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Friday, July 24, 2015

Allentown Closed Door Meeting - "Business as Usual"

Matt Assad reports that Allentown City Council met behind closed doors today to discuss how to handle the possibly resignation of Mayor Fed Ed. Susan Ellis Wild justified the secret meeting on the basis of the litigation exception to the Sunshine Act. A criminal investigation is under way. Individuals who may have engaged in bribery, extortion or depriving citizens of their right to honest services may be called on to answer for their actions. The City Solicitor really that gives the appearance that she is huddling with Council to come up with a defense strategy. Though they can meet behind closed doors to engage in information gathering, this really should have been open to the public. This lack of transparency is one of Allentown's most basic problems. But as Fed Ed said, "It's business as usual."

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it business as usual if a person representing a contractor who got a city contract gave money to the Mayor? Your pal Conklin did that and you deem it meaningless. All the while attacking others for it. So how are you any better than,"business as usual?"

Anonymous said...

Now sure if that is accurate. if it is then I agree it is worth noting with the others.

Anonymous said...

To hell with an open meeting process, this is The City Without Limits.
We don't need no stinkin' rules!

Anonymous said...

The city's managing director goes home to a tough and savy Philadelphia family for his support and advice ( --- he lives in Philly).
When the right hand man is putting the finishing touches on his exit strategy and preparing his defense at the expense of any temporary alliances, you know the ship is sinking fast.
The inner circle is crumbling.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:25
Just wait until the Grand Jury calls Pawlowski loyalist Joyce Marin in for an in depth chat.

Anonymous said...

The ballgame is coming into the middle innings.

Anonymous said...

Guaranteed that the next administrative staff to take over operations will find more shaddy financial practices by this bonehead of a mayor.

Anonymous said...

Susan Wild is a good attorney....and the exception does cover "pending or threatened litigation"....but it is hard to see how a Federal Grand Jury (which would of course be criminal in nature) investigation relates to pending or threatened litigation against the City....this meeting should not have gone to executive session

Bernie O'Hare said...

The comment at 2:48 am is a lie, posted by someone with an agenda of hatred for all things John Stoffa. A link to Allentown's outside contracts is below. The donor's employer is NOI among those listed. I will delete all additional attacks made at this person bc they are false.

http://www.allentownpa.gov/Contracts

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:57, I agree that the exception is inapplicable here. Though not specifically mentioned, the courts do allow agencies to meet in private for information gathering purposes. That's how it can be justified. But really, hasn't therebeen enough back door dealing in Allentown? Meet in public.

Anonymous said...

Please, please City Council do not play politics with this decision. Find a Democrat in the West End with a solid business background and NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE! The City must keep the ball rolling on the NIZ, Please Ray O'Connell, check your ego, you're a retired school teacher or administrator, Allentown needs a really smart and successful private sector professional, no disrespect to your profession. There must be someone out there with a "D" next to their name with a resume of someone like Bob Lovett, that is who Allentown needs.

Anonymous said...

Politics is all these hacks know.

Rich Fegley said...

If Pawlowski is not telling Allentown City Council what to do, how can the current members of City Council make any decisions? Six of the seven Council members need to resign. They are rubber stampers and are completely useless. They are the ones who have allowed the Mayor and Controller to do something that requires the FBI to raid City Hall.

Anonymous said...

The former APD Capt.,who would love to be Mayor, is my favorite new stooge. Up until last month he was dying to get next to Pawlowski at every photo op he could squeeze into.
I especially love his American flag sweater, all the better for prominent visibility.
A fool from the old school.

Anonymous said...

^ A tool from the old school.

Anonymous said...

To me this suggests indictments are imminent.

Anonymous said...

Well, there should be no closed door meetings concerning this situation. None. If the purpose is to discuss "what if" and succession, then it MUST be public. The public voted everyone in their place where they are, and the public should voice in on meetings concerning who's who that voters chose. The law dictates the process, but the voters should have a say on the interim too, not have to wait solely for a special election.

Ron Beitler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Beitler said...

FIXED LINK:

Reform sunshine law. Tell your reps to Support HB 1671
http://www.ronbeitler.com/2014/06/25/house-bill-proposes-changes-to-sunshine-law/

Anonymous said...

City Council, with one exception, is a group of fools, sycophants, and empty suit.
This pathetic group of actors can't negotiate their way out of a paper bag,
The city solicitor must be wondering what she has gotten herself in for.
Having said that, I have zero sympathy for her

Anonymous said...

I've been following the saga on this blog since the story first broke, you've captured my interest daily! The thing that is interesting to me is that JB Reilly is never listed as a Pawlowski donor, but surely he was getting money to Pawlowski somehow. Maybe this is part of the FBI inquiry, did certain willing accomplices accept money from Reilly and then make the donations for him?

Bernie O'Hare said...

JB Reilly has donated significantly to Pawlowski over the years, both directly and indirectly. He has also supported Pawlowski candidates like Schlossberg and Schweyer. But I doubt he could give in the Senate race without alienating Toomey and other powerful Rs.

Anonymous said...

At 7:22. I think in one of Bernie's stories he wrote that Riely started a PAC that was getting money to Fed Ed. Bernie, please correct me if I am wrong, lots of goings on with this story.

Hank_Hill

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ron, That Bill died in the House. It has not been revived this year. There were a total of six sponsors, not one of which was from the LV.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hank, he gave both directly and indirectly.

Anonymous said...

There was only one on counsil that was truely elected¿ That would be the beautiful iron lady¿ The rest were by appointment only there is two that represent the populus¿ The true reality is they have been bouught by the notorious hamilton street gang o thugs¿ Just look at the apposing waterwar vote via phone¿


In all reality she did look quite thin upon ReEntry to the USA and the appointed chair in allentowns counsil chambers was pleased¿

redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

As for the timeline, what's the earliest expected date for indictments, if any are forthcoming?

I think I read where City Hall has until the end of next week to submit requested materials for inspection. I'm sure they'll turn that in at the last minute. Seems there would need to be time to study those, plus speak with witnesses, etc. before knowing who to charge with what. Rumors are indictments are expected very soon. Is that practical before September?

Indictments or not, I think everyone just wants some resolution here, so the city can get back to its normal curious behavior!

Bernie O'Hare said...

The feds have no obligation to provide a timeline.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone doubt that the current mayor has absolutely no regard what so ever about what's best for the citizens of Allentown, and his managing director even less?????

Bernie O'Hare said...

Completely OT comments about Hillary Clinton have been deleted..

Anonymous said...

Here we go!

People are starting to blurt out all sorts of accusations with tips for the FBI investigators. At the Morning Call comment section, someone providing info about Jennings, Reilly, etc. Could be just a disgruntled employee, but some of it sounds sounds legit.

Please comment Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Alan Jennings role can be ignored, but not dismissed or diminished.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will look at the comments. It is easy to attack someone anonymously. It is not so easy when you have to take responsibility for what you write.

From the beginning, I have detested Jennings' involvement in the NIZ, but at the same time, consider him a person of great personal integrity. On the NIZ board, he is the only one to question anything.

As for Reilly, I have no reason to doubt his personal integrity. He is a businessman, and is governed by different standards than apply to pols. Personally, I think he is too smart to cross the line.

I am highly critical of his role as a crony capitalist, but that's legal.

Anonymous said...

Personal integrity and involvement in the NIZ are mutually exclusive, no?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Not at all. As bad as i think the NIZ is, I believe people of good will coud genuinely believe in it.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, assuming that i get the donuts baked by 3:00am, and my editors don't reassign me, tomorrow morning i'll examine some integrity issues related to the NIZ

Rich Fegley said...

There were very few Citizens of Allentown that spoke against the incinerator deal and/or the water & sewer deal.

Not one leader in Allentown got behind me over the last few years. Not one leader called me or came to my business to speak with me. Jeanette Eichenwald is the only one that has supported my views and perspectives.

Fear. Is that what the problem has been?

Anonymous said...

Why hasnt anyone looked into the CSI donations made to Fed Ed and the Charles Thiel connection to the City and the rest of these low lifes.

I wonder how CSI gets those exclusive city contracts and avoids the city's biding process????? Thiel is now running around the city tossing his name into the ring as a mayoral candidate. Check out the friends of his host committee and his sponsors, birds of a feather... http://friendsofcharliethiel.com/events

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fegley, yes, fear is pervasive.

Anonymous said...

A person of goodwill could indeed believe in
NIZ.........if they were wildly gullible or downright dull-witted.
Most certainly not if they were privy to the back room conversations, or insiders only poker games, of which there were many.

Peter J.Cochran said...

MIKE- integrity is a shortcoming of most all politicians.You may have a hay field with your announcement. See, I have advocated hanging the bastards that have cheated the taxpayers.This includes a sign ofcoarse on there neck that say's-- I Cheated you, the Tax Payer! -Additionally all their personal assets including the pension accumulation should be returned to the taxpayers.Now you are much more civil than me as your are also more intellectual . - WHAT would you recommend as appropriate CONSEQUENCE for attempting personal gain from public funds? Me like like the BRIDGE concept!

Bill said...

I have not participated in recent years for two reasons - one is that you are not permitted to comment on anything that they are looking at until it comes up. They usually set it up so late that I can't stay (I get up early) and two - it is worthless to do so as they do not seem swayed by public opinion.

Rich Fegley said...

Good grief! The connections between elected officials and developers and contractors is overwhelming.

http://friendsofcharliethiel.com/events/

Charlie Thiel for Allentown fundraiser
An Advocate for Education

Host Committee:
Sean Boyle
Bob Buck
David Dyson
Mark Jaindl
Jennifer Mann
John Nespoli
David Olson
Mayor Ed Pawlowski
Doug Pelletier
Donny Petridis
JB Reilly

Sponsors:
Jim Harbaugh
Tony Iannelli
Zachary Jaindl
David Jones
Jim Ladis
David Lobach
Mike Schlossberg
Peter Schweyer

Bernie O'Hare said...

Very sad. Disgusting, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

The story in today's ( Sunday )
Morning Call was quite interesting,
Soon one will indeed need a flow chart to follow the dirty $$$ and the implicated individuals and organizations.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember the Mcall story about the Picasso prints and other art found in the City Hall basement? If I recall correctly, the City was going to inventory the items found and have them appraised. If authentic, as the article suggested they would be very valuable. Certainly a find that would best be maintained by the museum. I thought there was even a photo of a print that looked like playing cards. I never recalled a followup story.

alfonso todd said...

IT was the fear of the "financial faucet" being turned off... It's well known that if you said or did the wrong thing, all ties could and would be cut and you could politically become a social outcast. And without that monetary support, you are dead in the water in Allentown...

Grassroots simply is a thing of the past in A-town elections... Believe me, I know... LOL!

- Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

Spitting hairs on a "what if" question. This is a clear Sunshine Law infraction by Atown's council. The public has a right to know this kind of questions answer as well as council. It is a parliamentary procedure question and it is public. Shame on them but the news got out anyway.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I think a sunshine act lawsuit would be a loser. As I previously stated, this is permissible as information gathering. It lacks transparency, but appears to be legal.

Anonymous said...

It also seems to fall under the "discussing personnel matter" exception. I won't criticize them for having such a discussion behind closed doors. It's MORE than necessary, considering how news can break quickly.