Timeline of Red Gold controversy
Timeline of Red Gold controversy
The legal battle between Red Gold Enterprises Inc. and company owner Eugene Picarella and the Shamokin Housing Authority over the Center City Apartments complex has been ongoing for more than three years. Thursday's decision of the state Supreme Court to not hear Red Gold's appeal, however, may mark the beginning of the end.
Following is a timeline of events:
Jan. 12, 2009 - Rehabilitation of the building is one of the projects earmarked for a $2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Grant for the City of Shamokin.
The authority helped the city acquire the grant.
Jan. 19, 2009 - The city votes against trying to get the grant. The decision is later affirmed at a Feb. 2 special meeting.
Feb. 5, 2009 - Ten residents of Center City Apartments who receive federal housing subsidies are informed in a letter from the authority that their subsidies are in jeopardy by continuing to reside at Center City, since the authority has no contract with building owner Red Gold.
April 29, 2009 - Center City tenants are given a 30-day notice to move in order to keep their housing subsidies.
June 1, 2009 - The authority announces it has acquired Red Gold's mortgage for Center City Apartments from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). It reports the company has not made a mortgage payment in 11 years and owes $1.1 million in principal, interest and fees. The authority also claims Red Gold has not paid property taxes since 2004 and owes approximately $74,000 in taxes.
July 8, 2009 - Two Center City Apartment residents are given 10-day eviction notices from Red Gold. The residents said they were being evicted for spying "for the housing authority," but Picarella said they were being put out due to the authority not paying their subsidies. The authority files an eviction notice on a single apartment in the complex, the one believed to be used by Picarella when he is in Shamokin.
July 23, 2009 - One month before Center City was scheduled to be sold at Northumberland County's first judicial sale in eight years, Red Gold pays $72,068.37 in back property taxes, taking the building off the sale list.
July 28, 2009 - Red Gold files a lawsuit against the authority to dismiss the authority's case, saying a foreclosure action brought by PHFA was dismissed with prejudice in 2004 and no other action can be taken on the mortgage, which Red Gold calls "invalid." The suit also charges the authority has withheld more than $32,000 in rental subsidies, an amount that would increase by $12,000 every month.
Aug. 31, 2009 - Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III puts a stop on any evictions at Center City, saying if residents are paying their rent either to Red Gold or the authority, they can stay. The authority is ordered to keep tenants' rent money in escrow until the matter is settled.
Jan. 29, 2010 - Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor rules the mortgages on the building are valid, while the amount owed on them has increased to $1.5 million.
February 2010 - Red Gold appeals Judge Saylor's ruling on the mortgage with the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
May 4, 2010 - Red Gold wins its first battle in court when Saylor denies a request by the authority to appoint a receivership to manage Center City Apartments while the dispute continues.
May 19, 2010 - Saylor rules that the costs of operating Center City will be split, with Red Gold paying 76 percent and the authority paying 24 percent.
Oct. 8, 2010 - The Shamokin Housing Authority, as mortgage holder, executes a writ for a sheriff's sale on Center City Apartments. The sale is postponed after it's reported that Red Gold representatives evaded service of the writ by Northumberland County deputy sheriffs.
Oct. 26, 2010 - The Pennsylvania Superior Court hears arguments on Red Gold's appeal of Saylor's mortgage decision.
Dec. 30, 2010 - Saylor grants a Red Gold petition to stay the sheriff's sale of Center City Apartments until the state Superior Court makes its ruling.
May 27, 2011 - The Superior Court affirms Saylor's rulings that the mortgages are valid. (The court also rules against Red Gold on Aug. 24 on the confessed judgment Saylor issued based on court statements made by Picarella that payments were not made on the mortgage.)
July 6, 2011 - Saylor continues the stay on sheriff's sale proceedings for Center City Apartments while the two sides await a decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as to whether it will hear arguments in the case.
Feb. 23, 2012 - The Supreme Court denies Red Gold's appeal on Saylor's and the superior court's rulings. Authority director Ronald Miller says the authority will begin proceedings to secure Center City Apartments.