Two more people have pleaded guilty in the Allentown and Reading pay-to-play investigations, where public officials took bribes and kickbacks via campaign contributions in exchange for city contracts.
Mark Neisser, an executive with New Jersey engineering firm T&M Associates, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery for incidents involving Reading and Allentown officials. He is free on $100,000 unsecured bail.
He is scheduled to be sentenced July 10.
Patrick Regan, a vice president with The Efficiency Network, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in relation to a $3 million street light contract with Allentown.
Regan, who lives in Glenshaw in Allegheny County, is free on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 13.
Michele Mucellin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, declined to comment on the pleas.
Prosecutors claim Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski directed consultants to raise money for his previous U.S. Senate bid from businesses that profited from business with the city and that sought preferential treatment from the city.
Federal court records do not identify Pawlowski by name, but refer to him as Public Official #3. Pawlowski is currently seeking a fourth term in office, after winning the Democratic nomination in May.
Federal prosecutors said Neisser was in charge of business development for his firm, which relied heavily on government contracts, including those with Allentown and Reading.
In exchange for thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, Phillies tickets and an introduction to an unidentified “politically influential businessman,” prosecutors allege Pawlowski steered city engineering contracts to Neisser’s firm.
In 2013, prosecutors said the Neisser’s firm created a political action committee to make campaign contributions to elected officials, replacing a past practice of the company and its officers making direct contributions.
In relation to Allentown, in November 2014 Pawlowski allegedly wanted to meet an unidentified “politically influential businessman” more than receiving campaign contributions, in exchange for a $300,000 city contract.
Nessier arranged a meeting with the businessman in April 2015, and made a $1,500 contribution, court records say.
After the FBI raid in July 2015, the city opted to do the engineering work in house and did not award the contract to Nessier’s firm.
Regan’s firm was involved in a bid for $3 million street light contract in Allentown, and his company was eventually awarded the contract.
Federal prosecutors said between December 2013 and June 2015, Pawlowski told then-Managing Director Francis Dougherty he wanted The Efficiency Network to win the contract to replace the city’s street lights with LED lights.
Prosecutors previously said Dougherty worked directly to award the street lights contract to Pawlowski’s pick, which had employees who repeatedly donated money to Pawlowski’s political action committee.
Regan made contributions to Pawlowski’s campaign before, during and after the request for request for qualifications and request for proposals, court records state. The Efficiency Network has been named in the FBI probe but not charged.
In January 2015, Regan was told the contract would be his and Pawlowksi’s vendors needed “to give back a little bit,” court records state.
The next month, Regan was told the contract was “all teed up and ready to go for you,” two days before the request for proposals was published by the city.
Dougherty has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with the street light contract, and is awaiting sentencing.