Mayor of Marcus Hook, Pa. arrested for reckless endangerment

March 21, 2013 3:44:40 PM PDT
City hall in Marcus Hook has been rocked by the arrest of the town's mayor.

It's a bizarre case involving allegations of guns and sex. He's now under pressure to resign, but the mayor says he's staying.

38-year-old James Schiliro was arraigned on multiple criminal charges Thursday morning at district court in Linwood, Pa.

"I plan on fighting these charges. That's about all I've got to say," he told Action News as he left.

Investigators say four weeks ago he ordered a uniformed officer to pick up a young man in a patrol car and bring him back to his house.

I spoke with the 20-year-old at his mother's house. He says Schiliro plied him with wine and then started demanding oral sex.

The young man says at one point Schiliro got three guns and fired a shot into the wall. He says he felt like a hostage.

His mother says he was terrified when he finally came home about four hours later.

"He woke me up from a dead sleep, scared, very scared. It took us a few hours to even process everything that he was telling me," she said.

The alleged victim says he's known Schiliro for about eight years, and that the older man was a father figure who helped him out.

He says Schiliro had never before solicited him for sex.

"It's put a pretty good scare on the family," said the man's mother, "because of how close we were with this man and how much we trusted this man."

Schiliro's neighbors have mixed feelings.

"There's people who look up to him," said Karen Thomas. "He's supposed to be here for everybody. And for something disgusting like that to happen, it's a shame. It really is."

"He has done wonders for this place," said Margie Foerster. "I am so proud to live in Marcus Hook, and I am proud of him as the mayor."

The mayor now faces multiple charges, including unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment.

"This conduct is criminal and certainly unacceptable for anyone, especially an elected official," said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

Schiliro has already filed to run for re-election. In the meantime, he will remain free on $50,000 unsecured bail. And he says he is in rehab for a drinking problem.