Allentown city council OKs hiring of attorney to push for mayor's ouster

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 17, 2017 3:02 AM

FILE PHOTO: Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski reads a statement outside of his home in Allentown. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Allentown) -- The state's third largest city has approved a resolution allowing the hiring of an attorney to investigate ways to force the ouster of the mayor, who has been indicted on federal corruption charges.

The Allentown City Council passed the measure, 4-3.

The resolution says the attorney could help the council investigate potential "malfeasance" by Mayor Ed Pawlowski, file a petition for his removal to the governor or submit complaints to ethics boards.

But, as Keystone Crossroads reported last year, removing local elected officials is harder in Pa. than almost anywhere.

Almost all states give people more options for ousting municipal officials than Pennsylvania.

 To be exact, all but two: Utah and Mississippi.

Pawlowski has denied accusations he accepted more than $150,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for city business.

He says the measure is "political posturing" by Council President Ray O'Connell, who has launched a write-in campaign to defeat him in the November election.

Pawlowski's trial is scheduled for January.

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