Former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed has been charged with hundreds of criminal counts, including multiple felonies.
Charges filed against Reed Tuesday morning are the result of a statewide investigating grand jury, which has been looking into various areas of city governance during the latter portion of Reed's 28-year tenure as mayor.
Charges filed against Reed include:
two counts of running a corrupt organization;
two counts of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities;
two counts of theft by deception, a first grade felony;
one count of theft by deception, a third grade felony;
one count of theft by deception, a second grade felony;
seven counts of bribery;
158 counts of misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions;
one count of tampering with evidence;
one count of deceptive business practices;
three counts of criminal solicitation to tamper with public records;
three counts of theft of services, a third grade felony;
29 counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a third grade felony;
29 counts of theft by unlawful taking, a third grade felony;
110 counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a first grade misdemeanor;
110 counts of theft by unlawful taking, a first degree misdemeanor;
20 counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a second grade felony;
and 20 counts of theft by unlawful taking, a second degree felony.
Want to know what he was accused of misusing the money for?
Why a vampire hunting kit and a sarcophagus, among other items:
HARRISBURG — The former mayor of Pennsylvania's capital city was arrested Tuesday on corruption charges, including allegations he unlawfully used public money from various agencies to buy thousands of artifacts for what he claimed was a plan to open a Wild West museum and other historical attractions.
Former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed, who served 28 years in office, obtained the money for the purchases by secretly diverting funds borrowed by municipal agencies and other entities for other purposes that later helped the debt-laden city careen toward bankruptcy, prosecutors said.
The former mayor spent diverted dollars on thousands of "artifacts and curiosities," the attorney general's office said, supposedly for museums that never opened. The purchases included a life-size sarcophagus, antique firearms, a full suit of armor and a vampire hunting kit.
Some of the money for the artifacts came from the more than $200 million borrowed for the renovation of the city's aging and polluting municipal trash incinerator, prosecutors said. The project contributed heavily to the near-financial collapse of the Susquehanna River city of about 49,000, where one-third of the residents live below the poverty line.
Other sources of money included Harrisburg's impoverished schools and a minor league baseball team once owned by the city.
This started as part of Reed's gentrification dream for Harrisburg but seemed to become a shoping addiction that cost the city millions of dollars:
When Reed became Harrisburg's mayor in 1982, the shrinking, decaying city was near total collapse — its department stores, theaters and trolleys were gone, replaced by vacant buildings and streets devoid of nightlife.
His dream was to transform it into a cultural "city of light." Under Reed, hotels and restaurants sprouted in downtown and a minor-league baseball team began playing in a park that rose from a trash dump.
In 2001, Reed opened the National Civil War Museum on an abandoned reservoir overlooking the Capitol — even though none of the war's major battles occurred in the city.
His aim of building the National Museum of the Old West next to it stalled in 2004 after City Council members found out about his practice of taking taxpayer-paid trips to antique shops around the county to amass the collection. News of the purchases were met with derision — Harrisburg is 1,500 miles from Buffalo Bill's grave in Golden, Colorado — and concern that the city was already staggering under the incinerator debt.
You know, whenever I think about learning about the Wild West, Harrisburg PA comes to mind.
Too bad Reed didn't get to put that Wild West museum next to the National Civil War Museum on the abandoned reservoir overlooking the capitol.
Because whenever I think of the Civil War, Harrisburg PA comes to mind.
Oh, no wait - it's Gettysburg that comes to mind.
Oh, well - close enough.