Scranton City Council Sounds off on FBI Investigation at City Hall, Mayor’s Home

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Scranton City Council is now speaking out about the FBI's raid on City Hall and Mayor Bill Courtright's home last week.

Council made those remarks at its meeting Monday evening.

“I would fully encourage the mayor, his cabinet, and any other government officials to fully cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department in their investigation,” said council member Bill Gaughan.

Council members each sounded off on a possible FBI investigation of the city, first saying they still had no idea why agents raided City Hall and the mayor's home last week.

This was the first council meeting since that raid last Wednesday, with some on council asking the mayor himself to explain.

“I strongly urge the mayor that if you did nothing wrong then you should make a statement to that effect and continue to come to work every day to do the work the residents of this city elected you to do,” said council member Kyle Donahue.

Residents who talked at the meeting did so with outrage.

“Let's talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” said Joan Hodowanitz. “Mayor Courtright and the FBI.”

“As far as legal bills are concerned, I think the mayor should be on the hook for his own legal bills,” said Jay Walsh. “And I think that if any of you people know what's gone down, I suggest you get your own lawyers and get in there and make a plea deal.”

This investigation comes as the city council is in the process of restructuring the city's code of ethics applied to city employees and elected officials.

“The past few days have only highlighted for me the need for a strong ethics code in the city,” Gaughan told the room before they took a second reading of the proposed ordinance.

Gaughan says if approved, a board would be selected to oversee those ethics and how they are enforced.

A final voted is expected at council’s next meeting on January 28.

“Make the board relevant again. Give the board teeth,” said Gaughan. “One of the major parts of this code of ethics is campaign finance reform, so that would limit contributions from individuals and PAC's to public officials in this city.”

Attempts to contact the mayor were unsuccessful.

11 comments

  • sflhickory2671

    This is the fault of the Scranton voters. You’ve done nothing but complain about corruption for decades, see the once beautiful city & at one time, wonderful place to raise a family, go deeper down a hole of despair. Your blind faith solution? Continuing to elect the Irish Democrats who have buried the city. Pay dues to unions who force you to vote democrat to keep them in control or risk losing your job. Yet – you would likely give up your first born before considering a candidate from another party to see if a new path could provide a better solution. Scranton – you deserve every bit of bad results that have happened and will continue to happen unless you put in some officials that don’t drink from the kool aid that has been consumed for decades.

    • nepa879

      Has nothing to do with the Irish you bigot. There has been plenty of corruption in NEPA by the Italians, Polish, etc. Locally, nationally….there is no such thing as a non-corrupt politician. Doesn’t exist in this country or in this world unfortunately.

      • sflhickory2671

        aww a bit sensitive there fella? I’m part Irish, but a person would need to be pretty ignorant to realize that Scranton (and I’m talking about SCRANTON politics here, not national or global or politicians in general) is rediculously and blindly democratic with the overwhelmingly dominant stranglehold they’ve had on local politics for decades. What has it done for you? For the citizens? But I suppose if you think, hey – all politicians are crooked so we’ll have to just keep electing these guys who live in an echo chamber – then you and the city do not deserve for things to change since you won’t even consider changing your own way of thinking just to see if something different may work…

  • donny hud43987

    Scranton Pennsylvania should be ashamed of themselves, embarrassed! Not only is Scranton on the news every single day for nothing at all positive! It is the most crooked City in the county, in the state!!! City Council in the board and the mayor and commissioner , need all to be replaced, because you cannot repair it, what a disaster Scranton has become, I’m so happy I moved out of there years ago! It was the best thing I ever did! And it’s only going to get worse, they have no desire to help the citizens and taxpayers of the city! They take care of themselves and retire!

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