arrogant disregard for your personal security. If Pawlowski's report is to be believed, these people were actually paid to visit your homes.
Melissa Bieber (zip code is 18102)
- Charged in 2007 with robbery, assault and related offenses. She somehow ended up on ARD.
- Has not responded to 2008 charge of public drunkenness.
- 2008 guilty plea to driving under suspension.
Nancy DiFrancesca: - 2008 charges for conspiracy to manufacture and deliver drugs, and for endangering the welfare of a child. Fresh out of jail, showwas pounding on your doors.
- Guilty Plea on 11/9/09 to public drunkenness.
- Found guilty on 4/17/08 of public drunkenness.
- Found guilty on 6/20/06 of driving without insurance, inspection and with a suspended registration.
- charged with joyriding in 2007.
- Charged in October with drug dealing.
- 2008 Guilty Plea to criminal mischief, causing pecuniary loss to another.
Lazarus Jones (zip code is 18109)
- charged with escape on 4/17/09. Apparently, was at large when knocking on Allentown doors.
- 2008 guilty plea to failure to disperse, disorderly conduct involving physical contact.
- 2007 guilty plea to defiant trespass.
- 2007 guilty plea to false identification to police officer.
- 2007 guilty plea to disorderly conduct, obscene languaue and gestures
- 2006 guilty pleas to false identification, theft of services.
- 2006 guilty plea to loitering.
- Charged in 2003 with criminal harassment. Summons never could be delivered.
- Charged in January with driving an unregistered vehicle with no inspection.
- Charged on October 20, 2009, with theft and public drunkenness.
- 2007 guilty plea to criminal mischief, resulting in property damage.
- Charged by Bethlehem police in 2005 with simple assault and harassment, but never served.
- 2004 guilty plea to defiant trespass.
When small businesses like the Dalton family's Allentown Vision Center experience two break-ins and two attempted burglaries over the course of this month alone, you'd think King Ed would be a little more sensitive to his crime-weary citizens.