Pennsylvania ex-mayor pleads not guilty to corruption counts

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A former mayor of Pennsylvania’s fifth largest city has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

Former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer appeared in court Tuesday on charges accusing him of selling the power of his office for campaign contributions.

His lawyer says they’re ready to fight the charges. Spencer will remain free until his trial.

Prosecutors say the Democrat made clear to businesses and individuals that city contracts would be withheld if they didn’t provide sufficient campaign contributions. Spencer also is accused of bribing the city council president to repeal an anti-corruption statute.

The mayor of Allentown pleaded not guilty to similar charges last week.

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