PA Mayor Convicted on 47 Corruption Counts Sets Up GoFundMe Page to Pay Legal Expenses
The Democratic ex-mayor of Pennsylvania's third-largest city, convicted earlier this year on 47 corruption-related charges, is seeking the public's help to pay his legal bills, The Allentown Morning Call reported.
Former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski had been charged with trading city contracts for campaign contributions. along with "dozens" of fraud, bribery and attempted extortion counts -- and with lying to FBI investigators.
Of the initial 54 counts against him, Pawlowski was found guilty of 47 in March and was forced to vacate the mayor's office.
Thank you for your friendship and support over these past years. Ed and I could not have made it this far without your notes, hugs, and prayers. Please keep it up! We maintain innocence and will fight this battle to the... https://t.co/xzOEJG6aJ5
— Ed Pawlowski (@Ed_Pawlowski) August 7, 2018
Allentown's City Council then chose Democrat Ray O'Connell to succeed the four-term Pawlowski on an interim basis until the the 2019 city elections, WFMZ-69 reported.
On Saturday, Pawlowski and his wife Lisa posted a plea for financial help to the crowdfunding page GoFundMe.
"Thank you for your friendship and support," the post reads. "We maintain innocence and will fight this battle to the end."
The post makes reference to Ed Pawlowski "los[ing] his job" having led to the family "struggling to make ends meet."
The post said the Pawlowskis owe $8,000 on a credit card bill related to local lodging for their attorneys.
"If we raise more than that bill, we would be able to start paying more... on our [second] lawyer's debt of $43,000.
The post also said any donations to the Pawlowskis would legally be considered a gift, not a campaign contribution.
"We ... go on day by day by God's grace and strength and your prayers and well wishes," it read.
Ed Pawlowski's chief attorney, Jack McMahon, said the ex-mayor "doesn't necessarily" have the resources for an appeal, but that he will defend the 53-year-old "until my last breath."
Pawlowski will be sentenced in September and faces 30 to hundreds of years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines reviewed by WFMZ.
Allentown is about 100 miles west of New York City.