Mayor: I’m not re­sign­ing

Cour­tright de­nies ru­mors in wake of FBI raids


SCRAN­TON — Scran­ton Mayor Bill Cour­tright on Sun­day de­nied ru­mors that he’s plan­ning to re­sign in the wake of FBI raids last week at City Hall and his home.

Reached by phone Sun­day night, he said, “I know there’s a ru­mor I’m re­sign­ing. I’m not.”

Cour­tright said he hired an at­tor­ney, Paul Walker of Scran­ton, but oth­er­wise de­clined to com­ment on the raids.

The res­ig­na­tion ru­mors be­gan cir­cu­lat­ing over the week­end. But other city of­fi­cials Sun­day said they were still in the dark about the sit­u­a­tion.

The FBI un­der­took “cour­tau­tho­rized ac­tiv­ity” at City Hall and the mayor’s house Wed­nes­day, FBI spokes­woman Car­rie Adamowski had said.

The na­ture of the ac­tiv­ity re­mains undis­closed, as court doc­u­ments in the mat­ter are sealed, Adamowski said Fri­day. No fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the mat­ter was avail­able Sun­day, she said.

City Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tor

David Bul­zoni, who has been out on med­i­cal leave dur­ing the past month, said in a phone in­ter­view Sun­day he first heard of the raids when he saw the news in The TimesTri­bune on Fri­day, and “cer­tainly was taken aback” by it.

Bul­zoni, who has been a friend of Cour­tright for more than 30 years, said he met with the mayor Fri­day at Cafe Sevda on North Wash­ing­ton Av­enue, across the street and a few doors down from City Hall.

“I sat down with him on Fri­day to get an un­der­stand­ing of what was go­ing on. He said it was just some­thing that he couldn’t com­ment on,” Bul­zoni said.

Po­lice Chief Carl Graziano said Sun­day in a phone in­ter­view he has not had any con­tact with the mayor since Wed­nes­day.

“I haven’t heard a word,” Graziano said. “I haven’t heard any­thing.”

Bul­zoni said he’s spo­ken to mem­bers of his of­fice staff, city So­lic­i­tor Jes­sica Eskra and coun­cil fi­nance Chair­man Wayne Evans, “to get a sense of whether I’m miss­ing some­thing; does any­one know any­thing. I keep get­ting that no one knows any­thing.”

“There’s a lot of spec­u­la­tion out there,” Bul­zoni said. “I’ve sort of sug­gested that peo­ple not get out in front of their skis. No one re­ally knows any­thing yet.”

Also on Sun­day, city coun­cil Pres­i­dent Pat Ro­gan and mem­bers Bill Gaughan, Evans and Kyle Don­ahue, as well as city Con­troller Roseann Novem­brino, said they do not know what the FBI mat­ter is about.

It likely will be dis­cussed at coun­cil’s meet­ing tonight at 6 at City Hall, coun­cil mem­bers said.

First, coun­cil will hold a pub­lic hear­ing at 5:30 p.m. in coun­cil cham­bers on a pro­posed or­di­nance to amend the city’s code of ethics, ac­cord­ing to a pub­lic no­tice in The Times-tri­bune on Wed­nes­day. On Jan. 7, coun­cil in­tro­duced an or­di­nance to amend the city’s Ad­min­is­tra­tive Code to cre­ate a new, stiffer code of ethics. The pro­posal calls for lim­its on cam­paign fi­nance con­tri­bu­tions that elected of­fi­cials can ac­cept, and a re­con­sti­tuted ethics board to over­see the new rules, among other re­quire­ments.

The Mu­nic­i­pal Build­ing at 340 N. Wash­ing­ton Ave. down­town and the mayor’s West Moun­tain home were the only places where the court-sanc­tioned FBI ac­tions in this mat­ter took place, Adamowski had said Fri­day.

‘No one re­ally knows any­thing yet.’ David Bul­zoni Scran­ton busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tor

JON O’CON­NELL, staff writer, con­trib­uted to this re­port. Con­tact the writer: jlock­[email protected]­; 570-348-9100 x5185; @jlock­woodtt on Twit­ter

COUR­TRIGHT House raided by FBI last week

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