VIDEO: PA gov names receiver for debt-ridden capital
Was head of PA National Guard under three governors from 1999-2004
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett has called up the military to help right the state capital.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development announced Friday that a petition was filed to appoint Air Force Maj. Gen. William Lynch as receiver for the city. A receiver is a court-appointed manager for a business or municipality facing financial problems with the authority to direct a broad range of financial activity.
Lynch brings 40 years' military experience, followed by a role as chief of staff to the U.S. State Department Office of Iraqi Reconstruction Management and the Iraq Transition Office. There, Lynch helped oversee the distribution of the $18.4 billion Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund.
He was the state’s adjutant general — the head of the Pennsylvania National Guard and state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs — under three governors from 1999 to 2004.
He has no experience in managing municipal budgets but said he does have experience in helping diverse groups of people with varied interests come to a solution.
And, he’s “a sucker for a challenge,” he said.
“This seems to be something that needs to be done, it seems to be something that can be done, particularly by somebody who doesn’t bring a lot of preconceived notions to the issue,” Lynch said to reporters after his appointment.
The Pennsylvania capital, with about 50,000 residents, is teetering on insolvency with $326 million in municipal debt. The city has missed debt payments twice this year, but state law prevents it from declaring bankruptcy.
The position of receiver has been vacant after former receiver David Unkovic submitted his resignation to the Commonwealth Court on March 30.
Commonwealth Court has 15 days to hold a confirmation hearing with Lynch and an additional 45 days to determine if it will confirm his appointment.