Former Scranton Mayor could face 30 year jail sentence on corruption charges

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Federal prosecutors are recommending former Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright serve 30 years behind bars.

Assistant United States Attorneys broke down their case for sentencing in an 18 page report.

The defense, in eight pages, laid out their case for a much lower sentence.

Former Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright was expected to be sentenced in November, that got continued. Friday, we’re getting the first look at pre-sentencing recommendations from both federal prosecutors and Courtright’s defense team.

The federal government is seeking a 30 year sentence.

Court papers say Courtright received numerous payments from an organization identified as “Company #1,” in return for keeping its contract for tax collection with the city.
Eyewitness News has previously reported that at the time, that company was Northeast Revenue Services.

The federal government says the total value of that contract was $2.9 million.
In addition, prosecutors say Courtright received $50,000 in cash from more than ten business people for other services.

“I think 30 years is a pretty good amount of time for everything that he did,” said Julianna Deeter of Scranton.

Courtright’s lawyer, Paul Walker, disagreed.

Walker argues that contract started two years before Courtright took office and only two changes to the contract were made while he was mayor.

In the report, Walker says in the plea deal, Courtright received $18,000 not $50,000, which is why Walker is asking the federal government for a much lighter sentence with a few years of jail time.

“He just got greedy and sticky fingers. Some people do that. They just get rick and everything and they get sticky fingers,” said Joseph Burns of Scranton.

There is not a sentencing date set at this time for a federal judge to make the decision.

Eyewitness News reached out to Courtright’s lawyer and Mr. Walker has no comment.

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