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State nominates Lynch to become Harrisburg receiver

By - Last modified: May 11, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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The state has nominated retired United States Air Force Maj. Gen. William B. Lynch to become the receiver for Harrisburg, according to a statement from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

C. Alan Walker, secretary of the department, today filed a petition under the direction of Gov. Tom Corbett with Commonwealth Court to appoint Lynch as the receiver for the distressed city, according to the statement.

“We remain focused on the ongoing fiscal recovery efforts and the implementation of the court-approved recovery plan to get the City of Harrisburg back on track,” Corbett said in a statement. “Under Gen. Lynch’s leadership, I am confident that this important process will continue moving forward to bring long-term financial stability to the city.”

Under Act 47, Corbett is authorized to direct the DCED secretary to file a petition in the court for a newly appointed receiver when the position has become vacant.

Lynch, 69, spent 40 years in the military, including serving as an air operations division director for the National Guard during operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He also has been the adjutant general of the state under three governors, according to a news release. His department had a $550 million budget and 22,000 employees.

From 2006-07, Lynch was chief of staff to the U.S. State Department Office of Iraqi Reconstruction Management in Baghdad. He also was director of the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Joint Strategic Plans and Assessment there.

He holds a juris doctorate from Ohio Northern University’s Claude W. Pettit School of Law and is a graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C., and Brown University in Rhode Island.

“General Lynch’s experience leading diverse groups to a common solution is critical to success in this position,” Corbett said in a statement. “I have the greatest confidence that the General will get us all back on track and focused on a better future for the people of Harrisburg.”

The receiver’s office will continue to work with Washington, D.C.-based McKenna Long & Aldridge, which specializes in municipal recovery and restructuring.

The four-member Municipal Financial Recovery Advisory Committee will meet regularly with the receiver. The group includes the mayor, city council president, an appointee of the county commissioners and a governor appointee.

The process of filling the receiver position will include the Commonwealth Court holding a hearing within the next 15 days and then making a determination within 60 days of today, the release stated.

Harrisburg carries more than $326 million of incinerator debt, DCED spokesman Steven Kratz has said. When the city entered Act 47 in December 2010, the debt was $288 million.

Former receiver David Unkovic resigned the position in late March, citing "political and ethical crosswinds."

Editor's note: This item has been modified from its previous version to include details from Gov. Corbett's statement on his nomination of Gen. Lynch.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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