Audit of troubled Mountain Laurel Cen...

Audit of troubled Mountain Laurel Center raises questions of st...

There are 1 comment on the The Morning Call story from Apr 19, 2007, titled Audit of troubled Mountain Laurel Center raises questions of st.... In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Audit of troubled Mountain Laurel Center raises questions of state accountability The Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts in Pike County was intended to transform a languishing garment-workers union ...

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#1 Apr 19, 2007
Knowing John Wolfington and Brian O'Neal. They are no fools, and never count out Edward Rendell to be a fool. However, this smells as fishy as some of the catch at the lake at Tamiment.

I can guarantee that is was all above board from a legal perspective, but ethically, there are some questions that must be answered by the parties involved to the taxpayers and citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Otherwise, officials are shirking thier responsiblities and further raise the the spectre of politicians being out of step with the people they supposedly are there to serve.

Yes, as I wrote on an earlier post, there is plenty of money to be made with the project and it was mismanaged. Is it necessary wrong for public/private partnerships no. Is it wrong that public money is allocated and awared for a particular concept and project and that later a "modified project" with new parties. The ability to secure the real estate assets at a discount, and be relieved of repayment of over $1 million that should have been properly written into the grant, but wasn't ultimately isn't the fault of businessmen or for that matter the governor, "unless" there was a quid pro quo of "campaign contributions" for "grant repayment exclusion" and "preferental treatment in bidding process/sale process of the project".

With the concept of the project changed from land preservation/cultural center to now a mixed-use development of condos, cultural center, and I guarantee you some form of commerical retail, then yes, Wolfington and O'Neill stand to make 2x-4x their origninal acquisition, which probably was levered up with some banker who also has a partial equity interest in the deal.

I don't know all the specifics, but I have been in finance long enough to know how to structure deals, how to pull strings, and to know what is ethical and not ethical.

If it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, and smells like a duck. It probably is a duck. This smells of an Attorney General or at least Commonwealth legislatiure investigation. It just isn't proper, period, whether or not it was legal based on contract language and grant language.

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