Christine Baker/The Patriot-News
David Unkovic, just before he fled the scene.
David Unkovic, just before he fled the scene. Christine Baker/The Patriot-News
David Unkovic tried to save Harrisburg, the broke capital city of Pennsylvania.
He was Harrisburg's receiver, which means he was appointed to take charge of the city's very troubled finances.
But his plan to save the city ran into political trouble, and Unkovic abruptly fled Harrisburg, leaving nothing but a scrawled, handwritten note. "I find myself in an untenable position in the political and ethical crosswinds," the letter said, "and am no longer in a position to effectuate a solution."
He has pretty much stayed out of sight since. Until today.
Today, Harrisburg got a new receiver to run the city finances: Air Force Major General William B. Lynch. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania called Unkovic in for the appointment. Unkovic showed up in his traditional bow tie. His remarks were limited but intense, as is his style.
The city's creditors were "trying to put [him] in a box" so he could no longer do his job, Unkovic said today, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Unkovic also intimated today that he'd been told he was going to be fired by the state. By the end of his time as receiver, Unkovic flew off the handle in a few press conferences. He called the city "a house of cards," and the next day, named names of people who'd been involved in the financing of the incinerator that got the city into trouble. Among others, he named a former lobbyist, a state senator, and the former mayor of Harrisburg. State officials deny they told Unkovic he was going to be fired.
Sadly for those reporters who are fascinated by Unkovic's struggle and disappearance, he would not speak to the press today.