Weeks into 4th term, Allentown mayor faces corruption trial

Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski speaks with members of the media outside of his home in Allentown, Pa., Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Pawlowski and the former mayor of Reading have been indicted on federal corruption charges for engaging in a series of pay-to-play schemes where the politicians shook down businesses and individuals for campaign contributions in exchange for political favors, according to court papers released Wednesday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Two months after persuading voters to give him a fourth term, Allentown’s indicted mayor is taking his case to a jury.

Democrat Ed Pawlowski stands trial this week on federal corruption charges, with jury selection beginning Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors say the mayor ran a pay-to-play scheme, telling vendors he expected campaign contributions in return for city contracts. He faces a 54-count indictment that includes accusations of fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI.

The most serious charges carry a maximum prison term of 20 years each.

The mayor says he’s innocent. His attorney, Jack McMahon, says prosecutors are peddling a “false narrative” about Pawlowski.

Two co-defendants were charged with Pawlowski. One of them has pleaded guilty, but the other will stand trial with the mayor.

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