Grand jury on Harrisburg finances extended

     (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    The investigation into Harrisburg’s financial debacle has been quiet for weeks, and the expiration date approaches for the grand jury convened for the task.

    But the grand jury has been given more time.

    Court officials say the grand jury in Pittsburgh — due to expire at the end of July — has been extended through January 2016. That’s the maximum time allotted by state law: 18-months automatically, with an extra six months possible subject to court approval.James Koval, with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, says the extension request was approved May 26.

    Agents were seen one week after the move raiding the home of former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed. They declined comment at the time. So did the state Attorney General’s office.

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    In Pennsylvania, grand juries meet for 18 months, with a potential six-month extension.

    Those close to the case say they believe investigators might be trying to prove Reed kept items intended for a series of five publicly-funded museums, three of which never opened. The city auctioned most leftover artifacts, at a loss. But the money went toward the massive debt.

    The half-billion-dollar catastrophe made Harrisburg an international poster child for municipal distress, and led to the state’s first City Hall takeover — in the commonwealth’s capital, no less.


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