Prosecutors in a Pennsylvania mayor’s corruption trial are analyzing if the word “meatball” was used as a code word.
Allentown’s Mayor Ed Pawlowski, 51, faces indictment on dozens of accusations for fraud, bribery, and lying to the FBI, reported The New York Post Monday. Pawlowski, a Democrat currently in his fourth term, could land up to 20 years in prison for each serious charge against him.
“Pawlowski’s political consultants, Mike Fleck and Sam Ruchlewicz, cooperated with the government and secretly recorded conversations with the mayor,” the outlet reported.
On the recordings, Fleck discussed “meatballs” with Allentown’s former Finance Director Garret H. Strathearn. The court is questioning if the two men were simply discussing meatballs or if they actually were discussing a shady deal or bribe.
“So, this is not code for a bribe? Did you actually go to Mike Fleck’s to pick up meatballs?” Michelle Morgan, the assistant U.S. attorney, asked Strathearn.
Fleck claimed ‘”yes” and that he got four meatballs, reported The Morning Call.
“The meatballs were the meatballs were the meatballs. There was nothing else involved, counselor,” added Strathearn.
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