Marcus Hook Mayor arrested, seeking re-election

ASSOCIATED PRESS Marcus Hook Mayor James Schiliro said Thursday that he intends to fight the charges filed against him.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Marcus Hook Mayor James Schiliro said Thursday that he intends to fight the charges filed against him.
Posted: March 22, 2013

MARCUS HOOK Mayor James "Jay" Schiliro had a bad day.

Then it got worse.

As the clock approached midnight on Feb. 21, a drunken Schiliro embarked on an ill-advised mission to redefine the term "public servant" in his blue-collar refinery town, according to a police report.

Schiliro, 38, allegedly turned the Marcus Hook Police Department into a private escort agency, ordering a cop on the late-night shift to bring a 20-year-old man to his house in a marked police vehicle.

He gave the man wine, then allegedly offered 20 to 30 times to perform oral sex on him, according to the report.

When the man repeatedly refused, Schiliro, who as mayor controls the police department, started to pull out handguns, informed the man that he was "going to be a hostage," fired a 9 mm bullet into the wall and said that he'd ordered police to stay away from the house, the report states.

"The mayor, I believe, has indicated to the press that he has some issues," said Delaware County District Attorney John Whelan.

Schiliro was charged Thursday with unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, official oppression and furnishing alcohol to a minor. Whelan described the ordeal as three hours of "intimidation, oppression and coercion."

"He [the victim] was intimidated, and he was in fear, as he portrayed to us, when that gun was fired," Whelan said. "Even before the gun was fired, just the fact that he [Schiliro] was brandishing the weapon recklessly, waving it in front of him and ultimately discharging that weapon."

Schiliro has known the victim, who has no contact with his biological father, for the past eight years and had helped him with work and school, the police report states. Whelan said there is no evidence of prior sexual solicitation or improper contact.

"The young man describes the mayor as a father figure to him, which is particularly disturbing considering the course of conduct over this particular evening," Whelan said.

Schiliro - a burly ex-boilermaker who arrived at district court Thursday morning with a bottle of orange juice in his hand and a fat cigar in his mouth - said that he intends to fight the charges. His attorney, Michael Malloy, said Schiliro sold his guns and began treatment for alcoholism immediately after the booze-fueled escapade. He has a 13-year-old daughter, who was home during the incident.

Malloy said Schiliro admits to some of what occurred, but insists that he never asked the man if he could perform sex acts on him.

"All kinds of stuff came in, and we don't agree with that at all," Malloy said of the criminal complaint. He described the night as a "wake-up call" for his client.

Schiliro, a Republican, was elected mayor in 2009 and challenged state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland for his seat last year in a contentious, but lopsided, 159th District race. Schiliro raised questions about money that Kirkland had helped steer to organizations close to his family. Kirkland responded by holding a news conference at his Baptist church and, from the altar, calling Schiliro a "demonic opponent."

Schiliro offered to debate Kirkland while they're both hooked up to polygraph machines. Kirkland declined and won the race, 80 percent to 20 percent. The state Ethics Commission is investigating Kirkland.

Despite his legal troubles, Schiliro is not only refusing to relinquish his position, but also seeking re-election in the May mayoral primary against Council President Gene Taylor.

"His intent," Whelan said, "is to run again."

On Twitter: @wbender99




comments powered by Disqus