Marcus Hook mayor under investigation over gun incident

Posted: March 16, 2013

The mayor of tiny Marcus Hook, who just last year was a guest at the President's State of the Union address, is under investigation for allegedly shooting a gun in his house and giving alcohol to a 20-year-old whom he threatened to hold hostage.

Potential charges against James D. Schiliro, 38, elected to a four-year term in 2009, include endangering another person and furnishing alcohol to a minor, according to court records. He has not yet been charged.

Calls to Schiliro and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan were not returned, and the lead investigator, Detective Robert T. Lythgoe, had no comment.

County detectives filed court documents to support a search warrant for Schiliro's home, in the 1000 block of Green Street, and it was served March 7, after the 20-year-old contacted police.

The court documents give the following account:

On Feb. 21 Schiliro sent a text message to the young man, who believed the mayor was intoxicated.

The 20-year-old, who has known Schiliro for about eight years and has considered him a father figure, believed Schiliro needed someone to talk to.

Schiliro had "assisted the victim with school" and with getting a job.

Around midnight, Schiliro ordered a borough police officer to pick up the 20-year-old, who was at a friend's home, in a police vehicle and bring him to Schiliro's home.

Once there, the young man was given what he believed was a total of three glasses of wine. Schiliro told him that his teenage daughter was asleep upstairs.

Schiliro produced three handguns and waved them about. At one point he placed a gun to his head and said "he didn't want to live anymore."

Schiliro then fired the gun into the floor. He also told the 20-year-old he was a hostage and ordered him about, according to court documents. The young man told investigators he feared for his life, according to the court records.

Items removed from the premises included a spent projectile, a section of wood with two holes, three 9mm bullets, a tablet, a computer, and two cellular phones.

Efforts to reach the 20-year-old were not successful.

A call to the police department was referred to Solicitor Mark Much. Calls to Much were not returned.

According to his Facebook page, Schiliro, a single parent, graduated from St. James High School in 1992 and attended Delaware County Community College. He is a volunteer firefighter and a trained emergency medical technician.

Schiliro, a Republican, ran in the 2012 election for Pennsylvania House District 159 and lost to longtime Democratic incumbent Thaddeus Kirkland.

Last year he was the guest of U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) at the State of the Union to represent those workers and communities affected by the Sunoco and ConocoPhillips refinery closures.


Contact Mari A. Schaefer at 610-313-8111, mschaefer@phillynews.com, or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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