Allegheny County seeks repayment of $150,000 from head of McKees Rocks studio |
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Aaron Aupperlee

Allegheny County has sued a movie studio company owner who failed to repay loans to finance a film and outfit a McKees Rocks studio.

Michael Dolan and his companies, Smithfield Street Productions and Island Studios, owe the county more than $150,000, according to two lawsuits filed last week.

Dolan, 36, of Naples, Fla., formerly of Fox Chapel, did not return calls seeking comment. County officials declined to comment on the litigation.

Dolan owed more than $540,000 in taxes, loans and outstanding payments to contractors, according to a review of court and tax records by the Tribune-Review last year. He told the Tribune-Review at the time that he would make sure all vendors, contractors and taxes were paid and that there were agreements in place to make payments on outstanding loans.

The county contends Dolan has not followed through on those agreements.

The county loaned Dolan $250,000 in 2007 for post-production costs associated with Smithfield Street Production’s first film “The Bridge to Nowhere,” a movie about four blue-collar workers in Pittsburgh who team up with a prostitute to start an escort service. State funds repaid the county $100,000. Dolan failed to repay the rest, documents show.

In 2008, the county extended Dolan a $110,000 small-business loan to purchase furniture and equipment for Island Studios in McKees Rocks. Dolan defaulted on the loan in 2010 and owed nearly $32,000.

The county and Dolan agreed to new repayment plans in April 2014. He repaid part of what he owed.

Dolan’s finances came under scrutiny last year as state and county elected officials broke ground on his proposed $10 million expansion to the McKees Rocks studio, funded, in part, by a $2.5 million state grant awarded by then-Gov. Tom Corbett. Corbett, campaigning for re-election at the time, attended the October groundbreaking ceremony.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a candidate at the time, criticized Corbett and put the $2.5 million grant on hold after taking office.

Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or [email protected].

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