Former Harrisburg Mayor Steve Reed charged with theft, bribery

    The charges involve the municipality as well as the city’s parking authority and public school districts.

    UPDATED:

    Former Harrisburg Mayor Steve Reed is facing hundreds of charges including bribery and theft stemming from a grand jury investigation of the city’s finances.

    Reed appeared Tuesday morning before a district judge in suburban Harrisburg. He was released on $150,000 bond.

    The charges involve the municipality as well as the city’s parking authority and public school districts.

    “In order for the City of Harrisburg to continue its financial recovery, it is imperative that its citizens have a clear picture of the past,” said state Attorney General Kathleen Kane in a statement released this morning.

    The presentment says Reed and other officials leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in debt through the city of Harrisburg, its school district and parking authority, and the Harrisburg Civic Baseball Club.

    Kane said they’d say they were borrowing money for one reason, then use some of it for another. “This is about making sure when you issue debt on behalf of school district, school district gets all that money and the renovations are actually made,” Kane said.

    Often, the other purpose would be for Reed’s personal gain, such as keeping artifacts bought for public museums.

    Prosecutors say the artifacts purchased by Reed included a vampire hunting kit and a sarcophagus, and were obtained as he made taxypayer funded trips across the country.

    Reed allegedly attempted to get rid of city-owned artifacts he’d kept for his personal use after investigators raided his office.

    Last month, law enforcement personnel representing an unidentified agency spent hours searching Reed’s home and removing boxes and other objects.

    Reed, 65, a Democrat, served as mayor for 28 years from 1982 to 2010. He is currently battling cancer. 

    He said he will fight the charges. “There is much more to this story,” said Reed in front of the courthouse.  “It will come out eventually.  Just not today.”

     Mayor Eric Papenfuse has issued the following statement regarding the charges:

    “Today’s developments mark another important step along the path to the City of Harrisburg’s recovery. We, as a region, through exorbitant parking fees and sky-high trash disposal rates, continue to pay dearly for Mayor Stephen Reed’s financial misdeeds. Any recovery, whether fiscal or political, requires at its foundation true accountability. Now, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Attorney General’s office, Harrisburg residents can hope to have both justice and a measure of closure upon which to build a brighter future for all.”

     Here’s a list of the charges:

    · 2 counts of corrupt organizations 

    · 2 counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities

    · 2 counts of theft by deception 

    · 20 counts of theft by receiving stolen property 

    · 20 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition 

    · 1 count of theft by deception 

    · 7 counts of bribery in official and political matters 

    · 29 counts of theft by receiving stolen property

    · 29 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition 

    · 3 counts of theft of services 

    · 1 count of theft by deception 

    · 110 counts of theft by receiving stolen property

    · 110 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition 

    · 158 counts of misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions

    · 1 count of deceptive business practices 

    · 3 counts of criminal solicitation

    · 1 count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane discussed the investigation at an 11 a.m. news conference at the Capitol. Follow live tweets below.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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