Harrisburg, PA – A lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania alleges City of Harrisburg, and Dauphin County officials illegally coordinated a real estate scheme for their personal enrichment.
Several high profile figures are named in the lawsuit including Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, and Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick. The plaintiffs claim that the defendants targeted private property owners as part of a coordinated insider real estate scheme.
The lawsuit implicates city and county officials who used strategic zoning changing as a means to devalue select real estate parcels, and used other public departments to target private property owners. It was intended for the owners to be forced out, and to eventually take over the parcels at a fraction of market value through tax sales and straw purchasers.
This scenario would create a situation where cronies of the city could gain millions in Federal grant money as part of a proposed “Meander Park,” and ensure big public contracts for CREDC.
Hartwick inexplicably did not show up for the Dauphin County Commissioners Reorganization Meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020. He did not vote for Chairman or Vice Chairman, etc.
In the following days, the speculation of various concerned constituents suggested that his absence was perhaps due to health, schedule conflict, or many other possibilities. All agreed that it is unusual to start a 4-year term by missing the first meeting.
Three days later Hartwick appeared to be in fair health while speaking on stage at the 2020 PA Farm Show on Thursday, January 9, 2020. It remains unclear why he was a no show for the reorganization meeting. Hartwick hasn’t responded for comment.