Oct 16, 2015

Guarding Allentown City Hall

I've been intrigued by a recent report, by Emily Opilo in The Morning Call, by actions seeming to complicate the paper's discovery about the Ciiber contract,  which is apparently an object of the FBI investigation.  The city solictitor, Susan Ellis Wild,  refused to release documents requested under the company's former name,  Five C. This obstacle required the paper to file a new right to know request, under the new name, Ciiber.  Furthermore,  Susan Wild then responded with a thirty day delay, to review the second request.
Wild said she canceled the city's contract with Ciiber on July 16 after the company failed to provide the city with proof of liability insurance. Wild said she contacted city directors who would have been affected. None, she said, was opposed to canceling it. Wild said she also consulted with Managing Director Francis Dougherty before pulling the plug but did not speak to Pawlowski about the cancellation. "I got concerned about their responsiveness in general," Wild said of Ciiber. "If they couldn't respond before the contract, how would they respond after [it was executed]."
What is startling about this whole sequence is that the contract was only cancelled after it became an object of interest by the FBI.  Although Wild does serve at the Mayor's pleasure, she stated when all the commotion began, that it isn't her job to defend the mayor or any person at city hall. Although I understand the technicality that  Ciiber never satisfied the insurance requirements,  decisions to institute or cancel contracts are not normally made by the solicitor, although that office might consult, and send such notices. Additionally, Wild went out of her way to not have the mayor involved with her decision.  Wild is certainly appearing to be injecting her office defensively on the mayor's behalf, against both the ill fated Ciiber contract,  and the paper's attempt at scrutiny of city hall.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is startling about this whole sequence is that the contract was only cancelled after it became an object of interest by the FBI. Although Wild does serve at the Mayor's pleasure, she stated when all the commotion began, that it isn't her job to defend the mayor or any person at city hall. Although I understand the technicality that Ciiber never satisfied the insurance requirements, decisions to institute or cancel contracts are not normally made by the solicitor, although that office might consult, and send such notices. Additionally, Wild went out of her way to not have the mayor involved with her decision. Wild is certainly appearing to be injecting her office defensively on the mayor's behalf, against both the ill fated Ciiber contract, and the paper's attempt at scrutiny of city hall.

Here's the thing. Who will hire her after this ends? Today you highlight a new employee in Northampton County, so great retirees from Allentown drive 27 miles
to speak on her behalf. Who will speak on Wild's?

Anonymous said...

although I'm 'with you' about the 15th street bridge -- shall we talk about the 8th street bridge and the fact that the tiny fraction that actually IS open floods to hub cap depth because there isn't any drainage on the south portion of the roadway.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. No doubt the taxpayers & citizens of Allentown will be briefed by their elected representatives in the very near future.

Anonymous said...

Of course Solicitor Wild is injecting her office in defense of the Mayor, and that's precisely why she got the job. Let's not forget that Wild herself used Mike Fleck as her campaign manager when she was a candidate for Lehigh County Commissioner in 2013.

Tom Muller was another Fleck/Pawlowski candidate in 2013, raking in tens of thousands in campaign donations from Pawlowski contributors and Pawlowski himself. The plan was (and remains), for Pawlowski flunkies to take over county government, although the plan is slightly more concealed for county races than it was/is for the Allentown School Board or Whitehall Mayor races this year.

That plan has not changed, and Pawlowski was originally very involved with the PAC supporting the Democrat Lehigh Commissioner candidates THIS YEAR (who also used Mike Fleck until he fled town). Shortly before the FBI came to town, Muller was praising Pawlowski's transformation in Allentown. The "master plan" is to do to Lehigh County what Pawlowski and his rubber-stamp council were able to do to Allentown. Again, that goal hasn't changed, although Pawlowski's involvement with the current Democrat commissioner candidates' PAC was scrubbed from their website.

Back to Wild. She is in place because she is a Democrat insider and a Pawlowski supporter. She will do everything in her power both to protect Pawlowski and to keep any damage from spreading beyond the walls of Allentown City Hall.

The bigger story (as usual) is not the facts above (which are known and easily verifiable), but why the Morning Call doesn't report any of that to their readers.

michael molovinsky said...

@6:57, the allentown/northampton employee was highlighted on o'hare's blog, not here.

@7:47, understand that unlike the morning call, you're anonymous, and indulging in speculation. that said, opilo is currently the only reporter at the call who seems motivated to look at things behind the curtain, i'm grateful for her coverage

Charlie Sch said...

You can view the Solicitor's actions as defending the city because she found a way to quickly cancel a suspect deal. If the project was needed, a new contract could always be approved later.

Anonymous said...

Wild is Team Pawlowski.
She not in it for you, me, the citizens of Allentown, or what's left of the Morning Call.

Anonymous said...

I've been hoping the unabridged Feck Tapes transcripts would be available for this holiday season.

Rich Fegley said...

I was hoping the "Unabridged Fleck Tapes" would come as a wedding gift on Friday. I guess I can wait until Christmas if the FBI still has work to do on this case.

Thank you to Emily, Michael and Bernie for investigating the Mayor and the Lehigh Valley. Waiting on the FBI. RICO is some serious shit.

What is on those Fleck Tapes could involve many of the people that did "business" with Mike Fleck. Can you imagine what Fleck's mic recorded? Imagine all of the people that Mike Fleck talked to while he was wearing a wire.

Anonymous, you had conversations with Mike Fleck. What did you discuss with Mike Fleck? What did you say that will involve you with this RICO case?

Anonymous said...

Wild may have a good chance of becoming the next Hillary.


Ted Yost