OARC, commonwealth discuss possible settlement

The Ogontz Area Revitalization Corporation and Corbett administration budget officials are in talks to settle a lawsuit filed by the housing and community action agency over a state investigation.



The latest action in the suit, filed Dec. 31 in U.S. District Court, gives OARC more time to file a response to the state’s motion to dismiss the case, indicating the two are negotiating.

“The parties continue to believe that it would enhance the likelihood of settlement by focusing upon the negotiation process, rather than pursuing the adversary litigation process at this time, and that the filing of a response to the Motion to Dismiss at this time, during negotiations, could have a detrimental effect upon those negotiations,” reads the April 8 order signed by attorneys for both sides.

OARC’s suit accuses the state of arbitrarily suspending some funding and demanding the return of other money, as the result of a seemingly ongoing probe by state authorities into the Northwest Philadelphia community services agency founded by State Rep. Dwight Evans.

The Inquirer, citing a leaked confidential state report and a 28-page investigative report, has reported OARC is accused of misspending or mis-categorizing funds, altering budgets, violating competitive bidding rules and entering questionable land deals.

NewsWorks has partnered with independent news gatherer PlanPhilly to provide regular, in-depth, timely coverage of planning, zoning and development news. Contact Amy Z. Quinn at azquinn@planphilly.com.

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