Last week, Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright informed the city council that he would be stepping down as Mayor of Scranton due to corruption charges. His announcement comes in the wake of a recent guilty plea he has submitted to the Federal government admitting to various acts of public corruption. The disgraced former mayor appeared in federal court last Tuesday and pleaded guilty to all charges in Williamsport, PA.
In January, The FBI raided Mr. Courtright home where a safe was discovered. The safe contained thousands of dollars in cash obtained through corrupt dealings and extortion. Court documents state that this corruption has been going on since the former mayor took office 5 years ago. The disgraced former mayor would receive cash payments, campaign contributions and other favors from those looking to do business within the city. For example, a vendor once called Courtright in order to apologize for not attending his inaugural party for his second term where he would receive bribes. Courtright said, “I don’t worry about you coming. I worry about the money.”
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Charges against the mayor include bribery, conspiracy, and an attempt to obstruct commerce through extortion. Those businesses wishing to do business within the city of Scranton would face challenges if they were not willing to be shaken down by the corrupt former mayor.
Sources say that Mr. Courtright has agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain deal. The potential deal stipulates that the disgraced former mayor will possibly face 35 years in prison as well as fines totaling $750,000. There is also the likelihood that other city officials will be facing corruption charges.