LTE: Shaw Owes a Defense to the Public

Dear Editor,

Last week, several news agencies reported that the civil lawsuit filed against Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. by two Clearfield Borough police officers had been put on hold, pending a ruling on the motion to dismiss filed by Mr. Shaw’s defense attorney.

The central argument of Mr. Shaw’s defense attorney was that the case should be dismissed because of the process of gathering evidence for the trial would be a burden and a distraction to the district attorney as he attempts to carry out the duties of his office. The article also cites that Shaw may be protected by absolute prosecutorial immunity, in which case he may never have to answer for bringing unfounded charges against the two borough policemen.

Nowhere in the article did it mention that Mr. Shaw’s defense attorney argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because Shaw is innocent of what he is accused of, which is filing unsubstantiated charges for political revenge. Some of your readers may recall the same individual that is the subject of the police officers’ lawsuit, William A. Shaw Jr., also filed charges against a Congressional candidate five days before the primary, only to have the alleged victim say the allegations were false (for those stories click here, here and here).

While I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding these incidents, as the highest paid government official in the county with a salary of $157,440, Mr. Shaw owes the public a defense of his actions. Otherwise, absolute prosecutorial immunity may have dire consequences for our country’s future.

Denise Coons

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