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]rock.com; 570-348-9100 x5185; @jlockwoodtt on Twitter
COURTRIGHT House raided by FBI last week