AG intervenes in August Wilson Center debt case

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Buildings in downtown Pittsburgh are reflected in the windows of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The state attorney general’s office is intervening in a foreclosure case involving the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Thursday that her office filed a petition with the Allegheny County Orphans’ Court seeking an accounting of the center’s charitable assets from 2006. Orphans’ courts have jurisdiction over nonprofits and charitable assets.

Kane says a judge also granted her motion to consolidate the state’s petition with a pending foreclosure action by Dollar Bank, the center’s main creditor. Dollar Bank claims it stopped making mortgage payments in January on a $7 million debt.

The center is named after the Pulitzer Prize playwright, a Pittsburgh native whose plays chronicle black culture.

A telephone message left at the center’s offices was not immediately returned.

Backers of the center raised a substantial amount of funding through charitable donations totaling $35.9 million beginning in 2006, Kane said. They entered into a loan agreement with Dollar Bank in 2007 to finance its construction and the center opened in 2009, she said.

Kane said the state actions are an effort to restore the center’s financial stability and preserve its mission.

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