Character witnesses testify for embattled Allentown mayor

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A parade of character witnesses have testified in defense of the embattled mayor of Pennsylvania’s third-largest city at his federal corruption trial.

Several pastors, a teacher and a business owner were among the defense witnesses telling a jury Tuesday that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is honest, trustworthy and law-abiding.

One of the witnesses, Saddam Al Azzi, is an Iraqi immigrant and former neighbor who met the mayor while shoveling snow. He expressed surprise that Pawlowski shoveled himself and called him humble.

Federal prosecutors allege that the Democrat rigged a series of contracts to go to law firms and businesses that supported his campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate. Pawlowski denies wrongdoing.

The corruption trial entered its fifth week Tuesday. The fourth-term mayor is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

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