Episode 397: Why The Hero Of Harrisburg Couldn't Save The City : Planet Money The city of Harrisburg, Pa is $1.5 billion in debt. The man who once was in charge of the saving the city explains how it went so wrong and why it's so hard to fix it.
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Episode 397: Why The Hero Of Harrisburg Couldn't Save The City

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Episode 397: Why The Hero Of Harrisburg Couldn't Save The City

Episode 397: Why The Hero Of Harrisburg Couldn't Save The City

Episode 397: Why The Hero Of Harrisburg Couldn't Save The City

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/159995636/160011585" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Former Harrisburg receiver, David Unkovic, in the wilderness. Zoe Chace/NPR hide caption

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Zoe Chace/NPR

The city of Harrisburg, Pa owes over $1.5 billion. David Unkovic, the city's former receiver, tried to save the broke city, but his plan just led to political trouble.

A few months ago, Unkovic left a scrawled, handwritten note on the steps of the courthouse. "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."

Unkovic fled Harrisburg and stopped answering emails, phone calls, and questions from the press. Until recently. He's started to speak out about what drove Harrisburg into debt — and what drove him out of town.

On the show today, Unkovic speaks. And eats a Philly pretzel.

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More on Harrisburg from Planet Money:

* This Man Tried To Save A Broke City

* How A City Goes Broke

* Trying To Save A Broke City