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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Updated: Koval Charged in Conspiracy To Deprive Allentown of Honest Services

Koval, with Fed Ed,  Robert Glazier and Candida Affa
at a Boyle parking deck ribbon cutting
Former Allentown Controller Mary Ellen Koval was spotted going into the federal building on Wednesday in Allentown, carrying a large box. When she left two hours later, the box was gone. Federal authorities are obviously interested in what's inside that box. But not enough to deter them from charging her for her role in the Queen City public corruption scandal.She was charged yesterday with conspiracy to deprive the citizens of their right to honest services through bribery and kickbacks. She is expected to enter a guilt plea today.

Her attorney may call her a "very classy lady," but an information filed by the United States Attorney brands Koval as a member of a conspiracy that "employed countersurveillance maneuvers and obstructed justice by, among other things, making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents conducting a federal criminal investigation into the relationship between campaign contributions and official action in the City of Allentown."

Though a Controller is required to exercise independent oversight, prosecutors charge that Koval relied on Fed Ed "for political support, including campaign contributions and appointments to boards, commissions, and authorities which exercised actual and perceived authority over individuals and entities in the City of Allentown." After her election, he appointed her to the Allentown Parking Authority.

It's no secret that he raised the money for her 2011 race against Republican Lou Hershman. This included $6,300 from trade unions looking for construction work; $500 from Sean Boyle consultant Sovereign Enterprises; $100 from NIZ King J.B. Reilly; $250 from Boyle Ventures.

Koval is linked to giving one unnamed company a competitive advantage for a contract with the Allentown Parking Authority, which she also headed. The Morning Call has identified this company, called "Donor No. 1," as Jack Rosen, a top Obama fundraiser

Koval at a Boyle groundbreaking, with Candida Affa
and Robert Glazier, both now members of City Council. .
The other unnamed company, identified only as "Donor No. 2," could be Boyle Construction, a major Ed Pawlowski contributor. In September 2014, Boyle was awarded a contract for a 7-level, 1,000-car parking lot, near the hockey arena, with an estimated $22.5 million budget. Boyle was previously awarded a $3.4 million contract for renovations to the former Hess' Parking deck. In an email sent late in 2014, Koval apparently dunned this company for contributions.

In fairness to Sean Boyle, I should note that his firm has been associated with many quality public projects, including the Freemansburg Police Station and the Bethlehem Visitors' Center. He has strongly denied even being questioned by the FBI.

Koval is also linked to entrepreneur Ramzi Haddad, who has already entered a guilty plea.

This information also charges that she and Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski lied to federal investigators when they questioned him on July 2, 2015. "On or about July 2, 2015, in order to conceal and continue the conspiracy, Public Official #3 [Fed Ed] made materially false statements to FBI agents who were investigating the conspiracy. For example, Public Official #3 falsely denied knowing whether he had received campaign contributions from Donor #1’s company or its principals when in fact, two days earlier, as Public Official #3 well knew, Donor #1 had donated and bundled tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, which were transferred to Public Official #3’s federal campaign via interstate wires, including the Internet."

Review of Koval's campaign finance reveals little in the way of direct contributions to her in 2015. Most of the money went to Fed Ed. In 2015, she received $4000 from trade unions; $250 from State Rep. Mike "Darth Voter" Schlossberg; $250 from State Rep. Pete Schweyer; and $325 from Citizens for a Better Allentown.

Blogger's Note: First Published 1/13/16, at 3:49 pm.

Updated 1/14/16, 2:40 PM: Donor No. 2 Could Also Be McTish and Kunkel. - I have speculated that Donor No. 2 could be Boyle Constructionj, but a source closer to this investigation than I am tells me Donor No. 2 is actually engineering firm McTish and Kunkel. I don't know whether that is so, but do know that former State Rep. Jennifer Mann represents Matt McTish and his firm in Harrisburg and also doubles doing market development work for the firm in the area. Matt McTish was also ass deep in the whole Turnpike scandal a few years ago. He comes by his aggressive political style quite, dare I say, 'honestly.'

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's only a matter of time Eddie

Anonymous said...

The next chapter now begins::

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Who is the other donor?

Anonymous said...

Lately Ed has been doing things he apparently hasn't done before or never found the reason to P.R.Maybe the tactic is to create a better community service record or image for himself so that when the sentence is handed down it may have more leniency in it.

Anonymous said...

Is being a delusional idiot an allowable defense for Fed Ed?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

True he has not been indicted or charged, but the circle is closing around Mayor Pawlowski. He will be as the FBI continues to charge the others that were part of the conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

IE, theft of services as a public servant gluttonous people have got no chance in hell of performing the task at hand¿!($ ReMeber allways don't mess with the hype, because that is a tool of circus sideshow trix too¿!($ Bla bla bla bla add a little chalk and paint and make it what it ain't¿!($ LVHN formally known as the Great Allentown Hospital Circus sideshow freeks and geeks working with there momma on the back midway of years past presently epicentralized downtown¿!($
"WHAT WE DRINKIN"
redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Watch out for Sam Bennett trying to make a move to be selected as mayor when fed ed goes down. Bigger crook than him. For sure. FBI might as well just stay in town.

Anonymous said...

reddrabbit sez Mayor pawlowski has till not been charge dwiht any crimes. meny teadfrinkers weish he wus???>< but hees not

daboo!@#

Anonymous said...

To the person or persons who have posted here "Ed hasn't been charged with anything!"

Koval's lawyer said that in the press just a few days ago. Now it's reported she is pleading guilty in a day or two. More and more details are coming out, that indict Ed. It's a short matter of time, and he's going down.

Anonymous said...

Sam Bennett is unelectable. Thank God for that.

The Banker

Monkey Momma said...

I have a dumb question about the lingo being used by the FBI. Since Pawlowski is called "Public Official #3," does that mean there are two other public officials (#1 and #2) being investigated? Or is Donor #1 the #1 of this case?

Also, given the scope and magnitude of Allentown's conspiracy (and it does seem quite vast, especially considering the guilty pleas and Fleck's move), it seems that literally EVERYONE was in on this scheming and corruption. Why did it take an FBI investigation to bring all of this madness into the open? Why didn't anyone say anything before this? Are there truly no "good guys" in our local government?? It is depressing, and god knows the voters of this town don't give a shit.

If I wasn't already soured on politics, this situation has truly put me off completely. Anyone and everyone who does regular business with Pawlowski must have known about the corruption and bribery. And the fact that they did nothing leads me to believe that they were participating in such a scheme. This entire NIZ is based on false pretenses and illegal shenanigans. The closing of Shulas is certainly evidence that politicians have no business trying to be business people - they clearly are not. Enough of this insanity - we need to demand a complete overhaul of City Hall and City Council with literally all new faces. Otherwise, even with Pawlowski's ouster, it's just going to be business as usual in this political cesspool of corruption.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I have not heard the term un-indicted co-conspirator for a long time.How were these people paid for the bid rigging ect.? Was the money dispersed from the Pawloski campaign or did the bribers pay the individuals directly .Seems to have been a nightmare to pay all these folks individually

Anonymous said...

YES: It's a cesspool.
YES: City Hall and City Council needs a clean sweep.
Out with the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

Phantoms want to break their contract and move out of the City of Corruption!

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming the FBI reads this
and what I'm about to say will not be a surprise to them, yet I feel like I have to say it.
The intimidation continues on a daily basis both in City Hall and in the community. Please, please do whatever you can to stop the threats and intimidation as soon as you possibly can.
Please.

Anonymous said...

@6:14PM If you have credible information, give it to the authorities. Posting accusations here is useless. I don't believe a word of what you wrote.

You can very easily find out the FBI office and agent(s) to forward confidential information to in this matter. I've done it myself in a federal case. Posting anon of a blogger's website is like spitting into a 50mph wind.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Monkey Momma, public officials 1 and 2 relate to Reading. While I tend to believe most City Council members were unaware of the chicanery, I am sure they are all being investigated, at least in a broad sense. I also believe Mota has been questioned.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:14, I would encourage you to contact the FBI immediately. Unlike the other reader, I believe what you are saying is very possible and would be consistent with Fed Ed's vindictive tactics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:03, one of the worst things you can do is wish for the death of another person. I am no Fed Ed fan, but find your comment disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Ellen she is a good person. Very nice. I just know she was doing what she thought was best for Allentown. Feel so bad for the mayor. He cares so much about us. Allentown Democrat voter

Anonymous said...

Bull fuckin shit BOH when you say:
While I tend to believe most City Council members were unaware of the chicanery".

Those 2 boy toy representatives were neck deep in the early stages of this 'chicanery', winking and nodding and probably attended every backroom meeting w/ Miked Fleck and the big squeeze himself, Pawlowski!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bull fuckin shit BOH when you say"

Ifyou think adding expletives to your comments makes them more effective, they don't. What do are facts. i have laid out a number of facts about both Schlossberg and Schweyer that definitely put them in the pay-to-play world, but this by no means is the same thing as criminal conduct. if you have evidence of criminality produce it. otherwise, all you've got are curse words.

Chris Casey said...

This just in:

Back Alley sources confirm that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski may have contacted Kevin Hart and Will Farrell to see if they can prepare him for Federal Prison. He hopes they can help him "Get Hard" before he goes in.

Anonymous said...

Donor 1 is Boyle
Donor 2 is T&M Associates (interstate)

Boyle benefited greatly from the authority's interpretation of personal services before 2014.

Anonymous said...

As I had said months ago, palowski might not be the biggest fish- there are whales out there involved in the corruption.

The web widens to the parking authority , maybe next to the NIZ?

Maybe to Philly

Remember how many names on the FBI wish list

Probably running through the list of palowski donors

Anonymous said...

everyone cops a plea and provides something and the web widens, FBI could be here for years.......

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not going to allow you to anonymously and personally attack someone who hasn't announced she's running for anything.

Anonymous said...

Monkey mama, anyone with eyes to see knew about the corruption in Allentown. Those who bothered to speak against it were simply ignored. Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Koval is linked to giving an unnamed company a competitive advantage for a contract with the Allentown Parking Authority, which she also headed.

One can't do this in a vacuum. Ed may be the old story. If this spreads could be more interesting. The APA has it's own attorneys. Can't steer parking contracts alone, can one?

Anonymous said...

Morning call identified donor 1 as Jack Rosen.

Anonymous said...

RICO cases take a great deal of time to put together because everything needs to be tired together with the various players. The Fed's are taking their time to slowly bring this all together. Like a boa constrictor, they will squeeze tight, then fully consume the rat

Anonymous said...

I saw the name Ted Zeller mentioned on mcall post, how is it he would be involved? He was an old classmate. Curious.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has yet to be charged with any crimes. Haters gotta hate.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

This all starts when people decide that they really don't want a real job and earn an honest living, they want access to the public coffers for themselves and their friends, We still have an attitude in this country that government money if free for the taking and is an inexhaustible resource. Obviously there is too much money available to government all levels, Lets let the people keep much, much more of their money.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Maybe sometime soon you will write a review of Monday night's Business Matters segment starring (words most spoken in the shortest amount of time award nominee)
Schlossberg.

Anonymous said...

Fed Ed and his cronies belong in jail, and it appears that may well happen.

Anonymous said...

I am very sure the charges filed for now will only have teeth for bigger crimes to be filed at a latter date¿!($ The charges now are little in compairison of things to come after the RICO ACT is filed after the gathering of information piriod comes to an end¿!($
redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

@6:45am

Pertaining to your Business Matters comment and Schlossturd. I do believe Rodney Dangerfield said it best....."he has a face that was made for radio!"

Anonymous said...

There used to be a very large engineering firm named Schoor Depalma based in NJ., with Lehigh Valley offices. The founder of the firm was charged with bribery. As a result, the firm fell apart, and many of the people who worked for that firm went to work for T&M Associates. I don't mean to accuse anyone there of anything, but it would ironic if it turns out that the successor firm was involved in something similar.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/schoor_depalma_founder_spared.html

Charlie Sch said...

to 6:14 pm: If there are any threats or intimidation related to the investigation, and IF you feel uncomfortable reporting them directly to the FBI, then I would report them to the City Solicitor. It is her legal duty to make sure that there is full City cooperation with the FBI investigation. She seems like a straight shooter who will not let those things pass.

Anonymous said...

The people I feel sorry for are Pawlowski's two kids.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Sch @ 9:04 -

That is possibly the worst advice ever given.

The solicitor is a crony of the Mayor, and used Mike Fleck for her own political campaign in 2013.

I am sure that she is doing her best to APPEAR like a straight shooter, since I'm sure she doesn't want to be in the FBI crosshairs, but she still serves at the pleasure of the Mayor.

I would not advise anyone to go to her, or anyone else employed in City Hall. Take it directly to the FBI.

Anonymous said...

...I would not go to anyone employed in Allentown City Hall. Take it straight to the FBI.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The Mayor has yet to be charged with any crimes. Haters gotta hate."

This is not about hate. This is about political corruption charges being filed against a third Allentown official. his is the third time that Fed Ed is implicated as being directly involved, this time with outright lies to FBI agents. If he had any regard for the City he claims to love so much, he'd step down now, as Koval did.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The people I feel sorry for are Pawlowski's two kids."

Amen. He obviously doesn't care about the City, despite his protests to the contrary. But he's got two kids and this has to be very tough on them. For their sake, he should resign and move back to Chicago. I'm sure his family can help him find a job.

Anonymous said...

Family can help him after he rots in jail for a few years...

Chris Casey said...

I doubt if the Mayor's future accommodations in Danbury or elsewhere are as luxurious as his man cave.

Anonymous said...

Boyle, Koval, Pawlowski - Stronger Together.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has yet to be charged with any crimes. Haters gotta hate.

2:56 AM


There is a huge difference between "haters" and citizens who value the sanctity of elected office and service. You appear to be several clicks shy of lucid thinking at 2:56AM. Get some more sleep next time.

5 days ago, Koval's attorney said she is a "classy lady" and she hadn't been charged with any crime. Today she's pleading guilty. If you have been reading the press or got off your ass and went to look at the complaints in person, you would see "Public Official #3" is Pawlowski and the central figure that ties together all those who have been charged so far. Duh.

Please stop back when Pawlowski is charged, and update us on your "thoughts".

Charlie Sch said...

To clarify my earlier comments, unlike the Assistant City Solicitors appointed by the Mayor, the City Solicitor is not a full-time city employee. She is an attorney for a prominent mid-sized law firm, and has not been Solicitor for long. It is in her best interests to make sure everything is done to cooperate with the FBI, because she wants to practice law long after the current crop of politicians is gone.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Charlie, Susan Ellis Wild was brought in by Pawlowski bc she is a good Dem in a good Democratic firm. He likely expected partisan support. But my take on her is that she has handled herself with complete honesty and integrity in this matter. That's refreshing and hopefully, and example for others to follow.

Anonymous said...

Kids don't get to choose their parents. As bad as Fed Ed's actions have been, none compare to the stigma he's visited upon his innocent children. What a despicable father. How does he plan to explain burner phone directives to his offspring? I once criticized Hillary Clinton for supporting the concept of children divorcing their parents. I've changed my mind and take back that criticism.

Anonymous said...

"the third time that Fed Ed is implicated"

Implicated, inferred, deduced, imagined....

The Mayor has not been charged with any crimes. Fortunately, real law professionals deal in facts not hate.

Anonymous said...

I realize that its just conjecture, but its not really fair to assume that number 2 is Boyle. the timelines don't match up. I have heard that its more likely to be a different company that was one of Rosen's clients. Boyle's work was all awarded before Mary Ellen came on the board

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think the timelines do match, which is why Boylre got my vote. But I have just been informed by a source who is more knowledgeable than I that Donor No. 2 is actually engineering firm McTish and Kunkel.

I gguess we's have to see Koval's email to know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Koval was involved with city purchasing and its connection to Pawlowski campaign donations well before she became Controller.

Anonymous said...

the solicitor may be the only honest person in the place. She had no idea what she was walking into but she's stuck it out anyway. She doesn't need that job but I think she's staying to help the city

Rich Fegley said...

&9:16 Sure, let's just trust the solicitor. Wait, why should we trust the solicitor?

Did you vote for Mary Ellen Koval?

Anonymous said...

Bernie - even if not indicted, all of council are guilty of rubber-stamping all the contracts, land deals etc...

What are the state rules for Recall of public officials in a 3rd Class City?

time to get that ball rolling.....

Connell will no doubt be interim mayor, after he chaired the palowski rubber stamp machine.

but he is a nice guy like koval

I say Chief Stehpens is the man to provide leadership and bring back integrity to our city hall

while jennifer Mann lurks in the wings to replace palowski as the machine boss..

It time to start the call "Stephens for Mayor!"

Anonymous said...

that is all of the previous session of council minus Iron Lady are guilty

Anonymous said...

Stevens?
What a sad joke this all is.