Two mayors, champions of gun control, indicted on corruption charges
By Chris Eger
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer (Photo: Newsworks)
Two Pennsylvania city leaders — a current and former member of gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns — have been charged with violations of federal public corruption laws.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office named Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer in charging documents after multi-year investigations, the Justice Department announced this week.
Pawlowski, 52, was hit with more than 50 charges ranging from bribery to conspiracy and allegedly accepted over $150,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for favors in a series of complex “pay to play” schemes. Spencer, 70, received a dozen similar counts.
“The mayor of Allentown and the former mayor of Reading charged in the two indictments unsealed today sold their offices to the highest bidder — violating the trust and confidence of the citizens of their cities,” U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen said. “Both mayors, working with other corrupt officials and businesspeople, directed lucrative contracts to companies who agreed to provide campaign contributions in exchange for work.”
Both mayors also had a lengthy history of supporting increased regulations on guns and how they are transferred. The two Democrats have been vocal members of former New York City