Former Mayor Gets Jail Time For Using Public Funds To Purchase Western Antiques
Jan 27, 2017 10:51 AM EST
Stephen Reed has been Harrisburg mayor for 28 years. Within those years, he has amassed a massive collection of Western antiques.
The problem resides in the fact that he purchased these items at the city's expense. Reed has gathered about 10,000 Western artifacts and memorabilia worth $8 million, reports People.
When the former mayor left his office in 2009, he even brought some of the public-fund-bought items with him. Reed responded to these claims explaining that the items were probably "thrown in" together with other items "in the haste" of packing everything.
Although his explanation might be justified, it doesn't change his legal situation. Reed still faces over a hundred charges filed against him.
Ex-Mayor Reed pleads guilty
The former Harrisburg mayor pleads guilty to 20 counts of receiving stolen property. If the statute of limitations hadn't expired, Reed would be facing an enormous 499 counts of charges including corruption, reports The WashingtonPost.
Although a big portion of those charges was overlooked, 114 still remain. The jury's report even mentioned that the former mayor is displaying traits of someone who has "pathological preoccupation."
It's hard to argue that point considering the fact that Reed's Western collection is bordering on obsession. The western antiques ranged from rare items like a "Billy The Kid" poster to bizarre ones like a "vampire hunter set."
Good intentions, wrong method
The former mayor was aiming to use his collection of Western antiques to build museums for the city. His Wild West Museum project was aimed at developing the city by attracting various businesses
Unfortunately, this project never materialized and Reed had already spent over $8 million of public funds in obtaining the antiques. As good as his intentions might seem, it was executed poorly at the expense of the people.
On a positive note, the same source mentioned that some of the Western memorabilia were already sold. The city has recovered $ 4.4 million out of these items and is on the path of financial recovery.