Former West Hazleton police chief appointed as borough’s official public safety director

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WEST HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) — Former West Hazleton police chief Brian Buglio is now the borough’s official public safety director. Despite his guilty plea last week in federal court, the council voted unanimously Friday to approve his appointment.

“I’m sure there’s some people that don’t like him but everybody that we have spoken to all over town, all over everywhere give him support 100 percent because they know the kind of man that he is,” said West Hazleton Mayor John Chura.

Last week, former police chief Brian Buglio admitted in open court to violating the civil rights of a resident.

The I-Team spoke with Paul Delorenzo in May about the case. He says he is the person Buglio threatened.

“I think he should lose his job in law enforcement and never have any job in law enforcement,” Delorenzo told us.

Three days after Buglio’s appearance in federal court the West Hazleton borough council voted to allow Buglio to keep his other position. He’s now ‘officially’ the borough’s public safety director. However, West Hazleton mayor John Chura says the borough does have to think long term if Buglio is sentenced to prison.

“Obviously if he would have to go away that position would be empty and we would probably look for somebody else to fill that position,” Chura said.

Buglio could face up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

“I guess we all make mistakes and he probably made a mistake and he was fortunate maybe in a way he was able to not fall down too hard from this and obviously the borough supports him and I think that’s great,” said Lex Sloot of Sugarloaf Township.

Hazleton resident Jean Sampson agrees there’s nothing wrong with him taking the public safety director position.

“No, that doesn’t bother me besides, I really don’t know the man so I can’t say too much about him personally,” she said.

Mayor Chura commented briefly on the next police chief of West Hazleton.

“As of now we just have an officer-in-charge, and we aren’t looking for a police chief,” Chura told us.

And the question many asked the I-Team… Will Buglio be in charge of the police department?

“No.. the officer-in-charge will be,” Chura added.

Buglio will be sentenced later this year. We’ve reached out to Buglio for comment on the position but not heard back at this time.

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