Wednesday’s guilty plea to public corruption charges raises questions about the future of a number of buildings and streets named after former State Senator Bob Mellow.
In Jessup, several businesses are located along Senator Bob Mellow Drive.
And in Scranton two universities have landmark facilities named after the retired politician and admitted felon, but for how long?
Musicians call the theater in downtown Scranton on the Campus of Lackawanna College, acoustically perfect, but now that the man it’s named after has pleaded guilty to public corruption charges, some students are calling for a change in tune, claiming it’s time for the Mellow name at the college’s signature auditorium to come down.
“They should change the name,” said student Mark Glowinski. “I think the students think about it as a negative thing. ”
Two miles away at Marywood University, Robert Mellow’s name hangs on the side of the school’s Athletics and Wellness Center.
“I definitely think they should make a name change,” said student Oliver DeRocco. “He used his office for personal gain and he cheated the whole system.”
“If he’s pleading guilty, then he still broke the law and Marywood should not be associated with something like that,” added student Eric Lipuma.
“If somebody robs a bank, do you put his name on a bank?” asked political activist Eric Epstein of rockthecapital.org. He added Mellow’s guilty plea should be the starting point to trigger change. “He needs to do time, he needs to lose his pension and he needs to have his name ripped from these buildings so he can’t come back as some kind of conquering hero.”
Universities may have reasons to consider keeping Mellow’s name on the facilities, despite his admitted crimes.
“He did a lot of good, he gave a lot of money, and I think it’s a good idea,” said Lackawanna College student Michelle Adams.
You will also find tributes to the former state senator away from Lackawanna County.
In the hallway leading to the State Senate offices in the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Bob Mellow’s portrait still hangs near the scene of some of his admitted crimes.
Newswatch 16 asked the chairpersons of Lackawanna College and Marywood University’s Board of Trustees for comment on whether to keep or remove Bob Mellow’s name from these buildings.
Newswatch 16 also wanted to know if Jessup Borough will consider plans to change the name of Senator Bob Mellow Drive.
Our calls were not returned.