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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 2, 2020

Former Scranton Mayor Sentenced To Seven Years’ Imprisonment On Public Corruption Charges

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that the former mayor for the City of Scranton, William L. Courtright, age 63, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, on public corruption charges. 

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Courtright previously pleaded guilty on July 2, 2020, to charges involving criminal conspiracy, bribery and extortion in July 2019.  Courtright had been the subject of a multi-year year undercover investigation headed by the FBI.  The undercover investigation captured the former mayor accepting cash payments from vendors doing business with the city.   

In addition to the prison term, Judge Mannion also ordered Courtright to pay a $25,000 fine, and be supervised by a probation officer for three years following his release from prison.

“In this County, in this Commonwealth, in this Country – our elected officials work for us,” said U.S. Attorney Freed.  “Not the other way around.  Using public office for personal financial gain is a crime, plain and simple. We are pleased with Judge Mannion’s sentence.  Elected officials should remain on notice that we will continue to work together with our state and local partners to investigate and prosecute public corruption cases at all levels.  There is no such thing as a little bit of corruption.  Corruption, not matter the scope is insidious.  I want to commend the painstaking work of our partners at the FBI who have never wavered in their commitment to the citizens of this district.  We are also grateful for the valuable assistance of IRS-Criminal Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police.  We will not rest in the fight against corruption.”

“Instead of working honestly on behalf of his constituents, William Courtright traded on his office, embracing a corrupt pay-to-play culture,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “With every bribe pocketed and favor accepted, he sold out the city of Scranton a little more. The damage he’s done to the public trust is profound and for that he must be held accountable. Cases like this only fuel the FBI's commitment to tackling public corruption.”

In addition to the prison term, Judge Mannion also ordered Courtright to pay a $25,000 fine, and be supervised by a probation officer for three years following his release from prison.

The FBI was assisted during the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Consiglio and Michelle Olshefski prosecuted the case.

 

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Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated October 2, 2020