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Harrisburg mayor: Nothing personal against arrested bishop - abc27 WHTM

Harrisburg mayor: Nothing personal against arrested bishop

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Did Harrisburg officials unfairly target Bishop A.E. Sullivan by arresting him for having a crumbling building?

His attorney thinks so.

"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," said Sullivan's attorney, Sandra Thompson. "If that was true, then that would be reckless endangerment, so that means every person on the list should be arrested."

But Mayor Eric Papenfuse called a special news conference to dispute any claims of singling out the bishop.

"The reality is Bishop Sullivan had a variety of warrants out for his arrest on that evening," said Papenfuse, who presented a printout of what officers would have seen the night they charged Sullivan with reckless endangerment in connection with his building falling apart.

There were warrants for codes violations, harassment and three for driving with a suspended license.

The mayor says with all those warrants, Sullivan would have been arrested no matter who he was or what he had done.

"If he had been pulled over for speeding, he would have been arrested," Papenfuse said. "If he had been pulled over for running a red light, he would have been arrested."

Papenfuse stressed that he bears no ill will toward Sullivan, and he wished him well when he heard that Sullivan has since been having health issues.

"I have never viewed this through any sort of political lens," the mayor said. "I don't consider Bishop Sullivan an enemy in any way. In fact, we've had good conversations subsequent to the campaign and my election."

 

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