Acting Mayor Bill Courtright has changed his position on seeking public funds to help Al Boscov buy and refurbish the dying Mall at Steamtown. In a letter attached to the retailer’s application, Mr. Courtright pledged the city’s “unanimous support” for about $25 million in state and city loans.
He assured that Scranton City Council was behind the project, too. He even guaranteed that council would pass legislation backing the loans. When the Times-Tribune obtained the letter through a right-to-know request, council members were surprised to learn of their support for a deal they were told nothing about.
Now the acting mayor has issued a second letter to “clarify” his position. He now wants Mr. Boscov to repay $18 million in past loans and end the mall parking program before he will consider signing off on more money.
As for his misrepresentation of council’s position, Mr. Courtright says he is sorry if what he said in the first letter gave the impression that he actually said what he said.
“At no point did I make any type of commitment or speak on behalf of Scranton City Council,” Mr. Courtright now claims. “I apologize if that is or was your interpretation.”
In other words, don’t believe your lying eyes or this newspaper.
Trust the guy who lied about having council support for distributing millions of taxpayer dollars to a private business and now blames his critics when they see right through it.