AG intervenes in August Wilson Center debt case


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) (AP)ong> - 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 since 2006. Orphans' courts have jurisdiction over nonprofits and charitable assets.

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

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

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.