The City of Warren is planning to sue somebody, or some organization, or some group of people.
And, while as of today we don't know who, the list of likely defendants isn't particularly long.
When five members of City Council voted Monday to retain special counsel to initiate litigation with regard to the failed Allegheny Center for the Arts building project and the depleted $500,000 state anchor grant that disappeared down that rabbit hole, it gave some strong clues as to what was in the state's fiscal monitoring report that is still a closely guarded secret.
The state Department of Economic and Community Development, which provided the money, expected as per its grant agreement with the city that the money would be used to establish the ACA and would be paid back to the city from rents paid by tenants in the building. The city would then use the repaid grant to establishing a revolving loan fund for other economic development projects.
It seemed like a reasonable plan at the time.
As anyone who has followed the issue knows, things didn't work out. Like the building it was supposed to improve, the project became a shambles.
Council's move on Monday could be construed as the city's "answer" to the DCED's report, which was written in response to a number of "ambiguities" related to the project.
One might even surmise that the state agency has called upon the city to recoup the funds in some manner and either finish what was originally planned or give the money back to the state.
We will have to wait until the litigation is filed to learn who or what is being sued, on what grounds the case is based, and what restitution or damages are being sought. We also hope that the business actually ends up in a courtroom rather than a negotiated settlement. Only the former will fully enlighten the public - whose funds were flushed in this debacle -as to what really happened.