Engineering firm exec pleads guilty in pay-to-play probe

Written by The Associated Press | May 11, 2016 4:45 AM

(Philadelphia) -- At least seven people have now pleaded guilty in an FBI pay-to-play corruption probe of city officials in Reading and Allentown.

Federal prosecutors have unsealed the guilty plea of Matthew McTish to conspiracy to commit bribery.

They say the 57-year-old engineering firm executive made thousands of dollars in campaign contributions under pressure from unnamed officials in Reading and Allentown to keep his company in line for municipal contracts.

McTish's lawyer, Laurel Brandstetter, says her client participated in the pay-to-play scheme to keep his firm competitive.

The case became public last summer when FBI agents raided both city halls as well as the homes of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and then-Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer.

Spencer and Pawlowski haven't been charged, but they match descriptions of the unnamed public officials in court papers.

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