Scranton, Pennsylvania’s Mayor Bill Courtright resigned Monday amid three federal charges, including bribery, conspiracy, and attempt to obstruct commerce by extortion.
Courtright entered a plea agreement Monday surrounding these charges, per WNEP.
The former mayor resigned via a memo sent to members of Scranton City Council.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The FBI Raided Courtright’s Office & Home Earlier This Year
Earlier this year, in January, Courtright’s home and office were the targets of an FBI raid. The raid was just the beginning of Courtright’s eventual resignation.
According to WNEP, rumors started whirling through Scranton’s City Hall on whether or not Courtright would resign or not after the raids were conducted.
“The mayor vehemently denies any wrongdoing and is confident that when the investigation is complete he will be exonerated,” Courtright’s attorney, Paul Walker said at that time, per the Citizen’s Voice.
What began as a raid ended in a plea agreement and a single sentence sent to Scranton’s city council detailing Courtright’s resignation.
“As of 4:00pm today, I hereby resign from my position as Mayor of the City of Scranton,” the memo read.
2. Courtright Could Face a Hefty Prison Sentence Due to the Corruption Charges
According to WNEP, Courtright could face a lengthy prison sentence and pay a fine up to $750,000 in restitution.
Courtright is being charged with bribery, conspiracy, and attempt to obstruct commerce by extortion.
The former mayor is set to face a federal court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Tuesday. It is supposed to be followed up with a news conference.
3. Courtright’s Term as Mayor Still Has Two and a Half Years Left
According to the Associated Press, Courtright’s second term as the mayor of Scranton still has about two and a half years left.
Scranton’s city council has 30 days to appoint a successor who will serve the remaining time of Courtright’s term. If they don’t act, a county judge will decide who will serve.
City Hall was full of somber feelings after the news broke of Courtright’s resignation, per WNEP.
Some employees were seen wiping tears off of their faces, but officials say departments will function as if it is just any other time.
4. City Council President Pat Rogan Will Be Acting Mayor until a New Mayor Is Selected
Scranton’s City Council President, Pat Rogan will act as interim Mayor until the city council or a county judge pick a new Mayor to serve the remainder of Courtright’s term.
According to WNEP, the Scranton City Council was sent into a frenzy when Courtright’s memo was sent to them.
According to the Citizen’s Voice, Courtright’s wrongdoings began in 2014 when he used his power to halt business development for citizens who did not donate to his campaign or supported a previous mayor.
5. Courtright Is Not the First Mayor to Be Hit with a Corruption Case in Eastern Pennsylvania
Courtright is not the first mayor in the eastern part of Pennsylvania to be hit with corruption charges, according to the Associated Press.
In the past year, two other well-known mayors were charged with corruption, Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Mayor Vaughn Spencer.
Pawlowski, the former mayor of Allentown was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and Spencer, the former mayor of Reading, received a sentence of eight years in prison.