Council asks accused Marcus Hook mayor to quit

Posted: March 20, 2013

Marcus Hook Council members have asked their mayor to quit after he allegedly ordered a police car to transport a friend to his home, then shot off a gun in his house while drunk.

James D. Schiliro, elected to a four-year term as mayor of the tiny Delaware County borough in 2009, gave alcohol to the 20-year-old friend and threatened to hold him hostage during the incident last month, according to court records.

While Schiliro, 38, has not been charged, the potential charges include endangering another person and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Councilman Michael Manerchia said Schiliro came to the all-Republican council shortly after the incident to say he was getting help for his drinking and had turned in the guns.

"I personally asked him to resign," said Manerchia.

Calls to Schiliro; his attorney, Michael Malloy, and Mark Much, the borough solicitor, were not returned. Efforts to reach Borough President Gene Taylor were unsuccessful.

On March 7, a search warrant was served on Schiliro's home, in the 1000 block of Green Street, after the 20-year-old friend contacted police.

According to court records, on the night of Feb. 21 Schiliro sent a text message to the friend and later ordered a borough police officer to pick him up and bring him to Schiliro's home in a police vehicle. While there, the young man said, he was given three glasses of wine.

Schiliro had three handguns, which he waved about. At one point he placed a gun to his head and said "he didn't want to live anymore," according to the court documents.

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

Manerchia said he was disturbed that Schiliro called upoon the police department for a personal matter. State rules governing boroughs prevent the council from taking any action against Schiliro, Manerchia said. Under state law, the mayor is responsible for "the direction and supervision of the Police Department."

Schiliro "is a good guy," said Manerchia. "He has done a lot, he has spent a lot of time with the town."

Schiliro 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 staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-313-8111, or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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