Niles mayor hospitalized

By Jordan Cohen


Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia, who earlier this week complained of ill effects after mold was discovered in his office, has been admitted to St. Joseph Warren Hospital.

“I can tell you that he has gone in for tests,” said Diane Kerr, Scarnecchia’s executive secretary. Kerr said she had no other information including when he might be released.

City hall was closed earlier this week after mold, believed to have been caused by the leaking roof, was discovered in Scarnecchia’s office, the income-tax office and the basement. Two other employees were sent home after complaining of dizziness.

The building reopened Thursday, but all three offices remained sealed off Friday, while mold scrubbing continued throughout the building. The tax office has been moved to the city’s Wellness Center.

Robert Marino, council president, becomes acting mayor during Scarnecchia’s absence.

“We’ll do what is needed to address the deplorable condition of city hall,” Marino said. The council president said he has spoken to the mayor by phone, but declined to provide any details about their conversation.

At Wednesday’s council meeting, Safety Services Director James DePasquale displayed a 2011 construction company report strongly recommending roof replacement. The administration at that time decided to patch the roof instead.

Council has special meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday to act on a number of items, including hiring an architect and a construction firm to replace the roof, repair structural damage to parts of the building and to complete the mold removal.

“My expectation is that the city will take care of its business as usual and perform its functions,” Marino said.