HARRISBURG, Pa. — Stephen Reed, former Harrisburg Mayor, died Saturday at the age of 70 according to Reed’s family.
Reed tragically lost his battle to stage four prostate cancer.
“He had undergone extensive treatment for that and just a few weeks ago that the treatment was not working unsuccessful and had spread to other parts of his body,” said Randy King, former press secretary for Reed.
Reed served as the Mayor of Harrisburg for 28 years, and was known for revamping the downtown business district and creating City Island.
“He was one of the finest human beings and one of the greatest public servants that the misstate will ever see,” added King.
Back in 2017, he plead guilty to 20 counts of theft of stolen property, after being charged with using taxpayer money to buy hundreds of artifacts for a proposed wild west museum, that never came to fruition.
State agents raided his home in 2015.
Due to Reed’s declining health at the time, the judge in the case opted to waive his prison time.
“He was emotionally devastated by what happened and and it was simple mistakes it was nothing that Steve Reed tried to steal or do of that nature,” said King. “It’s unfortunate that his latter years were filled with controversy but those who know him understand that it was really a political hack job,” he added.
Following the news of Reed’s death, current Harrisburg Mayor, Eric Papenfuse, issued the following statement:
“Mayor Reed dedicated his life to the citizens of Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania. His transformative vision left an indelible mark on every major development project in our capital for over a generation. Harrisburg mourns his loss, and on behalf of our City, I extend my deepest condolences to his family. The flags at City Hall, Riverfront Park, and City Island will be lowered to half-staff in honor of his life of public service.”
Wanda Williams, Harrisburg City Council President, also releasing a statement:
“I am sorry to hear of the passing of a hardworking, compassionate and visionary man who’s objective was to move the City of Harrisburg into the 20th century. Although there may be those who may disagree, I personally would like to remember him as a dear friend and would like to extend my prayers to his family.”
Family members are coming in to Harrisburg from across the country on Monday as they begin to plan funeral arrangements.