Pennsylvania man sues state troopers, claiming harassment

PITTSBURGH Fri Sep 2, 2011 1:09pm EDT

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PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - A local man has filed a federal lawsuit against a dozen Pennsylvania state troopers, claiming they have harassed him because one of the officers was having an affair with his wife, his attorney said on Friday.

Richard Myers, of Armstrong County, said in court documents that Trooper Brian Shaffer began an extramarital relationship with his wife Jacqueline around January 2008 and that he learned of it and contacted Shaffer in November 2009.

Since then, the trooper has "used his position, power and influence as a Pennsylvania state Trooper to harass and otherwise deprive (Myers) of his constitutional rights," the documents said.

A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania State Police declined to comment. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

In one instance Myers, 53, claimed police arrested him for allegedly having a gun in his car and taking him to a hospital to be committed, saying he was a threat to himself and others. No gun was found, according to the lawsuit.

On another occasion, Myers said police failed to come to his house after he called to report his wife was damaging his personal property, including his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Myers also accused Shaffer of helping his wife obtain a Protection From Abuse order against him so she would be granted possession of their house and Shaffer could move in.

"Apparently you don't want to lose your wife to a state cop," said Joel Sansone, Myers' attorney. "He'll retaliate against you."

Myers seeks damages of $75,000 plus attorneys' fees and other costs.

(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)

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