Constitutionality of Senate Bill 1151

On Monday, February 27th, Federal Judge John Jones held a telephone conference to discuss Plaintiffs Nevin Mindlin, Eric Jenkins, and Rev. Earl Harris’ request for a Temporary Restraining Order against Harrisburg’s Receiver David Unkovic.

Counsel on the call included Plaintiff’s attorney, Paul Rossi and attorney Sean Kirkpatrick on behalf of the Governor and the Receiver. Also permitted to hear the call were Neil Grover, Esquire of Debt Watch Harrisburg (a taxpayers advocacy group) and Devin Chwastyk, Esquire of McNees, Wallace, & Nurrick, the firm representing Dauphin County in these matters.

Letter from Neil A. Grover, Esquire to Judge Jones 02-27-12

Judge Jones denied the Plaintiffs’ request; however, the Judge did schedule an Injunction Hearing for March 21st and 22nd in order to hear the Plaintiffs’ arguments of the unconstitutionality of Senate Bill 1151.


Motion for Temporary Restraining Order-Preliminary Injunction To Stop Sale of Assets Filed in Federal Court

Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction was filed today in a pending federal lawsuit that claims that Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg Takeover Law is unconstitutional.  The Motion seeks an emergency hearing and an Order to stop Governor Corbett and the Receiver from implementing a Plan under the Takeover Law passed last Fall.

The Motion advises the federal court that voters in Harrisburg will be irreparably harmed if the Receiver is allowed to exercise authority to sell assets and take other actions without the consent and formal action of Harrisburg’s elected representatives.  U.S. District Court Judge Jones is assigned the case.  His office will likely first jointly confer with the lawyers for citizens making these claims, as well as the lawyers for the Governor and Receiver.  If an Emergency Hearing is scheduled, it may impact the State Court Hearing next week on whether to approve the Receiver’s Recovery Plan.

Stay tuned.  We expect many developments in coming days.

Harrisburg City Council Calls for a Federal Investigation

On Tuesday, January 24th, Harrisburg City Council unanimously passed a Resolution to request the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the 2003 and 2007 Incinerator bond financings, as well as the $25 million loan from CIT Group Inc.

See the Resolution here.

Debt Watch Harrisburg’s Chapter 9 Filing

DWH Response to Objections 11-16-2011

DWH Brief in Opposition: List of Attorneys Served the Chapter 9 filing

DWH Brief in Opposition to Objections

DWH Exhibit 1 to Brief in Opposition: Solicitor Resigns

DWH Exhibit 2 Brief in Opposition: Rules of Council 2010

DWH Exhibit 3-1 Brief in Opposition: Sturgis Standard Code of Parl Pro TOC, Index, Intro

DWH Exhibit 3-2 Brief in Opposition: Sturgis SCPP Definitions, Tables

DWH Exhibit 3-3 Brief in Opposition: Sturgis SCPP Intro, Signiificance, Principles of PP

DWH Exhibit 3-4 Brief in Opposition: Sturgis

DWH Exhibit 3-5 Brief in Opposition: Sturgis SCPP Voting, Parliamentarion, Supporting Motions

DWH Exhibit 4 Brief in Opposition: HBG Charter

DWH Exhibit 5 Brief in Opposition: Erie Case Clipping

DWH Exhibit 6 Brief in Opposition: Mayor Refuses Bankruptcy

State of PA Meetings on Harrisburg’s Act 47

06-15-2011: Neil Grover, Debt Watch Harrisburg, submits a Right to Know request to the Office of the Governor asking for public documents/records on State-coordinated, State-participating meetings on Harrisburg’s Act 47 process. RTK Request to Office of the Governor 06-15-2011 

08-26-2011: The Office of the Governor sends a letter of denial and narrows the request. RTK No. C2011-054 Letter of Denial from Office of Governor 08-26-2011

08-26-2011: Governor’s Office Act 47 Meetings February 2011-June 15th 2011 

ABC27 News Story on Local Financial Advisers

Interesting piece on ABC27 on the current Financial Advisers for the Parking Authority having also supposedly being involved in advising on Incinerator financings in 2003 and 2007.

Firm helps with budget crisis, after advising incinerator loans


Harrisburg City Council will vote on the Mayor’s Act 47 Plan on Wednesday, August 31 @ 6pm, City Council Chambers, (City Govt Center, 10 N 2nd Street). 


Below are four (4) Orders issued this month in the two (2) TD Bank cases.  It shows that the Court is managing the two (2) cases jointly right now.

The Mayor’s Act 47 Plan


 August 2nd 2011:  Mayor’s Proposed Act 47 Recovery Plan 

Mayor’s City Recovery Plan Remarks



Meetings on Mayor’s Plan 

Tuesday, 8-9-2011 @ 6pm, City Council Chambers: Mayor Thompson will come to City Council Chambers to present her plan.

Thursday, 8-11-2011 @ 6pm, John Harris High School: Mayor Thompson will present her plan to the public in a required formal hearing. Public input will be considered for revisions.


DEBT WATCH HARRISBURG‘s Letter to PA DCED Secretary C. Alan Walker 8-4-2011: Letter to Secretary Walker


In the letter,


Compare & Contrast the Harrisburg Act 47 Plan

Below you will find a point by point comparison of the Original Act 47 Plan & the Revised Act 47 Plan. Notice:

  • Red=Deletions from Original to Revision
  • Blue=Additions from Original to Revision

The Revised Plan will be voted on by Harrisburg City Council on Tuesday, July 19th @ 6pm, City Council Chambers, City Government Center (10 N 2nd Street). The public is encouraged to attend. 

Revised Act 47 Plan

Below are links to the Executive Summary on the revised Act 47 Plan, issued Friday July 8th.  Under current Pennsylvania law,only the Coordinator may modify the Plan, so now a majority of City Council must either accept or reject it by July 23, 2011.  Council has scheduled a Special Legislative Session to consider and likely vote on the revised Plan on TuesdayJuly 19th at 6 p.m. City Council Chambers, City Government Center (10 N 2nd Street).

An ‘Executive Session’ was scheduled for Friday July 8th at 3:00 p.m. between full City Council and the Act 47 Coordinators.  Debt Watch Harrisburg contacted legal counsel for both groups trying to make sure the meeting was conducted in an open, public manner, as required by the Sunshine Act.  Instead of opening the meeting, that meeting was cancelled although some Council members individually met with the Coordinators, including Kelly Summerford, Brad Koplinski, and Gloria Martin Roberts.

It has not yet been decided if the Act 47 Coordinators will be asked to present the revised Act 47 Plan to the public at the next Legislative Session on Tuesday, July 12th, 6pm. 


Click links below to access the Revised Act 47 Plan & its Executive Summary:

Click the link below to read the comments DWH submitted to the Coordinatoron 6/28/11: