Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians


October 31, 2013

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane seeks accounting from August Wilson Center for African American Culture to restore center's financial stability 

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has filed a petition with the Allegheny County Orphans' Court to compel the August Wilson Center for African American Culture to account for the administration of its charitable assets from 2006 to the present.

The Office of Attorney General took the action after the August Wilson Center's principal creditor, Dollar Bank, filed a foreclosure action in the Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

In addition, the Office of Attorney General filed a motion to consolidate Dollar Bank's foreclosure action with the Attorney General's action in the Orphans' Court, which has jurisdiction over nonprofits and charitable assets. Attorney General Kane said all parties worked cooperatively with her office on the motion for consolidation, which was granted by Judge Lawrence O'Toole today.

The Attorney General's action is an effort to restore the center's financial stability in order to preserve the organization's unique charitable mission.

According to the petition, beginning in 2006, the August Wilson Center raised a substantial amount of funding through charitable donations totaling $35.9 million. In 2007, the center entered into a loan agreement with Dollar Bank to finance the center's construction and opened in 2009, but stopped making mortgage payments after January of this year while still owing the bank approximately $7 million.

"Determining August Wilson Center's current financial situation through an accounting is an important part of the process in identifying the extent of the center's problems and options," said Attorney General Kane. "The August Wilson Center is a cultural asset to the community and my office is committed to exploring all appropriate relief to preserve its charitable mission. I appreciate both the center and the Dollar Bank for working cooperatively with our office to achieve that end."

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