Two plead in Allentown, Reading corruption

Two City Hall aides from Allentown and Reading became the latest to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in a widening public corruption scandal that has implicated the mayors of both cities.

Monday, Eron Lloyd, 35, who works in the Reading mayor's office, and Dale Wiles, 48, an assistant city solicitor in Allentown, acknowledged their roles in pay-to-play schemes, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

Lloyd admitted arranging to deliver bribe money from a ranking city official described only as Public Official 1 to City Council President Francis Acosta in return for action on a bill to repeal a cap on campaign contributions. He also admitted helping to solicit campaign contributions from contractors seeking city business, and to lying to the FBI.

Lloyd's attorney called him "a minimal participant" in a scheme orchestrated by ranking officials. "This is a very considerable web of deception that has been spun throughout Reading," lawyer Shaka Johnson said.

The records do not identify Public Official 1 except to say he was Lloyd's boss and had the authority to sign ordinances into law.

In August, Acosta resigned after he pleaded guilty to charges and admitted receiving $1,800 from Mayor Vaughn Spencer for his wife's judgeship campaign. Spencer, who leaves office next month, has not been charged.

In Allentown, Wiles was party to a similar scheme. He admitted rigging a city contract in return for campaign contributions to an unnamed Allentown official and his campaign consultants.

Wiles, who worked for the official, went along with the conspiracy, and later concealed information from FBI agents and a federal grand jury. "He decided to come clean and face the music," said his lawyer, Kathryn Roberts.

The public official in Wiles case was also not named, although it said he sought a statewide office. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who has not been charged, abandoned a Senate bid after the City Hall raids this year.

U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez scheduled March sentencings for both men.

jmcdaniel@philly.com

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