PRESTON POLICE CHIEF LETS FAME GO TO HIS HEAD
When, in February 2004, Preston, Idaho Police Captain Scott Shaw was fired for undisclosed reasons, he was not a cheerful chief. He sued the Preston city council for $300,000, claiming that his due process rights were violated when he was not given a reason for his dismissal. He sued Preston's mayor for another $250,000, claiming that his constitutional rights had been violated. Ten months later, Shaw probably wishes he had kept his mouth shut.
Following an extensive six-month investigation, Shaw was charged on December 6 with three counts of perjury, three counts of falsification of public records by an officer and one count of misuse of public funds by a federal grand jury. All seven charges arose from what appears to be a single massively mishandled case from February 2003, 10 years after Shaw made national headlines by apprehending notorious serial rapist and murder James Wood. Some of the lowlights of the docket include:
• Forging statements by fictional criminal informants in order to obtain a search warrant.
• Unlawfully obtaining business records from a Preston area bar, and then lying under oath about how he had obtained them.
• Accepting a city check for $882 intended to pay for training at an FBI Command College, depositing the check in someone else's bank account, and subsequently not attending the training course.
• Falsely testifying that he had kept the $882 in his desk and not spent it elsewhere.
Shaw had already been accused earlier this year of coercing a drug suspect into a sexual relationship in exchange for not arresting her, driving a Harley Davidson that had been seized in a drug bust and using tax payer funds to put mag wheels on his car. Not surprisingly, Idaho's attorney general Lawrence Wasden is eager to get the ball rolling against the once-famous cop.
"I owe it to the citizens of Idaho to seek justice in this matter," Wasden said through a press release. "This prosecution is essential to uphold the otherwise excellent work of police officers throughout the state of Idaho."
In the meantime, Shaw's co-authored book Eye of the Beast: The True Story of Serial Killer James Wood remains in print nationwide.
NEAGLE TEAMS UP WITH A PRO
Steroid use may be the most publicized of Major League Baseball's offenses, but it is far from the creepiest. In the last two weeks, two of the game's most gregarious personalities--Los Angeles Dodger pitcher and Latin singing sensation Jose Lima and Colorado Rockies pitcher Denny Neagle--both felt backlash from their own individual commitments to that certain type of fan-friendliness that occurs between a male player and a very special groupie.
Lima was the first to feel the pinch, after losing a civil case put against him by a woman who contracted genital herpes from the recent MLB playoff hero. Lima claimed ignorance of the disease, but was nonetheless hit for $475,000 for assault, and another $475,000 for negligence.
Lima's costly affair doesn't compare to that of Neagle, however, who was pulled over by Denver police officers on Friday, December 3 when his SUV was seen speeding through a suburb. The officer immediately noticed three oddities in said SUV: First, Neagle's pants were undone. Second, his eyes were watery and bloodshot, and he reeked of alcohol. And third, a woman was in the car next to Neagle and his undone pants. Neagle explained the first phenomena succinctly: he was "just getting comfortable." As for the second and third, the woman gave the explanation. Neagle had picked her up (what they call in baseball "recruiting"), paid her $40 (a "signing bonus") and she had performed oral sex on him (the "inside the park home run").
Police ticketed Neagle and his passenger, took the $40 as evidence, and allowed both parties to leave without further incident. Which was good for Neagle; he was, after all, due to cheer up ailing children in a Denver hospital mere hours after the incident, and was luckily able to meet his engagement. Neagle's $19 million contract, however, was terminated by the Rockies the following Monday, under a "good citizenship and good sportsmanship" clause in his contract.
Tell BW your true crime stories. Call Nicholas Collias at 344-2055 or e-mail Nicholas@boiseweekly.com.