(Adds attorney comment)
May 30 (Reuters) - The mayor of Pennsylvania’s debt-laden capital city said on Wednesday she will fight for the city’s ability to declare bankruptcy after June 30.
A state law that bars small Pennsylvania cities from filing for municipal bankruptcy is to expire at the end of June.
That law led a bankruptcy judge in November to reject a filing by Harrisburg, the capital city.
Municipal officials are following a state receiver’s fiscal recovery plan in an effort to deal with at least $320 million of debt stemming from repairs to its trash incinerator. But Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson said she will oppose any attempt to extend or reintroduce the bankruptcy ban.
“We should reserve the right to petition for bankruptcy protection,” Thompson said in a statement.
While she continues to favor the recovery plan, bankruptcy “has to be there, in my view, as an unwelcome last resort,” she said.
But Thompson didn’t back the first bankruptcy filing, prompting some to take her to task for her statement on Wednesday.
“She’s a little late in coming to this epiphany,” said Mark Schwartz, who filed the bankruptcy on behalf of the city council and has been at odds with Thompson. (Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Dan Grebler and James Dalgleish)