Commonwealth Court issued an ultimatum to Harrisburg Controller Dan Miller to sign six recovery-related contracts or lose his power to Receiver William Lynch. The timeline of the ultimatum has expired with no signatures in sight.
Dan Miller thought he had time to review six contracts related to the court-approved 'Harrisburg Strong' recovery plan. However, on Friday Commonwealth Court gave Miller 48 hours or until 5:45 p.m. Sunday night to sign those contracts.
Miller said he was notified Friday afternoon, two hours before a scheduled hearing over the phone.
"I was shocked at 2 p.m. when I had no knowledge of any of this," said Miller. "Nothing, there was no problem. The receiver never called me. I had no notice that anybody waiting for some deadline."
Miller said five of the contracts hit his desk late last week, including the addendum on the incinerator deal with the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. Miller maintained a few days was not enough to thoroughly review these documents.
Cory Angell, Receiver Lynch's spokesperson, said Miller received some of those contracts as early as mid-September.
"To be fair, there are various documents. Some of them he's had for three weeks, some of them he was not," said Angell. "But the important thing is that we would really like his help in executing the transaction and doing it in a timely manner. So that way we have the money that we need when we enter the new year."
As of Monday, Miller has not signed the contracts. While the court order ultimatum expired, the Receiver's Office said they will give Miller a little slack, with no definite timeline.
"We would appreciate any help that [Miller] can give us and doing so [sign the contracts]," Angell said. "If he's not going to help, we'll have to go to court."
The way Miller views the situation, Commonwealth Court did him a favor. Miller strongly opposes the contracts, a platform of Miller ran on during his mayoral campaign. He believes the ‘toxic' deals will hurt the city in the long run. Miller said he originally planned on signing the deals with a footnote that he does not approve of the contracts. With this ultimatum, Miller said he is in a position not to sign the contracts at all.
"I don't want anyone to say Dan Miller would sign that contract," he said. "So I'm perfectly happy not to have my name on that contract…[I] don't want my name associated with this type of hoodwinkery."