Harrisburg treasurer surrenders on theft charge

City of Harrisburg Treasurer John Campbell has surrendered to authorities to face charges he stole funds from a nonprofit organization he once headed.

Campbell, 26, also announced his resignation as treasurer on Thursday.

He is is accused of taking funds from Historic Harrisburg Association when he was executive director.

“While the charges have nothing to do with the Office of Treasury, it is in the best interest of everyone involved, most especially the public, that I step down,” Campbell said in a statement.

“I respect and value that Mayor Eric Papenfuse has called for an independent audit of the Treasury’s business. I agree that is the action that should be taken, and I think it’s necessary to give the public absolute evidence that I did no wrong doing in my position as City Treasurer.”

“Undoubtedly, there will be more I have to say about the charges against me and my work as Executive Director of the Historic Harrisburg Association,” he said.

Campbell allegedly wrote himself 10 checks totaling more than $8,000 from the association’s Light Up Harrisburg fund between December and July.

District Attorney Ed Marsico said Campbell admitted to taking the money to pay for educational and medical expenses in an email to Historic Harrisburg last week.

Campbell stepped down as executive director of Historic Harrisburg in April but continued to work for the association without pay.

In a news release, Harrisburg spokeswoman Joyce Davis said Campbell’s resignation as treasurer is effective Sept. 2 at the request of city officials to ensure limited disruption in the city’s schedule of payments.

Campbell’s signature as treasurer will be on checks issued through Sept. 2.

Papenfuse has appointed former Harrisburg treasurer Paul Wambach to serve as interim treasurer.

City Council will begin advertising for a new treasurer and application forms will be posted on the city’s website at www.harrisburgpa.gov.

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