About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Case Against Fed Ed, In the Feds' Own Words

Five people have pleaded guilty now in a federal investigation into pay-to-play that may extend way beyond the Lehigh Valley. With the resignation of Managing Director Fran Dougherty in Allentown, I believe the feds are preparing to make their move against Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski. Some tell me that they have even begun to look at his wife.

Here is what the federal government is saying about Fed Ed's criminal culpability, in its own words, according to the charging documents filed against Ramzi HaddadDale WilesGarrett StrathearnMary Ellen Koval and Mike Fleck. (I have tentatively identified several donors.. As donors, they could be victims of extortion and no inference should be drawn).

[Fed Ed] aspired to win election to a statewide elective office. To achieve this goal and others, [Fed Ed], while still serving as a public official in Allentown, hired and directed certain political operatives (“the campaign operatives”), known to the United States Attorney, to help him raise campaign contributions from donors, including parties who had profited from their dealings with the City of Allentown and who sought favorable treatment from the City of Allentown (“the vendors”). [Fed Ed] also directed certain municipal officials to give preferential treatment to certain of his past and potential political donors.

In 2014 and 2015, [Fed Ed] and others, known to the United States Attorney, knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and deprive the City of Allentown and its citizens of [Fed Ed]'s honest services through a bribery and kickback scheme, wherein [Fed Ed] sought campaign contributions, including contributions to [Fed Ed]’s federal campaign, in exchange for past, continued, and future official actions that  [Fed Ed] took, attempted to take, and caused and attempted to cause the City of Allentown to take. 

[Fed Ed] directed other public officials to identify for him individuals and entities who had profited from their dealings with the City of Allentown and who sought favorable treatment from the City of Allentown (“the vendors”). [Fed Ed], directly and through subordinates, made clear to certain vendors, including [Jack Rosen], [McTish and Kunkel Engineering], and Ramzi Haddad, that providing [Fed Ed] with campaign contributions was a necessary condition for receiving certain favorable treatment from the City of Allentown.

Disappointed by his poor fundraising in his earlier campaign for statewide office, [Fed Ed] instructed defendant MICHAEL FLECK, [Jack Rosen], [McTish and Kunkel Engineering], [Scott Allinson] Donor #5, Ramzi Haddad, and others that his best chance at winning his party's support as a candidate for the federal office was to maximize the campaign contributions that he received on or before a federal campaign reporting deadline of June 30, 2015.

[Fed Ed] communicated to others, including Allentown officials and defendant MICHAEL FLECK, that the city of Allentown would withhold favorable treatment from certain donors who failed to provide satisfactory campaign contributions to [Fed Ed].

On diverse dates between on or about January 6, 2014, and on or about May 26, 2015, [Fed Ed], Mary Ellen Koval, defendant MICHAEL FLECK, and others met for the purpose of helping [Jack Rosen]'s company receive a "no-bid" contract from the City of Allentown as a reward for [Jack Rosen]'s agreement to raise campaign contributions for [Fed Ed].

[Fed Ed] caused and attempted to cause certain municipal staff to take official action favorable to certain actual and potential donors, including defendant RAMZI HADDAD and other donors to [Fed Ed]’s federal campaign.

During his in-person interactions with defendant RAMZI HADDAD at restaurants, [Fed Ed] directed defendant HADDAD to pay [Fed Ed]’s food and beverage bills

In order to conceal and continue the conspiracy, [Fed Ed] employed countersurveillance maneuvers, including destroying records, conducting sweeps of government offices for electronic surveillance, and procuring disposable “burner phones” that he believed would be difficult for law enforcement to monitor.

On or about January 8. 2014, [Fed Ed] contacted defendant GARRET STRATHEARN to explain the importance of awarding the 2014 revenue collection contract to [Northeast Revenue Service] and ensure that defendant STRATHEARN would help achieve that result.

On or about May 27, 2014 and again on or about August 14, 2015, in order to conceal and continue the conspiracy, defendant GARRET STRATHEARN made materially false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of  Investigation who were investigating the conspiracy. For example, defendant STRATHEARN falsely claimed that [Fed Ed] was unaware of  expressing any preference about, let alone having input or involvement in, the award process for the 2014 revenue collection contract when in fact, as STRATHEARN well knew. [Fed Ed] had specifically told him that [Fed Ed] wanted [Northeast Revenue Service] to win the contract and that it was important for STRATHEARN to provide that result for [Fed Ed]'s benefit.

On or about August 8, 2014, [Fed Ed] agreed to help [McTish and Kunkel]'s company receive a contract from the City of Allentown as a reward for [McTish and Kunkel]'s agreement to raise campaign contributions for [Fed Ed].

On diverse dates between on or about April 14, 2014, and on or about May 8, 2015, [T and M] met with [Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer], [Fed Ed], defendant MICHAEL FLECK, and others, known to the United States Attorney, to discuss trading municipal contracts in Allentown and Reading for campaign contributions from a political action committee over which [T and M]'s company had influence and control.

On or about April 21, 2015,[Fed Ed], acting in his official capacity as an elected official, used the U.S. mails to send a letter of support for a proposal in which Ramzi Haddad had a business interest, in consideration for Haddad's agreement to raise money for [Fed Ed].

Upon hearing that [Scott Allinson] had expressed doubt about [Norris McLaughlin]'s willingness to make future contributions, [Fed Ed] complained "Really! I've given him millions of dollars.. .. Relatively, compared to other law firms, they've given nothing. [Allinson] for sure will get nothing now. ... You know, f--k them! And I'm not gonna award work to [Allinson's] law partner] or anything. Screw it all!"

On or about July 2, 2015, in order to conceal and continue the conspiracy, [Fed Ed] made materially false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who were investigating the conspiracy. For example, [Fed Ed] falsely denied having had any knowledge of, involvement in, or interference with Allentown's RFP process when, as [Fed Ed] well knew, he had taken steps to help award the 2014 revenue collection contract to [Northeast Revenue Service]. 

On or about July 2, 2015, in order to conceal and continue the conspiracy, [Fed Ed] made materially false statements to FBI agents who were investigating the conspiracy. For example, [Fed Ed] falsely denied knowing whether he had received campaign contributions from [Jack Rosen]’s company or its principals when in fact, two days earlier, as [Fed Ed] well knew, [Jack Rosen] had donated and bundled tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, which were transferred to [Fed Ed]’s federal campaign via interstate wires, including the Internet.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ed is a classic case of hubris. His reach far exceeded his grasp. He had zero chance of a statewide office, but his fantasy was willingly fed by charlatans like Fleck. Now King Edwin is about to be dethroned by a federal indictment, and his new kingdom will likely be an 8 x 8 cell at Fed Med.

Anonymous said...

Bernie when do you think the Feds will indict him?

Anonymous said...

2017

Anonymous said...

Delusions of the same I'll as DA Morganelli... Never a statewide guy

Anonymous said...

But he is a Christian and goes to church every sunday

Anonymous said...

This is more than a simple case of bribery, extortion and honest services. This is a classic RICO action that should be brought against the mayor-for-life, King Edwin the First. There are other department heads and managers on the periphery and I expect them to be key witnesses at his trial [he is too arrogant to plead guilty]. But his crooked mobbed up attorney, Jack McMahon, will try to lessen a RICO count with a simple one-count guilty plea. Knowing the federal judge in these proceedings, he likes remorseful criminals, however, King Edwin shows no remorse, Chicago style. His wife and confidant knew what was going on and I am sure she has some part in this travesty of corruption. But she will be overlooked by the powers that be; principally because of their children.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie when do you think the Feds will indict him?"

I believe it could be as soon as this week, at least according to one source.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has yet to be charged with a crime. This is all speculation.

Anonymous said...

Bernie's "what the government is saying" piece this morning reads much too complete to be anything but a pass through of an imminent charge. Government agencies DO use soft "leaks" to telegraph, gauge reaction.

To me, this blog entry does reveal something big for this week, or next. That's a good thing. This matter has done great harm to Allentown and its people. It's time to conclude, sanatize, and re-open that city for business.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

Follow the money. Cardinal rule.

Wives control family money. That's also a fundamental rule in long-term marriages, as many divorces are fights over money. When women control it, you have peace and tranquility.

Investigate Lisa and you'll learn all about Ed's shenanigans.

Gerr Kof said...

Ha Ha Ha, my craigslist rants and raves picture has gone public ! you should have used the rest of the post too !

Anonymous said...

I hope Pawlowski sings aloud and brings the boy toy reps down the river with him: Schlossberg & Schweyer!

No more ghost voting for you... Schloss

Anonymous said...

Schlossberg needs to find the labor office and be put on unemployment.

One can hope that his normal constituents decide to stay home this November and we can be rid of this snot nose once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Hillery next

Anonymous said...

7:23....back to 3rd grade.. Spelling class begins at 10:00AM. Trumpsters must sit in front row.

Anonymous said...

7:23 may lack spelling skills but is right. Hillary's indictment is right around the corner. Our Presidential options have never been this bad.

Scott Armstrong said...

OK, so Ed goes up the river. That will be justice due, but that begs the question; if Ed, why not Hillary? Hasn't she done the same but on a much grander scale?

Anonymous said...

was worse in 2008 and 2012 when we elected a community organizer to the White House

Anonymous said...

Ed doesn't have the political connections that Hillary does Scott. Loretta Lynch would have to approve a Grand Jury to actually charge her with crimes. She has prosecutor discretion and Obama would have to sign off on it. As the Democratic Canidate, Obama isn't going to torpedo her.

Anonymous said...

B. O. Do you expect others will be indicted with the mayor?

Anonymous said...

7:34,

Yeah, Democrat voters are well known for their superior intelligence. Okay. Whatever.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:17, Others could be, and I heard that pressure is being placed on the wife, but in the end, I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

When we invaded Iraq and ultimately disposed of Saddam Hussein without a good plan for succession look what happened. Total chaos. I hope FedEd goes to jail for a very long time but what are our options going to be for the next mayor? Sam Bennett? Jennifer Mann? Brownie? Ugh.....

Anonymous said...

6:56 & 7:19-

Im utterly baffled how people can vote for Schloss. Such a pompous idiot.

I want to see Mann's involvement. What was her scam, ?vitetta? And a relationship with Sean Pressman, to their benefit. Politics.....

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Hasn't she done the same but on a much grander scale?"

Although questions here about Hillary are really OT, the only similarity between her and Fed Ed is that both are under investigation. He is under investigation for political corruption, extortion and bribery. She is under investigation for using her private AOL account for classified documents. As incredibly stupid as that behavior is, it is not political corruption. So no, what she did is not on a "much grander scale." What she did could have compromised the security of the United States and is serious for that reason, but there is no lucre and probably just a lot of stupidity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Im utterly baffled how people can vote for Schloss. Such a pompous idiot. "

This, too, is OT. We are dealing with Fed Ed and the allegations against him, not Schlossberg or Jenn Mann. If you have specific reasons for suggesting why they should be charged, please elaborate. But being one of the King's Men is not a basis for a federal criminal investigation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gerr Koff, The "Pawlowski for Prison" poster was forwarded to me yesterday. If you have something else, please send to BOHare5948@aol.com.

Anonymous said...

Is this something that they just released? Or previously released info collected in one document?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I put all the federal allegations against Fed Ed from previous documents together.

Anonymous said...

See the high test teabggers were up bright and early. They win the golden teabag award for being the first to mention Obama and Clinton in a post totally unrelated.

Congratulations! Keep on swinging!

Anonymous said...

What she did could have compromised the security of the United States and is serious for that reason, but there is no lucre and probably just a lot of stupidity

That level of stupidity has no reason to be elevated to the President of the United States.

Also stupidity in handling classified information is no excuse for criminal behavior. This is one of the few areas of federal law that intent does not have to be proven, simply negligence can cause you to be convicted of a felony.

Anonymous said...

Another hammer falls....

http://www.wfmz.com/news/Firm-president-admits-to-bribing-Allentown-Reading-officials/39468532

and the noose tightens some more...

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Breaking ......

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2016/05/another_guilty_plea_in_allento.html

Jamie Kelton said...

Mayor Pawlowski will not resign. There is no benefit for him to resign as he'll lose everything he worked for for the past fifteen years or so. If he is indicted, he'll proclaim his innocence and drag this thing out forever. Most likely till the end of his term.

But don't hold your breath, he's not leaving anytime soon. He has too much to lose and nothing to gain unless he can cut a plea deal to resign and pay a fine, but stay out of jail.

Anonymous said...

Nice summary.

If Pawlowski had made an effort to NOT PISS OFF so many people, he could have had a successful career running for County Executive and/or State Senate after Browne eventually leaves, and eventually the US House after Dent gets tired of DC. Instead, he tried to run way outside of his league for Governor and US Senate, and had to play dirty to think he had a chance of being competitive.

Anonymous said...

After a lengthy investigation of corruption of the PA. Turnpike, in 2014, the two top officials of the Turnpike pled guilty, among others. One of the firms implicated in that "pay to play" scheme of trading campaign contributions for engineering work was McTish Kunkel, as noted in the article below.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/11/turnpike_pay_to_play_scandal_e.html

That scandal involved many firms and legislators in both political parties. AMAZINGLY, NO ONE SPENT A DAY IN PRISON. The difference was that case was handled by the PA. Attorney General's office, vs. the Allentown and Reading scandals is being handled by the FBI and federal prosecutors.

Anonymous said...

The kids for cash judges scandal in Luzerne Co. also was not addressed until the feds got involved in the investigation and prosecution. There were many warnings that something was amiss - the PA. Attorney General's office should have been involved in that case much sooner, which would have avoided harm to many of the teenagers.

Anonymous said...

11:54am
Yea that is a good one, but in palumpashitskyville that is not the only case in point of cash for kids?!?! This being because with the pos involved they not only use this as a collective tool, here the go after a child's soul and there beliefs in any sort of good from realms not seen?!?! Hence palumpa's church on the run collectively working for the soul sale sectors sub divisional tools with state representation tool Replete now on a higher level of collisional dillusionists in this circus sorcery subject!?!?
Re:publican redd

Rich Fegley said...

Is it possible that the judges and attorney generals are also corrupt?

Pennsylvania Citizens required the help of the FBI to expose this corruption?

What about Estey and his wire? Estey wore wire after sting, sources say - Whom he recorded and how long he cooperated remained unclear. It could have been years.

Is Estey Hillary Clinton's Fleck?

Jeffrey Anthony said...

Your diligence and discipline in reporting this is extraordinarily commendable, Bernie.

You've been on this since the beginning, and I doubt it would have gotten the visibility it did without you.

Ben Franklin would be proud of you citizen-journalist.

Anonymous said...

Rich I believe anyone could be corrupt. I also believe that any political group, whether it be liberals/conservatives, democrats/republicans, communists/socialists, as soon as they believe their party has the moral high ground, they're headed for a big fall. You start to believe that your actions are acceptable "because your motives are pure."

That's when we all together need to call bullshit.

We need to stop with attacks based on party and deal with our problems based on the basic fundamentals right and wrong.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Bernie: You say that Pawlowski's wife might go down according to your sources. Do any of your sources say the same about Fleck's wife?

Anonymous said...

Bernie The documents mention public official number 5. Who do you think that is? No mention of public official # 4.

Anonymous said...

Please leave the mayor alone. He is working on a plea deal that would reduce his sentence to five years at the penguin exhibit at the LV Zoo. In no time his campaigning skills and fish kickbacks will earn him King Penguin status. He will rule the roost.

Anonymous said...

The "First Lady" will be very fortunate if she escapes indictment.

Anonymous said...

Threatening charges against a spouse is sometimes used as pressure to get a plea bargain.

I'm guessing public official no. 5 is either some type of public works or parks director. Remember that Pawlowski had high turnover in his parks directors. Please note that public official no. 5 is not accused of wrong-doing, according to what we have read so far.

Anonymous said...

A sequel in the making! Morgan Freeman to narrate "Perp March of the Penguin."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Public Official #5 seems likely to be Fran Dougherty. I just got the information and will load it to my blog unless it appears on the USW Att'y webpage.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
There is one other likeness to on hilliry and fed ed, and that will be the same too!!! I didn't have sexual relations with my cellmat???

Anonymous said...

what about AA who walked away with a cool million from the land deal and kicked in much more (bigger than haddad); maybe his plea is next