Harrisburg church demolition to resume - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg church demolition to resume

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Demolition work can resume on a Harrisburg church that partially collapsed last month.

A Dauphin County judge had stopped crews from tearing down the Victory Outreach Christian Church at 12th and Magnolia streets on Monday after an attorney for Bishop A.E. Sullivan requested an emergency injunction.

Sullivan's attorney, Sandra Thompson, withdrew the request Wednesday morning and allowed the demolition to continue.

Sullivan, the founder of VOCC and the owner of the building, was arrested Feb. 21 after the deteriorating church partially collapsed and displaced 15 people from nearby homes.

Sullivan's attorney said her client should never have been arrested because he had a verbal agreement with the city under Mayor Linda Thompson's administration to cease demolition efforts while he worked on a restoration plan.

His attorney, Sandra Thompson, said Mayor Eric Papenfuse knew of the agreement, and should have sent a notice of action.

"There is a long list of people with the same type of orders who they did not arrest because those orders say the building presents a safety hazard to the public," Sandra Thompson said. "So, if that was true, then that would be reckless endangerment, so that means every
person on the list should be arrested."

David Patton, the city's codes enforcement officer, said Sullivan was not singled out, but the partial collapse of his building created a public safety issue that forced them to take action.

"We have done this before and staged arrests for different people over the course of my 19 years with the city," Patton said. "This is getting more attention because of his place in the community."

City officials said demolition of the church could take a couple of weeks or more to complete.



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