Disgrace former mayor Bill Courtright pleaded guilty last week in a federal court in Williamsport, PA. Here are the details of Bill Courtright’s criminal deeds laid out by the U.S Attorney:
1. According documents “Money was hand-delivered on Nov. 17, 2017, to an intermediary, who accepted it on behalf of Courtright, who believed the cash was from the president of the firm…”
2. The documents identifies the firm as “Company No. 1” and the president as “President No. 1”. The document says that the company would receive a contract to collect Scranton’s overdue taxes. Northeast Revenue Service has been responisble for collecting Scranton’s overdue taxes since 2011. The president, John Rogers, did not make any comment regarding the case.
3. “At the time, Courtright expressed concern that the person might be working with the feds, Courtright suggested the cash should be given to an intermediary, who would then give it to Courtright. Regarding that person, Courtright said, ‘Is he going to sing if he ever gets nailed?” After being assured that Person Number One would not implicate Courtright, he said, “if they say you gave it to me, I’m going to say you never gave me a dime.”
4.”Courtright also used intermediaries to collect cash from vendors, and, in a recorded conversation, priased one of his intermediaries, painting him as a co-conspirator. “He’s a rock,” Courtright said of the intermediary. “He would die before he would tell anybody about it.”
5. “Aiding in the investigation were the IRS-Criminal investigations division and Pennsylvania State Police.”
6.”Court documents show that the alleged corruption stretched over the entirety of Courtright’s five and half years as a mayor. Prosecutors claim Courtright’s received cash payments, campaign contributions, even landscaping work at his home from businesses looking to do work in the city.”
7. “A plea deal has also been filed in the federal court, suggesting Courtright has agreed to plead guilty to the three charges against him. The plea deal indicates that Courtright could spend a possible Maximum of 35 years in prison and could be forced to pay up to $750,000 in fines.”
8. “Former Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright accepted a bribe believing it was from the president of a Luzerne County Company that featured prominently in Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s pay-to-play conviction, court document say.
9. The document charging Courtright, who pleaded gulty on Tuesday, says he accepted $4000 that he believed was a reward from the firm, whose contract with Scranton Courtright could extend or terminate.
10. Courtright’s house was raided in January where the FBI confiscated a safe containing 30,000 in cash. The money is from corrupt proceeds and contained FBI-marked bills.
11. The charges against Courtright include Conspiracy, bribery and obstruction of commerence through extortion
12. Prosecutors read aloud the contents of several secretly recorded conversations between Courtright, his employees, and city vendors. All described situations where Courtright expected payment for city contracts and permits.
In one instance, a vendor called Courtright to apologize for not attending his inaugural party for his second term. Courtright said, “I don’t worry about you coming. I worry about the money.”
13. Documents state“cash, campaign contributions and other valuable property from others, with their consent, induced by the wrongful use of fear of economic harm.”
14. The criminal information that charges him with bribery, extortion and conspiracy said Courtright, 61, used his position “corruptly to obtain cash and other valuable property from others, with their consent, under color of official right.”
15. “In some instances, Courtright took adverse official action against persons and entities to cause them to make payments and contributions for the benefit of Courtright,” prosecutors alleged in the criminal information.
16. Courtright collected tens of thousands of dollars in cash, use of a beach property, carpentry at a karate club he owns and landscaping around his home, federal prosecutor said