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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Is Today Fed Ed's Day?

Today is St. Cucuphas Day. He's like the Roadrunner of Catholicism. His persecutors first tried to slow roast him alive, but failed. Then they tried throwing him into a raging bonfire, but only managed to start themselves on fire. Then they decided to use iron whips from Acme to kill him, but started on fire again.

Don't worry. St. Cucuphas finally achieved martyrdom when they ran him through with a sword, and today, he is the patron saint of petty thieves.

It seems that federal investigators have tried in numerous ways to convince both Allentown Attorney Scott Allinson and Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski that they should acknowledge their guilt to political corruption. Hopefully, they've learned they need no raging bonfire. Their simple sword is a grand jury indictment.

I've published Allentown Attorney Scott Allinson's email to three "old friends," telling them that he finally expects to face charges in a federal investigation of political corruption. He said it could be as soon as this week. I've since learned that charges will be filed today. That's what Allinson's law firm told clients and colleagues in multiple calls today. They added that, aside from Allinson, there will be at least one other Defendant. It's no secret that both Allinson and Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski have been under scrutiny for some time. Neither has been willing to plead, as nine others have done. There are no more rocks to turn over. Though I could be wrong, I expect to see Fed Ed charged today. As of midnight, I saw no records on Pacer (the federal electronic docket) to indicate that any charging documents have been unsealed. But I expect it to happen today.

Based on charging documents already filed against nine individuals, we know what's going on.

In Allinson's case, it's quite simple. Upon hearing that Allinson had expressed doubt that he or his law firm could raise money for Fed Ed's Senate race, the Mayor exploded.

"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!"

A few days later, Allinson promised that in exchange for Fed Ed's agreement to steer legal contracts to his law firm, Allinson would solicit attorneys at his firm for campaign contributions.

The evidence in this case will also show that Allinson, who represented Pawlowski campaign manager Michael Fleck, accompanied him on a number of these fundraising expeditions.

Allinson's defense will be that he was extorted.

Evidence will show that Allinson was very much one of the King's men. He's attracted to money and power. Fed Ed, as Allentown's Mayor, has actual and perceived authority and influence over, among other things, the awarding of certain municipal contracts, the negotiation of leases for municipal offices, and zoning and licensing issues relating to certain buildings and properties located in Allentown. He has direct authority over city workers, and also had a lot of influence over Controller Mary Ellen Koval because she relied on him and his contributors for her own campaign money.

Though Fed Ed now claims he has a "passion for Allentown," the truth is that he was trying to get out of there before an inevitable tax increase. He sold everything that wasn't nailed down, and then used that money to buy property the City never needed for almost three times what it was worth from campaign contributor Abe Atiyeh.

Abe was unable to get anywhere in Allentown until he hired Mike Fleck as a "consultant."

That business consultant, who was also Fed Ed's campaign manager, told Abe to start contributing, and he did. Fed Ed used his Mayoral seat has been a springboard for both a gubernatorial run as well as a stab at the US Senate. He is ambitious.

To run statewide, he needed to raise a lot of money. So he and campaign manager Mike Fleck, a business consultant on the side with companies who wanted to do business in Allentown, came up with a scheme to defraud the citizens of their right to honest services.

It was a bribery, bid-rigging and kickback scheme. In exchange for campaign contributions, Fed Ed would steer City business to his donors.

One of these was entrepreneur Ramzi Haddad, the first person to plead guilty. Fed Ed made clear to him, both directly and through Fleck, that he needed to contribute to Fed Ed's campaigns if he expected to do business in Allentown. Haddad contributed $11,500 of his own money, and bundled another $15,000 from contributors in New York. Fed Ed was directly involved, even traveling to New York himself to discuss the money Haddad would raise in exchange for Fed Ed's "help."

During this time, Fed Ed Ed used burner phones, directed Haddad to delete text messages and even conducted sweeps of his office for electronic surveillance.

The remaining defendant contributors are all variations of Ramzi Haddad.

Fed Ed also used three of his subordinates, Managing Director Francis Dougherty, Ass't City Solicitor Dale Wiles and Finance Director Garret Strathearn, to rig the bids for contracts that Fed Ed wanted to steer to campaign contributors.

The City was for sale.

When questioned by federal authorities, Fed Ed himself lied to them.

Feds used several people to record conversations. Fleck himself was flipped. So were Sam Ruchlewicz and Francis Dougherty.

What I have posted here is the tip of the iceberg.

As his world crashes down around him, Pawlowski has remained defiant. The failure to charge him, despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt, has made it impossible for the City to return to normal.

So I am hopeful that federal authorities finally play their hand. They had enough Aces at least a year ago.

While I doubt a federal judge would insist that Fed Ed resign his office as a condition of bail. it is my hope that, if he is charged, a trial is scheduled within the next 30-60 days. That was the approach taken with DA Seth Williams. A federal judgein that matter reasoned that the people of Philadelphia were entitled to a prompt resolution.

So are the people of Allentown.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess time will tell. It's been long overdue ��

Woman in The Know said...

Bernie he,Napoleon, is a true moody grad and a twin to the emperor himself but now he has met his Waterloo and soon even his lady Josephine may fall with him alas poor yorik we all knew him well some too well and wil fall when he finally falls. Mommy always said what goes around comes around . Because of me doing what napoleon said,incorporating the Halloween parade , he has fired countless city employees because i would not give them my propietory information on how i got done what i got done in 2006 . napoleon i and my propietory information are not for sale. When you get to the federal pen you will make some leader a beautiful Josephine

John said...

What a concise and complete summary, Bernie. Thank you for birddogging this story.

Anonymous said...

Hope against hope Bernie ?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, excellent job in piecing this case together. The cast of characters were on point and you are right, it is only the tip of the iceberg. The mayor in denial, doesn't realize the preponderance of evidence against him. This is due to his arrogance or belief in his legal team's assessments. Either way, the feds pieced this case together and apparently are making some major moves to bring forth a legitimate grand jury process and indictment. In the first place, "Fed Ed's" disdain for Allentown was evident in his run for governor and senate. Both of these situations revealed an easy access out of Allentown and the trail of corrupt government he sewed within the City. Hopefully his day of payment [indictment] his here and the city can benefit from his departure in the future.

Anonymous said...

This is the day the Feds have made, let us rejoice and be glad!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Ed, prison sex is not gay sex, it's just prison sex.

Lagata8484 said...

Yo Bernie your a ZERO with tiny blueberry balls and a big hairy gunt that would make most people seek cosmetic surgery, PISS OFF!

Anonymous said...

The mayor isn't in denial, he's just a stone cold liar.

Anonymous said...

The damage this man has done to the city, it's professional and volunteer organizations and instutions,and individuals who are good decent people who wouldn't pay his game with Fleck and Fran is difficult to calculate.
One can only hope the Feds see that this continues unabated and only
they can put an end to the abuse and suffering.
Tremendous damage and pain will be left in the wake of Ed Pawlowski.

Anonymous said...

So this entire scheme was to raise money in order to run for Governor and Senate I find it hard to believe these campaign funds were not skimmed off for his personal use

Anonymous said...

In many ways Lisa is a more reprehensible human being than Ed is.

Anonymous said...

905, sadly, the Table of Plenty was never enough.

Jamie Kelton said...


I also don't mean to infringe on anyone's opinion here but before we put Pawlowski in jail for life with bread and water, can some indictments be issued first and see if he is convicted by a jury?

Then you can throw the keys away.

Anonymous said...

The article is about possible indictments Jaime. I don't see anyone saying he should be in prison for life - only that he may get to enjoy prison sex. I for one would hate to see him denied that possibility.

jma said...

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: congratulations, Bernie, on your tenacity in tirelessly reporting the daylights out of this story before anyone else had the vision or guts to do so.

You're a citizen-journalist Ben Franklin would be proud of.

And given that you've done it without compensation, you are a public servant in the very best and truest sense of that term.

Anonymous said...

Fed ed is more like the chupacabra every day that it evades capture, this is a legendary imagined chihuahua.

Anonymous said...

It's 2:40 and I was promised indictments. Should I take the champagne off ice and put it in the fridge?

Anonymous said...

Seems like if something was coming out today, it would have already. "Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." lol

Woman in The Know said...

As some may know Napoleon and Joseohine will sadly both do time the poor kids worst yet the poor citizens of Allentown.11 to 12 i not more fingers point to them both ironically 2 key people f not more have ade deals with the feds to save their own sorry necks Frek and Dougherty, the illegal city manager wo napoleon may very well put alll the blame on. LIke my mommy always said mr fleck and mr dougherty what goes around inevitably will come around and fleck and dougherty now knows that all to well and sooon Npoleon and Josephine will too. Tis a sad time for all of Allentown. Grants from state and feds may be on hold just when we sorely need them. and now to raise the Phoenix Allentown from the Fallens Ashes . Reverend Erika Lynn Bickford, aka Woman In the Know. as i have seen this all go down in another place and time so many decades ago !

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:47, we have Allinson's email, his law firm alerting clients and colleagues with a claim that it is today and there is more than one defendant. We know Fed Ed was not in his office this am. And we know this is an indictment, not a plea deal. A last minute attempt to talk about this maybe under way, but something is definitely happening.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Bernie. I didn't know that the mayor was not in this morning. I'll be patient and not ask stupid questions such as how the coverage of this is being influenced. No one has ever asked me why I blog about things a certain way.

Anonymous said...

NBC 10 just reported that Fed Ed was just indicted.

Anonymous said...

Yet here we are with another non-no9n-stroy. All this hate yet the Mayor is as of yet an innocent, uncharged man.

Anonymous said...

I am not a crook
I did not have sexual relations with that woman
I did not collude
I am certain of my innocence to bribery and any other crime




Anonymous said...

And the clock keeps ticking....

Anonymous said...

Boom. Indicted. Still sealed. He'll still be re-elected because that's how Allentown voters - all 10 or 12 of them) roll. They're scraping his name of the linoleum at Moody's as we speak.

Anonymous said...

Evidently the mystery is over. He's been indicted. So much for the clock ticking...

Anonymous said...

Nice Job Bernie.

http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-nws-allentown-fbi-mayor-ed-pawlowski-charged-20170725-story.html

Anonymous said...

Wow! O'Hare's blog will blow up today. The Mayor is finally indicted. Sources say O'Hare will; have a drink tonight?

Anonymous said...

Amen! 69 news reports Fed Ed to be indicted! Could not have happened to a nicer guy!!!!!!!!! Karma!

Anonymous said...

lol @4:10PM You need to pay better attention to the news. Would you like that crow served au gratin?

Anonymous said...

There are 5 or 7 sealed indictments. Edwin's attorney has confirmed the Mayor's indictment. Now the speculation will start for the others. Bernie's investigate reporting should win more awards for the job he has done unraveling this web. Let's hope the judge/magistrate requires his honor to step down as part of bail. GREAT JOB BERNIE!!!

Anonymous said...

Indicted

Anonymous said...

I would like to be the first to congratulate Mayor Hyman.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:39, my last drink was in '85.

Anonymous said...

Will the mayor be doing his tenth ward perp walk for all Allentown to see?

Anonymous said...

Some people who comment here want to see him go to jail.
After what I've seen him do to my family I want to see him go to Hell.

Anonymous said...

https://www.google.com/amp/www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Ed-Pawlowski-Allentown-Mayor-Indictment-Pennsylvania-Federal-Investigators-Probe-436577983.html%3famp=y

Anonymous said...

@4:56 Good for you, Bernie. I had a family member with an addiction problem, and he just could not defeat it and it led to his demise. I salute you for your strength. People who would joke about such a thing are lower forms of life than pond scum, IMO.

Anonymous said...

40 years for the piece of shit, 40 more for his piece of shit wife.

Anonymous said...

Anon 451pm, I'm seeing 5 indictments in total of which Pawlowski is one. It'll be very interesting to see who else (besides Allinson) is indicted.

Bernie, again great job working this and so many other critical issues. We are lucky you fill this role.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Looks like Pawlowski will need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to defend himself in Federal Court. Are the taxpayers of Allentown going to foot that bill?

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Thank you for taking the lead on this. You provided more information then any of the local sources.

Hank_Hill

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Looks like Pawlowski will need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to defend himself in Federal Court. Are the taxpayers of Allentown going to foot that bill?"

No taxpayer funds may be spent to pay for his criminal defense. But knowing him as we all do, I think it is important to keep an eye on things like expenses. Is he charging the city for trips to Philly? Lunches, etc?

Anonymous said...

Gotta love ♥ the song Living here in Allentown! We need a Boss concert!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the indictment is finally coming down.

Bernie, these people who rag on your sobriety really piss me off. 32 years sober is an achievement, man. It takes much more character and discipline to overcome alcoholism than people realize. The fact that these people ridicule and mock you over it probably speaks volumes about their character, however.

Anonymous said...

Still love ♥ Billy Joel. "Moving Out" is quite fitting Hope Joel re-releases Allentown with a positive ending and opens it at the PPL Center. Others can live in their Glory Days too. AND so the story goes. We didn't start the fire.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your contributions, sir.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic job on this story, Bernie!

Anonymous said...

FRAN
FLECK
FED ED & LISA
*CRIMINALS*

Anonymous said...

If blogging lasts a thousand years, people will say, "This was his finest hour." Nicely done and nice work throughout this sad saga. This is only the end of the beginning. Keep up the great work

Anonymous said...

St. Cucuphus was also the patron saint of hunchbacks. If Fed Ed doesn't maintain good posture in fed prison, he has that going for him.

Anonymous said...

What is City Center's role in all of this? They appear to have been the largest beneficiary.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bernie, for your investigation and reporting from the beginning of this saga.

Anonymous said...

The arrogant SOB won't resign. He doesn't give a s**t about "his beloved city." What he cares about is continuing to get a paycheck for as long as he can. He has no other income (now that he can't strong arm businesses for "donations").

Anonymous said...

So now the big dig is over in Allentown pa as the greazed pig begins to squirm! Oooo, the county carnival was the highlight of the summer and it hasn't even begun to get hot?

Anonymous said...

Ed's gonna beat the charges just like Bud Dwyer did back in the 80's, bunch of haters here.

Anonymous said...

Bud was convicted. He just beat them to the sentencing.

Woman in The Know said...

Have any of you considered the Political Collateral damage that is inevitably going to happen in the city when Ed is indicted for approving most of those pay to play deals i hve seen this all go down in another place and time bernie meet me at the knit shop

Anonymous said...

Darth Voter's comment was priceless. "He needs to resign. NOW!"

When Darth Voter is sending shade, you have officially sunk to a new level.

Anonymous said...

Break out the Irish whiskey

Anonymous said...

New song for Allentown has already been made years ago...

Just the good ol' boys

Never meanin' no harm
Beats all you never saw

Been in trouble with the law

Since the day they was born

Staightnin' the curves

Flatnin the hills

Someday the mountain might get 'em

But the law never will

Makin' their way

The only way they know how

That's just a little bit more

Than the law will allow

Makin' their way
The only way they know how

That's just a little bit more

Than the law will allow

I’m a good ol’ boy
You know my momma loves me
But she don’t understand
They keep showin’ my hands
And not my face on TV

Anonymous said...

O Danny boy. The Feds are calling.

Anonymous said...

Walter Felton a retired Allentown Police Officer, currently the Lehigh County Democratic Chairman, must of lost his investigative prowess. With all the mounting evidence, co-conspirators testimony, wiretaps, vendor's information and direct evidence from the players involved, how can he stand there and proclaim that the indictment is nothing. The charging document, which will be released on Wednesday, has been pieced together by a grand jury for over two [2] years. To support this arrogant and devious individual [Pawlowski], is a disservice to the citizens of Allentown who he once swore to protect.

Anonymous said...

Give Walt a break. He has to make it look like the party is not in shambles. Look at the photos from years past and you see a who's who of clingers feeding off of Ed's political prowess. Now they have all turned on him and float the notion that he is the only bad apple. Many more are shady, they just got away. For now.

Anonymous said...

Well since Fed Ed doesn't seem to want to resign his post, I for one think City Council now needs to grow a pair and protect the tax payers by locking him out of his office and his duties. The city charter allows Council to exit the Mayor if the Mayor acts outside of the best interest of the City. Make him come back and sue the city for back pay. I am sure he doesn't have the money or stamina to fight the city as well. Meanwhile the city can finally get back on its feet and straighten out all the damage he has done. To City Council, remember, it's all about interpretation of the charter, make him prove the correct interpretation!!!

Anonymous said...

Walt, an absolutely decent guy, gets no break. I'm going to leave the Lehigh County Democratic Party within the week.

Anonymous said...

I'm here to say it.
Put him in jail for life.