“Thiswas a treasure house.”
That was how deputy attorney general Clark Madden described the home of former Harrisburg mayor Stephen R. Reed — who is accused of illegally buying more than 1,000 artifacts worth millions of dollars with city funds.
Reed, 65, who reportedly has stage four cancer, and served for 28 years as mayor of Harrisburg, got hit with hundreds of criminal charges in an indictment today announced by Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
“Items of every possible description, and some which beg description,” was how Madden described the artifacts that Reed acquired with city funds.
“Alife-size sarcophagus, a suit of armor for which the city paid $14,000;a $6,500 vampire hunting kit, which containedthe predictable mallet and stake …headdresses, military uniforms, weaponry …
wagon wheels and WyattEarp’s cane,” Madden listed.”That’s the universe of items that we’ve discovered.”
A tomahawk that may have belonged to Crazy Horse was also among the items.
Reed allegedly used bonds to finance his acquistions, which he publicly claimed were intended for new museums — but ended up inside his house.
Some of the funds were listed on the budget of the Harrisburg school district.
Kane said that Reed’s excesses led the city of Harrisburg into its current state of receivership and struggleto pay its debts.
Reed served as Harrisburg’s mayor from 1981 to 2010.
From the Attorney General’s office:
“The grand jury alleges this practice of using the expenditure proceeds from public debt touched several entities, including the Harrisburg Authority, the Harrisburg School District, the Harrisburg Civic Baseball Club and the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, among others.
“Over time, Reed, who had a hand in all of these entities while mayor, allegedly used this public money at his discretion partly to obtain thousands of artifacts, which was a violation of Pennsylvania’s Criminal Code. The artifacts — which include such items as a life-sized sarcophagus, a full suit of armor and a ‘vampire hunting kit’ — were bought as Reed made several trips throughout the country allegedly at taxpayers’ expense.
“The artifacts and other memorabilia purportedly were destined for several museums Reed planned for the city. Investigators with the Office of Attorney General recovered many of these city-owned items as they executed search warrants at Reed’s office and home, the grand jury presentment states. Many of the artifacts were reported to be in poor condition because they were improperly stored.”
Reed appeared in court for his arraignment on Tuesday morning and denied any wrongdoing to media outside of court.