HARRISBURG- The man selected to be Harrisburgs next city treasurer is in the midst of a personal bankruptcy, which could prevent him from taking office.
Harrisburg City Council members picked Timothy R. East late last month over five other applicantsto fill a vacancy after the previous city treasurer resigned.
One topic that didnt come up during the interviews of applicants by council members was personal bankruptcy. City Council members didnt ask and East didnt tell.
READ: City Council members reaction here.
East, a certified public accountant who owns East Financial Services, did not return phone calls from PennLive Monday. In addition, no one answered the door at his office Monday.
Easts financial struggles are important because the city treasurer needs to be bonded and insurance companies may not want to take a chance on a treasurer who has already declared personal bankruptcy.
The abrupt departure of former city treasurer John Campbell also meant the city had to get re-bondedno small task in light of the citys near bankruptcy and receivership.
City officials secured a bond for the city, but are waiting to hear back from insurance companies about East.
Easts personal bankruptcy also poses a public relations issue because the city treasurers job entails collecting and safeguarding the citys revenues and reviewing the citys payments.
Joyce Davis, the citys spokeswoman, said she could not comment on Easts bankruptcy filing. But she acknowledged that the city had not yet secured his required bond.
He was on a previously scheduled vacation, so he was unable to complete some of the paperwork until his return, she said.
During his interview Sept. 29, East counted among his skills thathe understood cash management operations, tax collection and proper system controls. He said he thought hismost important leadership quality was the ability to inspire others.
East first filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in June 2011, noting among his debts thathe had taken out three mortgages on his home.
East bought the home in 2006, according to his filing, for $156,500, He later took out two additional mortgages, and the IRS tacked on a $15,000 tax lien, bringing the total amount owed for the house to $219,000. The house is now worth about $125,000, according to the bankruptcy paperwork.
East also cited credit card debt of about $15,000 and debt from insurance bills, utility bills and car rentals for about $1,800. In all, he has about 20 creditors.
He listed few assets other than his home in his initial finding.
The chapter 13 filing indicates East wasnt trying to get a judge to discharge his debt, but rather, give him time to pay off a portion of his debts after negotiating with creditors.
Late last year, the federal court dismissed the bankruptcy case, removing any protection for East, after he fell short on his required payments.
But an attorney for East filed additional paperwork, asking for the courts protection again, which was granted in January.
The Debtor has funds sufficient to bring Trustee payments current, Easts attorney, Dorothy Mott, wrote in her filing.
Mott did not return calls for comment Monday.
The city treasurer is a part-time position that pays $20,000 a year. Campbell resigned in August after he was charged with theft in connection with $8,500 that went missing from a charity he oversaw. The Dauphin County District Attorney later filed an additional theft charge in connection with $2,750 that went missing from a political action committee for which he was treasurer.
Campbell reportedly told police he used the money for personal college and medical expenses, according to court records.