WILKES-BARRE — To get his point across at the city council meeting Thursday, James Gallagher quoted Scripture.
Bob Kadluboski used profanity.
Both speakers decried the administration’s failure after nearly four months to decide on whether to terminate the contract of LAG Towing as complaints mount against the company and its owner, Leo A. Glodzik III.
Gallagher, who regularly addresses council, said he tried to steer clear of LAG but was compelled to talk about it because he was sick of hearing and seeing about it in the news.
Glodzik acknowledged last week that he let city police officers use luxury cars and sold a pickup truck to an officer who still drives it with the specialty “towing repair” plate attached. Private criminal complaints were filed against Glodzik and officer John Majikes for allegedly violating the state’s vehicle code.
Saying he wanted to add to the invocation read at the start of every meeting, Gallagher choose Luke 12: 2-3 to lead into his commentary.
“There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered,” Gallagher read. “There is nothing hidden that will (not) be made known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light. And what you have whispered in private rooms will be proclaimed, proclaimed to the house tops.”
A few people in the audience responded with “Amen!”
More comes to light about LAG while nothing is being done about it, Gallagher said.
“The inactions of this administration speak volumes; volumes in the street, volumes from one end of the valley to the other,” he said. “Everyone’s wondering is the mayor, is the mayor in on it too?”
Replies of “Yes” came from the audience.
Kadluboski, a tower who has been outspoken about the administration’s dealing with LAG, recalled what he said was a conversation with former city official Bill Brace about Glodzik getting the exclusive contract with the city.
Brace assured him there would be no problems, Kadluboski said. But when the opposite happened, he went to Brace and was told that Mayor Tom Leighton’s response was, “F___’ em. This happens in politics.”
He was reprimanded for using profanity, especially in the presence of a high school student sitting in as a junior council member.
He turned to the student and said, “I apologize, this is the other side of politics.”
Kadluboski suggested council take a vote of no confidence in the administration regarding the LAG situation. “This is a mockery,” he said. “This city will be forever blemished.”
He continued to rail against the handling of the investigation, saying LAG somehow received the name of a person who agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
Leighton sought information about the person, but Kadluboski refused to publicly identify the man.
The mayor then questioned Kadluboski about his towing business. “What about the car you illegally towed off a private lot, a young lady last week. Did you give her money back?” Leighton asked.
“No private attacks,” shouted a member of the audience.
As Kadluboski walked toward the back of council chambers, Leighton said, “I know all your secrets, all your secrets, every one of your secrets, every one.”
Council Vice Chairman Tony George, who in January called for Leighton to begin the termination process of LAG, asked for an update from Leighton.
The mayor told him, “We’re thoroughly investigating this.”
But George pressed for action, attempting to get council to vote on his motion to suspend the contract temporarily while the investigation is underway. He made the request, saying the contract is up for automatic renewal on May 1.
“I’m just saying, if we don’t know we’re going to have him next year, why automatically renew it?,” George asked.
Council members questioned his reading of the contract and failed to support his motion.