Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Allentown Assistant City Solicitor Sentenced in Former Mayor Edwin Pawlowski’s Pay-to-Play Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – Deputy United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen announced that Dale Wiles, former Allentown Assistant City Solicitor, was sentenced today for his role in a pay-to-play bidding scheme involving former Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski.  United States District Judge Juan Sanchez sentenced Wiles to one day in jail to be served on Friday, December 7, 2018.  He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release, of which the first three months will be served on home confinement with electronic monitoring; perform 100 hours of community service; and pay a $3,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.

Wiles was charged by information in November 2015 with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for his involvement with Pawlowski.  Wiles played a role in steering the city’s delinquent real estate tax collection contract to Pawlowski’s preferred vendor, Northeast Revenue, in contravention of the standard process employed by the city to award contracts.  In return for the contract, Northeast made political contributions to Pawlowski’s failed campaigns for Pennsylvania Governor and United States Senate.  Wiles’s conduct included falsifying evaluation committee score sheets to make it appear as though the committee had originally selected Northeast when it had not, withholding certain city records subject to a grand jury subpoena, and lying to the FBI.

In addition to Pawlowski, who was convicted at trial and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, Wiles’s co-conspirators included the following individuals: Michael Fleck, a campaign consultant; Francis Dougherty, the Allentown Managing Director; and Garret Strathearn, Allentown Finance Director.  These defendants all have pleaded guilty and similarly admitted to steering contracts to Pawlowski’s preferred vendors.

“In playing along with Pawlowski’s crooked business practices, Wiles ensured everyone got what they wanted:  Northeast Revenue received its coveted tax collection contract and Pawlowski received campaign contributions.  But Wiles was an attorney—he should have known better than to engage in the corrupt pay-to-play politics that permeated Allentown City Hall,” said Deputy U.S. Attorney Lappen.  “The citizens of Allentown deserve better from their public servants and our Office remains committed to holding corrupt politicians and their cronies accountable.”

“Ed Pawlowski couldn’t pull off his pay-to-play scheme by himself,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Dale Wiles admitted to violating the city’s established contracting process in order to benefit his boss. When government officials break the law, it really damages the public trust. As such, public corruption remains the FBI’s highest criminal investigative priority.”

“Today's sentence reinforces our unwavering commitment to identify and prosecute those who participate in similar schemes,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “We will continue our collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigations.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony J. Wzorek and Michelle L. Morgan.

Updated December 20, 2018