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Wilson Center subject of closed-door hearing with judge

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By Bill Zlatos
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 2:06 p.m.

The court-appointed receiver for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on Wednesday met in closed chambers with Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O'Toole and attorneys for the center's largest creditor, prospective buyer and others.

No one would say what was discussed, but the receiver, Judith K. Fitzgerald, said she and the various parties, would make something public in court documents in the next two days.

Earlier this week she asked the court to approve a sales agreement with 980 Liberty Partners of New York, which offered $9.5 million to buy the debt-ridden Downtown facility. The company would like to move forward with an engineering study on the feasibility of building a luxury hotel atop the structure.

Janera Solomon, a member of the August Wilson Center Recovery Committee, criticized the secrecy in the court-supervised sale of the center named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright from the Hill District.

“The lack of transparency around this center is so troubling,” she said.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or

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