The above picture is Mr. James Paisley, as published in the Hazleton, Standard Speaker Newspaper on 09-24-1984. Then he was the Mayor of Hazleton . (Before that, Police Chief.) I have a few other photos available, selection is being determined.
In 1978, Mr. Paisley became mayor. He inherited the problem in regards what was going on against my business. Shortly after becoming mayor, (then recently dubbed Mob City by the Philadelphia Inquirer), he sent an emissary, so to speak, presenting an offer. The messenger? Police Officer Thomas D. Marnell. [Photo Available] (Decorated Vietnam War Veteran and years later entered politics via Hazleton School District.)
The deal? Marnell, as Paisley's messenger, in [I believe] early 1978, told me that "[I] could move [my] business anywhere in the city and [I'd] be left alone". (I'm still going through my archives/records, searching volumes of files for correct dates.) Marnell's involvement and account of that day will be told in a different section, Click Here. (Coming Soon.)
As for Mr. Paisley, his demeanor? As mayor? For an overall conception, I called him, as a politician, "The Uncle Billy Type". In some respects, to his character, would of fit in with the cast of Mayberry.
One moment in time brings this section to the surface. This in regards to the late Mike Hnatuick, who, then for several years, was operating a body shop at the corner of 2nd & Alter Sts., Hazleton. (An established, commercial business location.) Two police officers in question, I vividly remember, Scallion and Marnell, played a part in what happened. Mike was found dead in his garage. Ruled as suicide. His life, for over two years, was devastated by the constant extortion of city police, with hands out wanting the fruits of the right of passage, the perk system. (Story posted separately.)
Where was Mr. Paisley all this time? Hazleton, aka Mob City, as for local politics, we had the unique version of the status quo. He was a man that did not rock the ugly boat. (Example, while police chief, for years the local magistrate, Scarcella, was doing a lot of shady things. Fixing a parking tickets was the rule. Back then most people didn't pay fines. Money collected with no records. Articles appeared in the local paper wondering where the money went. That is a story in itself.)
Getting back to Mr. Paisley, he went to Mike Hnatuick's wake. Walked up to the casket to pay his respects and attempted to consol the family. I should know, I was there.
Opinion: That's the way things were done in Mob City. Sit back, turn a blind eye to extorting one business after another, devastate a few merchants along the way. If the unfortunate happens, like to Mike Hnatuick, time to get out your debonair suit, cleaned and pressed at no charge, play politician, shake a few hands at the viewing and if you can afford pocket change, send flowers to the family. All better now.
Note: As I go through my records, I'll be adding more information.
This is another picture of Mr. Paisley, same paper, a few months earlier than the one above, in his office, published on 05-05-1984. He was getting his blood pressure taken by my ex-wife during "NATIONAL NURSES WEEK".