Councilwoman Sandra Reid confessed Tuesday that she’d once been arrested.
“They took my shoelaces,” Reid said.
It was nearly a decade ago.
And it turned out that the Harrisburg police had the wrong woman.
But Reid recalled the event was an inconvenience that took up two hours of her time.
And it was absent the public display that recently created controversy when police took a local religious leader into custody, prompting Tuesday’s meeting.
Bishop A.E. Sullivan Jr., who heads the Interdenominational Ministers’ Conference of Greater Harrisburg, faces reckless endangerment and other charges over the partial collapse of a church he bought in 2009 for $1 on behalf of his Victory Outreach Christian Church.
His supporters asked for an administrative hearing – not possible given the cases Sullivan and the city have pending against one another – or, absent that, an accounting of policies and past practices governing the agencies and officials typically involved in such situations.
The matter went before City Council’s Administration Committee, but all seven members of the legislative body were there.
Reid spoke about her long ago experience during the session, which drew about 50 people, to convey that she knew well that human error can result in crossed wires at any one of the multiple record keeping systems on which criminal justice, law enforcement, code enforcement and others depend.
That’s one of the issues that the church collapse raised.
Council and other officials stuck to the issues and spoke in generalities due to related pending legal matters.
Sullivan was there Tuesday, but didn’t speak.
The Rev. Earl Harris, his second in command at the Interdenominational Ministers’ Conference of Greater Harrisburg, was the only one to reference the matter during public comment.
Harris questioned the city’s claims that officers who came to Sullivan’s home didn’t know about his warrants, yet knew his driver’s license was suspended.
“You can’t have both,” Harris said.
Elected officials meanwhile raised questions about ownership of condemned properties, code officials’ practices and funding for blight remediation.
Source: Penn Live | Emily Previti | email@example.com