Ex-mayor pleads guilty to corruption day after resignation

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — The former mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty to charges he shook down businesses for bribes and campaign contributions throughout his term and a half in office.

Bill Courtright’s plea in federal court Tuesday to bribery, extortion and conspiracy came less than 24 hours after he resigned as mayor of the city of 78,000.

He was released without bail pending sentencing in November.

He is now the third Democratic mayor in eastern Pennsylvania to be convicted of public corruption charges in about 16 months, all engaging in similar schemes.

Federal prosecutors say the 61-year-old Courtright collected tens of thousands of dollars in bribes by pressuring people who needed city permits or contracts.

He also got use of a beach property, carpentry at a karate club he owns and landscaping at his home.

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