Jury begins deliberations in case against Allentown mayor

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 28, 2018 6:33 PM

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who is facing corruption charges, walks from the federal courthouse in Philadelphia after a pretrial hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Pawlowski has denied accusations that he accepted more than $150,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for city contracts. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Allentown) -- Jurors have begun deliberations on the case against Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, accused by prosecutors of being the mastermind of a pay-to-play scheme that infested Pennsylvania's third-largest city.

Pawlowski faces charges including fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI. Authorities accuse him of trading city contracts for campaign cash that funded his unsuccessful runs for governor and U.S. Senate.

The mayor's political consultants cooperated with the government and recorded hundreds of conversations with him, many of which were played for the jury during the trial. Several city workers and vendors who pleaded guilty testified.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon called his client "100 percent innocent" and ridiculed the government's case as much ado about nothing, saying it's not unusual for politicians to solicit campaign contributions from government contractors.

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