A-Town Boys Varsity Hoops Summer League to End in Holy War

I spent every night this week in Allentown. You might think this is because of all the excitement concerning the Fed Ed prosecution, but what really drew me there is basketball. Whether it’s been at a high school gym on rainy night or Cedar Beach, it’s…

LV Municipalities Should Sever Ties With Allinson Law Firm

Scott Allinson

Norris McLaughlin and Marcus has stood by Allentown Attorney Scott Allinson. It’s been widely known for some time that this self-described “economic development lawyer” has been a target of a federal investigation aimed at Allentown Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski’s pay-to-play politics. He’s largely been MIA while lawyers in that firm have picked up the slack. Not only is he still employed there,but some sources tell me the form has also been paying for his criminal defense. Allinson has expressed his appreciation by throwing the firm under the bus.

Scott Allinson – Pay-to-Play is the “way this shit works.”  – According to the federal indictment filed earlier this week, Allinson himself has said that his firm receives its legal work, not because the partners are especially gifted, but because they engage in pay-to-play. He is quoted as saying it “isn’t like we are being hired because we are good guys. It’s not the way this shit works.” 

He also reportedly throws one helluva’ party. Ask the people at Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.
He’s an “economic development lawyer” who managed to get himself installed as the solicitor to numerous public entities that dole out public money.

He was appointed as solicitor to the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority soon after John Brown was elected County Executive, replacing Ed Andres. This decision was prompted by consultant Matt Deibert and others at Integrity Personnel, two of whom are identified in the email that Allinson sent out last week, warning his “old friends” that he was about to be indicted.

Brown also awarded a no-bid $24,000 contract to Integrity for a “strategic assessment” of the County’s workforce.

Members of the Industrial Development Authority who opposed Allinson’s appointment were given the bum’s rush and replaced.

Allinson also represents NorCo’s Gaming Board, NorCo General Purpose Authority, NorCo Higher Education Authority, Lehigh’s Economic Advancement Project, NorCo New Jobs Corporation, Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation, Lehigh Valley Regional Loan Pool, Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and NorCo Industrial Development Authority.

Matt Sorrentino

Managing partner Matt Sorrentno is Lehigh County’s Solicitor. He also represents Lehigh Valley Health Network. I have high regard for him and his legal acumen,  but standing by a lawyer in his firm who essentially accuses him of being a crook is foolish.

Richard Somach

Richard Somach represents Pawlowski contributor Rob Bennett and Bennett Auto Dealerships. Bennett built a new dealership at the former Exide Battery Plant on Lehigh Street, thanks in large part to $4.5 million in federal brownfield remediation grants.. Though the original construction was done by J. G. Petrucci, the last several additions to the site were done by North Star (J.B. Reilly) and Jim Gentile. Bennett sold their East Allentown – West Bethlehem location to the Banko family. Banko never used it, instead moving to a facility in South Whitehall. Somach is an Assistant County Solicitor, Lehigh County Assessment Board Solicitor and is a collections attorney for Nat Penn Bank, among others.

Somehow,he represents banks foreclosing on properties while simultaneously representing the County at Sheriff Sales.

Fed Ed and his family are rumored to have used Rich Somach’s Florida Keys second home for vacations, although I doubt he’ll be making that trip this year. .

Ollie Foucek

I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention Oldrich “Ollie” Foucek III, City Planning Commission member and chair, ANIZDA Board member, LV Chamber of Commerce Solicitor and major Fed Ed contributor. He was among those to approve plans for a wholesaler along the Allentown NIZ waterfront despite the fact that there were no … plans. He is a walking, talking conflict of interest. Being on the Planning Commission and NIZ Board is bad enough, but to be part of a firm that is financially benefiting from both is obscene.

Given Allinson’s remarks and his law firm’s decision to stand behind him, it is irresponsible for any public entity to continue association with that law firm.

Tony Rybak: How To Avoid Tickets

Tony Rybak is a Northampton County Public Defender and claims to have a surefire way to avoid speeding tickets. He says it works for him.Of course the best way to avoid a speeding ticket is by driving at a safe speed, and one that is below the speed li…

The Passion of the Pawlowski

According to prominent Philadelphia defense lawyer Jack McMahon, Allentown Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski is looking forward to his day in court. He is going to make mincemeat of an “extraordinarily weak” prosecution. He said this yesterday afternoon at the stoop outside of Pawlowski’s downtown 11th Street home. And he made a rather unsettling analogy. Fed Ed is apparently Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God and Light of the City Without Limits.

Well, we all know what happened to Jesus Christ, so he may want to rethink that one. If McMahon was really convinced this was a weak case, and if Fed Ed really cared about the City, they would both insist on invoking the Speedy Trial Act and demand their day in court well before the election. But McMahon deftly sidestepped questions about that yesterday as deftly as the NBA superstar his father once was.

Several people told me they saw me there, but I skipped this event. I was on my way to a basketball game at Cedar Beach, and wanted to make sure the rims were still there. I did watch the video shot by Lehigh Valley Live’s Sarah Cassi, and loved her story that included the reactions of kids who were riding their bikes in the neighborhood. I’m sure they were excited to be part of this story.

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords flatly denied he had used his public office to benefit himself in any way, but the federal indictment completely contradicts him. In Paragraph after paragraph, there are allegations that Fed Ed himself strong-armed city vendors, and even had one of them take him to dinner and an Eagles play-off game.

Jesus Christ is an Eagles’ fan.

One of his Apostles, Mike Fleck, promised Fed Ed to “beat the shit” out of Allentown Attorney Scott Allinson when he balked at making more contributions.

Allinson made clear that he expected legal work in exchange for donations.He said it “isn’t like we are being hired because we are good guys. It’s not the way this shit works.” He implied that his own lawfirm, Norris McLaughlin, gets work on the basis of political contributions, not because of any legal acumen. Allinson is still a member of that firm, which represents several municipal authorities in the Lehigh Valley. Those contracts need to be terminated.

And so it goes for 55 counts.

Unlike Jesus Christ, Fed Ed blamed everything on Mike Fleck, who apparently forced Fed Ed to go to an Eagles’ game.

Fed. Ed is in complete denial. His refusal to step down has hurt the City of Allentown. It has also hurt his own children.

I fell sorry for them. For the Messiah, not so much. .  

LC Dems Disavow Felton’s Tepid Support for Fed Ed

In reaction to Walter Felton’s tepid support of indicted Allentown Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski last night, the Lehigh County Democratic Committee has issued this statement:As you may have seen, Walt made a statement supporting Mayor Pawlowski last n…

Why I Crashed a Pawlowski Presser

Walter Felton

When I heard last night that Lehigh County Democratic Chair Walt Felton had decided to host a presser at Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski’s campaign headquarters on N 8th St in Allentown, I decided to crash it.

I arrived late, but was there in time to hear Walter Felton hem and haw about how the party never endorsed him, but he is their candidate. If anything, Walter damned Pawlowski with faint praise.

I was there to ask two questions. First, if Fed Ed was truly innocent of these charges, why the hell was he hiding?

Second, if he refuses to resign, will he exercise the Speedy Trial Act and demand a quick trial? Don’t the people of Allentown deserve this?

Under federal law, the Speedy Trial Act generally requires that a Defendant be tried within 70 days of indictment or his first court appearance, which in Fed Ed’s case will likely be today. This Act also provides that a Defendant must have at east 30 days to prepare, unless he agrees in writing to an earlier date.That means that Fed Ed’s trial could conceivably be scheduled between August 25 and October 3.

This is the approach that US District Court Judge Paul S Diamond took in the recent successful prosecution of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. Like Fed Ed, Williams refused to resign after being indicted.

Despite a motion to delay the case by both prosecutors and the defense, Judge Diamond insisted on a speedy trial. He noted that the Speedy Trial Act “was designed with the public interest firmly in mind” and that it exists “to vindicate the public interest in the swift administration of justice.”

“I am hard-pressed to think of a case where the public’s right to a speedy trial is more pressing than it is here: the largest prosecutors’ office in the Commonwealth is being run by someone who is not licensed to practice law and is himself charged with 23 federal crimes. Defense counsel—an experienced lawyer—surely understood the need for a prompt resolution of this matter when he agreed to represent Defendant.”

In this case, the Mayor of Pennsylvania’s third largest city stands accused of being the criminal mastermind of a scheme to deprive the public of their right to honest services through bribery, extortion, bid-rigging and obstructing federal investigators.

Since Fed Ed refuses to resign, it is in the public interest to insist on a swift trial, and one that will be over before the election.

A baker’s dozen of Fed Ed supporters were at this news conference. But not Fed Ed.

They quickly identified me as an enemy of this banana republic dictator, and in typical Fed Ed fashion, began denouncing me as disbarred, a nonresident and a drunk. They also said I was “radicalized.”

I plead guilty, unlike Fed Ed.

They also began picking on NBC10’s reporter, who was asking tough questions, too.

Though I acted all badass, I really felt sorry for these people. He’s using them. Most of them are Latinos, the very people described by a former Fed Ed supporter as a “cancer” during a Business Matters broadcast. They reminded me of the female manager of a thrift store on Hamilton Street, who Fed Ed essentially ran out of town in 2007.*

Hamilton St merchants and community activists 

He ignored her multiple calls to him for help concerning bus stops that had been removed, which decimated her foot traffic by 75%. He ignored my calls, too, and at that time I had every reason to support him.

“He’s our father. He’s the father of our house. He’s supposed to take care of us. If he doesn’t take care of his children, who can he take care of?”

Those were the words spoken by Bibi Hazra, who operated the Loco Dollar Store. She went under, as did other merchants,and this was long before the NIZ.

Fed Ed now pretends he is the friend of the very people he abandoned in 2007.

In case you’ve ever wondered what turned me off about Fed Ed, it was this episode. He ignored the people he is supposed to represent.

* Though blogger Michael Molovinsky and I have some serious issues (which actually is a good thing), I have to credit him as the person who first raised public awareness about Fed Ed’s attempt to gentrify Hamilton Street.

Who Has Been Indicted With Fed Ed?

Yesterday, I told you that I expected to see Allentown Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski indicted before the day was over. NBC-10’s Jim Friedman was the first real reporter, as opposed to bottom-feeding blogger, to break the story late in the afterno…

Is Today Fed Ed’s Day?

Today is St. Cucuphas Day. He’s like the Roadrunner of Catholicism. His persecutors first tried to slow roast him alive, but failed. Then they tried throwing him into a raging bonfire, but only managed to start themselves on fire. Then they decided to …

Judge Giordano Picking Up Big Union Endorsements

Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano took a lot of heat earlier this year when he invited Democrats to a pizza party he hosted in Northampton. He made no apologies because, as both a person and judge, Emil Giordano transcends party labels. He may wear the black robe, but at Allentown’s Cedar Beach, he’s a basketball parent watching his 23′ tall son Caden develop into an outstanding player. Other parents call him Emil, not Judge. They probably have no idea that’s what he does. And he doesn’t tell them.

He’s a regular guy. So it’s no surprise to me that he’s picking up a lot of big union endorsements in his quest for one of four seats on Pennsylvania Superior Court.

According to PoliticsPA, Judge Giordano has just picked up an endorsement from the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council. He also has the backing of the Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Council #57 of Western Pennsylvania.

But will he be endorsed by the International District Council of the Western Eastern Pa Bloggers #9?

You betcha’.

Gerrymandering Forum at Nazareth High School on Thursday

On Wednesday night, at 7 pm, there will be a presentationon gerrymandering by State Rep. Steve Samuelson and Fair District Pa’sFritz Walker at Nazareth High School. Details are in the flyer above. I’d love to go, but I’ll be at summer basketball. Last …