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Agents raid former Harrisburg Mayor Steven Reed's home

Written by Emily Previti/Keystone Crossroads | Jun 3, 2015 5:01 AM
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Photo by Emily Previt/witf

(Harrisburg) -- The grand jury investigation into the city of Harrisburg's past financial deals that spurred state legislative reforms has been shrouded in secrecy.

But, there's been movement in former Mayor Steven Reed's neighborhood.

Law enforcement personnel representing an unidentified agency spent hours Tuesday emptying Reed's home.

Boxes and unencumbered objects, including riding saddles and a spinning wheel, were carried out of Reed's townhouse and loaded first into a white moving truck, then into a couple unmarked vans parked on Cumberland Street in Harrisburg's Midtown section.

Reed caught flak for paying an estimated $30 million for objects to fill a series of museums he wanted to build. Just one came to fruition and the 10,000 objects meant for the others have since been auctioned at a financial loss.

He was in office for 28 years. His tenure was marked by the city's partial revival, but marred by its buckling under massive debt as the recession hit.

Despite the rain, reporters and Reed's neighbors watched from their porches and balconies, or beyond sawhorses blocking the roadway.

They were transfixed because they're certain the activity is linked to the state grand jury convened more than a year ago to scrutinize how the capital city got into more than $500 million in debt -- much of it tied to a failed incinerator retrofit.

Harrisburg ultimately defaulted, and the financial disaster prompted the state's first takeover of a municipality, and legacy parking costs and budgetary pressures.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane confirmed a grand jury on the matter in summer 2013.

But the man who emerged from Reed's house during the search, to enforce the perimeter when reporters got too close, ignored to questions about whether he was with the AG's office.

Kane's spokesman declined to comment when asked whether the evidence seizure is linked to the grand jury in Pittsburgh where Reed and other officials testified recently and when the panel must be disbanded under timelines prescribed by state law.

Published in Harrisburg, News

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