State troopers cleared in federal lawsuit
By Brigid Beatty
Published: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
All of the Armstrong County-based state police troopers named in a federal lawsuit that alleged they violated a Templeton man's civil rights have been cleared of any wrongdoing by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
Richard “Dicky” Myers Jr., 53, filed the federal lawsuit on Aug. 30, 2011, against trooper Brian Shaffer and initially named 11 other troopers in the suit.
Myers accused the troopers of participating in the use of excessive force against him, charging him with false charges and crimes, charging his son Travis with false charges and crimes and harassing him and his son.
The other troopers named in the lawsuit were Anthony Aulicino, James DePaolo, Daniel Herr, Bradley Smail, Brian Wolfe, Thomas Dubovi, Randall Kruse, Steve McKizzop, David Naberezny, Thomas Snyder and Samuel Vicari.
According to the lawsuit, Shaffer began having an affair with Myers' wife, Jacqueline Myers, around January 2008.
When Myers became aware of the affair he contacted Shaffer in November 2009.
Since then, the lawsuit alleged that “Shafer has used his position, power and influence as a Pennsylvania state trooper to harass and otherwise deprive plaintiff (Myers) of his constitutional rights. Defendant Shaffer has enlisted the assistance and conspired with the other named defendants in order to carry out this harassment.”
On May 2, 2012, McVerry granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the case but Myers filed an amended complaint.
In the amended complaint, Myers dropped five defendants who had been named in the original complaint: Naberezny, Snyder, McKizzop, Kruse and Dubovi.
The court found that the amended complaint indicated that the first alleged incident of harassment occurred on Nov. 29, 2008, instead of November 2009.
According to an order of the court dated Aug. 21, 2012, the plaintiff (Myers) alleged that the defendants, “acting under the color of state law in their capacity as PSP, individually and in conspiracy with one another, violated his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment.”
The defendants argued that the amended complaint should be dismissed because “the allegations of conduct that occurred within the statute of limitations do not constitute valid Fourth Amendment claims and any alleged constitutional violation that occured prior to August 31, 2009 is barred by the statute of limitations.”
McVerry stated in his conclusion that the court found the conduct of the state police troopers did not violate any Fourth Amendment right.
Jonathan M. Gesk, one of the attorneys representing Myers, said in an e-mail response to a request for comment on Wednesday that his client is not appealing the judge's decision.
“Primarily the case has been dismissed because the two-year statute of limitations had expired on the primary claims of Mr. Myers,” said Gesk.
“From the outset we had argued the ‘Continuing Violations Doctrine,' which means that although wrongful acts may have occurred outside the two-year statute of limitations, we should be entitled to still pursue them as they are part of a continuing pattern that has continued within the last two years ( the limitations period).”
According to Gesk, Myers came to him more than two years after many of the allegedly wrongful acts had occurred “but was still being harassed at the time he came in.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- A DEDICATED CITIZEN
- Work on additional turning lane starting at Edgewood Intersection in Kittanning
- Effort to open Allegheny River locks moving forward slowly
- Armstrong nonprofits gearing up for Day of Giving
- Memorial a PennDOT reminder to drive safely in work zones
- Kittanning man part of wrestling show benefitting Ford City Summerfest
- Study to target pool use at Belmont Complex