Ex-mayor in federal pay-to-play scheme faces sentencing

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former Pennsylvania mayor convicted of exchanging public works contracts for campaign contributions is set to be sentenced.

It’s the second sentencing in six months for a Pennsylvania mayor convicted as a result of a federal pay-to-play investigation.

Former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer’s hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. A jury found him guilty in August of conspiracy and bribery.

Prosecutors accused him of promising engineering contracts to companies that agreed to provide campaign contributions and directing contracts to past donors to ensure they kept supporting his reelection efforts.

Authorities said Spencer also attempted to bribe a former city council president to try to get Reading’s anti-pay-to-play ordinance repealed.

Spencer has denied wrongdoing.

Former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski was sentenced in October to 15 years in federal prison for rigging contracts.

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