Agents search home of ex-mayor who sought to build Wild West museum, take saddle, other items

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Investigators searched the home of a former longtime mayor whose failed projects, including a planned Wild West museum, helped push the city deep into debt, and they took a saddle and other Western artifacts from him.

A lawyer for Democratic former Mayor Stephen Reed told that the agents were executing a search warrant on Tuesday but he wasn’t sure what they were seeking.

“They’re apparently very methodically going through stuff and removing it,” attorney Allen Welch said. “The agent was kind enough to tell me it might take a couple of days.”

Welch said he had not seen the search warrant, and a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office declined to comment.

Reed was mayor of Harrisburg, the state’s capital city, from 1982 through 2009. His failed effort to build the Wild West museum and a boondoggle renovation of a municipal trash incinerator were among the reasons voters replaced him.

Pennlive said Reed was summoned before a state investigative grand jury in April. He has not been charged with any crime.

Financial problems, including about $360 million in debt tied to the incinerator project, resulted in an unprecedented two-plus-year takeover of the city engineered by Republican then-Gov. Tom Corbett and the Legislature.

As part of the changes, much of the incinerator’s debt was wiped out and the city sold it. The city also leased its parking garages, lots and meters.


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