The mayor of Harrisburg, Pa., said the scandal surrounding city Treasurer John Campbell's alleged theft from a nonprofit does not extend to city finances.
"All accounts are in order and the city treasury continues to function in the midst of this dilemma," Eric Papenfuse said at a City Hall press conference late Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico charged Campbell, 26, with writing 10 checks to himself totaling about $8,400 from the account of Historic Harrisburg Association while he was its executive director. Campbell faces charges of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received and a charitable organizations act violation.
Although Campbell's $20,000 position is part-time, the charges against him have brought full-time aggravation and more negative headlines to a city recovering from the brink of bankruptcy.
Papenfuse expects Campbell to resign on Wednesday, when he is due back in town. If Campbell does not, the city would go to court the following day "to settle this matter once and for all," the mayor said. "We have cut off Mr. Campbell's Internet access and he will not be welcome here on the premises."
Campbell's attorney, Adam Klein, declined comment Tuesday pending a review of legal documents.
Papenfuse, who took office in January, said the treasurer and city controller must sign off on all city checks. He said the Historic Harrisburg Association noticed the money missing several weeks ago, when it intended to reimburse the city toward $24,000 it had pledged under its Lighten Up Harrisburg program to help fix street lights.
Papenfuse said the city has yet to receive any reimbursement.
The mayor also asked city auditing firm Maher Duessel and City Controller Charles DuBrunner to intensify their scrutiny of city accounts. Maher Duessel is working on the city's 2013 audit.
Should Campbell resign, the City Council would have 30 days to refill the position. Paul Wambach, who retired in December 2012 after 20 years as city treasurer, will hold the interim position.
Unrated Harrisburg late last year began implementing a financial recovery plan that erased $600 million of debt, largely through the sale of the city incinerator and a long-term lease of parking assets. The plan includes four years of balanced city budgets and other measures designed to repair Harrisburg's reputation in the capital markets.
Incinerator and parking bond sales both closed in late December.
Harrisburg's City Council filed for bankruptcy late in 2011 over the objections of then-Mayor Linda Thompson, but a federal judge negated the action. State receivership ended earlier this year, though Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development retains oversight.
Campbell left Historic Harrisburg Association in April to serve as development director for gay-and-lesbian advocacy nonprofit Equality Pennsylvania. That group suspended Campbell on Tuesday until further notice. "He does not have access to bank accounts, check writing or cash handling as a part of his duties," executive director Ted Martin said in a statement.