Longtime former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed dies at 70


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Longtime former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed died Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

He was elected as the leader of the capital city in January 1982 and would stay in the role for 28 years.

Reed was the main force behind rehabbed restaurant row on Second Street, The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg’s Reservoir Park, Harrisburg University and Harrisburg High School Sci-Tech campus.

In his later years, his accomplishments were overshadowed.

A botched multi-million dollar project to retrofit the city’s incinerator plunged the city into massive debt, bringing it to the brink of bankruptcy.

Former Attorney General Kathleen Kane charged Reed in 2015 with nearly 500 criminal counts, including racketeering, bribery, and money laundering. He was accused of using millions in public money to buy artifacts and collectibles for a failed Wild West and other museums between 1990-2010.

Many of the items were seized from Reed’s Harrisburg home. Special agents from the Attorney General’s office said the inside looked like a museum.

In 2017, Reed would plead guilty to 20 charges of receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to two years probation and a $2,000 fine.

The judge declined to sentence Reed to prison time because of his declining health.

Reed was 70 years old.

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