Mayor Leighton Responds To Thirteenth Homicide in Wilkes-Barre

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WILKES-BARRE – Following an arrest in the thirteenth homicide case so far this year in the city, Mayor Tom Leighton told Newswatch 16 that the owner and managers of an embattled apartment complex are not cooperating with city administrators.

"I'm the mayor of the city. When things go wrong, I get the blame. I`ve been shouldering the blame for ten years now. But I will tell you, the city is much better than it was ten years ago, outside of the violent crime,” said Leighton.

City administrators said the owners of Sherman Hills apartments are appealing a $30,000 fine levied by the city earlier this year, for failing to have apartments inspected or have tenants properly registered.

"They’re cooperative when we're in the meetings, but unfortunately, I’m very upset. I'm disappointed and I’m angry that they have not been more forceful in watching who is coming in to visit their tenants, who are staying there overnight and who is parking their cars there.”

Leighton said that the city plans on hiring ten new police officers next year to help combat crime in the city.


  • Lisa Burns Griffiths

    In 2007 or 2008 while I was working for Christopher St. Realty, I put an ad in the paper for a rental. Within 2 days, I had 57 phone calls about this unit, only one was local. I had rented several others we had open to girls from NY who had section 8 and did not give it a thought. When I saw the huge response to this ad, I started asking these callers “Why does everyone want to move here?”
    And here was my answer:
    Every one of those girls who called me were calling from NY. They were living in either a Domestic Violence shelter, or a Homeless Shelter. They were cleaning out the shelters and providing them with bus fair to get here and they received immediate section 8 vouchers. I am not sure who they got them from, Fed, state, local, whatever. But, they had them, everyone I talked to had one. I know because I rented to some and referred others out. Here is what else these girls got: (according to them)
    CEO was allowing them to buy new furniture. One girl who rode around with a box of frozen chicken on her lap eating it bragged how she had gotten $3000 to buy new furniture from Raymore and Flannigan. Now personally, I did not have my first piece of brand new furniture until I was 36, and I paid for it for 2 years until I owned it. Their children had gotten new coats and clothes and all of the girls who had children were given immediate child care subsidizing because it was in the best interest of the children and to give the mothers a break. They did not work. The Frozen chicken lady (Who came from a domestic shelter and brought her BOYFRIEND, got a job and lasted 2 days.)
    Now, I am no expert, but I was under the impression that there was a long waiting list for section 8, child care and such. How and why were they pushed to the front of the lines? Almost every one of them had a man living with them, no one worked. Imagine this going on for the last 6 years or so…continually.
    On to today and Sherman Hills…two weeks ago I saw a young girl struggling with grocery bags trying to hold on to the hand of her little boy and I offered them a ride. She had just gotten in from NY on Friday and was living at Sherman Hills in the high rise. No job, no income, no car, only welfare. The owners are who paid her passage here. THIS is what happened to this area. I am not assuming…I was THERE.

  • Bernie

    Why doesn’t Newswatch 16 do a story on how the Ford Motor Company wanted to build a manufacturing plant on that land and how it was blocked to the city politicians at the time and instead we got this gem in the Diamond City.

Comments are closed.