Pennsylvania has issued a request for proposals to hire a law firm to claw back money from participants in the Harrisburg incinerator bond financing fiasco.

"The selected offeror will be expected to implement an aggressive litigation program that includes identification of any and all causes of action surrounding the legal, financial and other professional services rendered in support of the Harrisburg incinerator retrofit," said the RFP document, posted on the state's Bureau of Procurement website.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development is running point on the effort. DCED official Fred Reddig is the city's coordinator under the Act 47 program for distressed communities, in which Harrisburg is enrolled.

Harrisburg, the state's 49,000-population capital, nearly went bankrupt after spiraling debt from an incinerator retrofit project - originally $25 million -- and other missteps left the city with more than $600 million in debt. The city in 2013, while under state receivership, crafted the so-called Harrisburg Strong recovery plan that included the sale of the city incinerator to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, long-term lease of parking assets and concessions from major creditors.

Under the plan, Reddig may "consider using every measure available, including discussions seeking consensual resolutions or litigation if deemed warranted, to seek redress from those professionals and entities alleged to be responsible for the various decisions to proceed with the incinerator retrofit project."

The commonwealth could hire multiple firms, according to the RFP.

Last month, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office indicted Stephen Reed, Harrisburg's mayor from 1982 to 2009, announcing 17 counts and 499 charges against Reed related to his financial dealings while in office.

Kane herself is facing unrelated charges brought by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman for leaking grand jury information to a newspaper and committing perjury.

 

 

 

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