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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, March 31, 2016

PFA Details of Terminated Corrections Officer

Last week, I told you that Northampton County has asked a judge to reverse an arbitrator's decision to reinstate a corrections officer who engaged in domestic violence. In addition to two PFAs that his wife ultimately dropped, I pointed to criminal charges that had been filed against him in 2004 and 2006. Agent 99, who was pulled his PFA file in Lehigh County, also stumbled upon criminal charges filed against Hoffert in 2001. Those charges have been expunged, but Agent 99 found a civil file for the court costs.

Agent 99 pulled Hoffert's PFA in response to several anonymous comments that attempted to minimize what had happened. I've decided against publishing the file in its entirety because it would reveal the home addresses and personal cellphone numbers of both Hoffert and his wife. But I am reproducing the claims his wife made in her 2014 petition, right after the assault.
I was sent to the hospital after several open hand hits by Shawn Hoffert on my face. He continued. He slapped my face back and forth from one side to another. He punched me in the eye, causing several stitches, swelling, neck pain, etc. With his two hands he put them around my neck and was choking me. He was banging my head on the floor. he did this 2-3 times. I was gasping for air. While he was doing this, he either said "I'll kill you" or "I can kill you."

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

PFAs are usually granted even if the is no evidence and just one partys word. So no one should be fired based on a judge granting one.

Anonymous said...

Time to get a job

Anonymous said...

Sad thing is that the Union seems to think this is ok??

Anonymous said...

I have known Shawn since he was a kid and never saw or heard of him being violent toward either sex. I have seen and do understand that some relationships are unhealthy in various ways and can and do lead to startling and hideous acts being committed .It is wrong and should not be condoned or tolerated and punishmnet by the law is just and warranted.Beyond that,I do not believe that Shawn is a danger to the prison population although he and his wife have clearly shown that they are dangerous to each other Separating the two combatants or mandatating that they receive continuous therapy might help to mitigate this sad personal situation with no apparent easy resolution but removing Shawn from his job is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

So they fire a female officer because she tried drugs and was a dancer, they fire a black officer because he supposedly brought in a cell phone and drugs into the jail. They want to keep the white male officer who beat the crap out of his wife and has a history of it. No our prison staff isn't racist at all!

Anonymous said...

The union knows exactly what Shawn Hoffert is all about. A few years ago, during a union meeting at Hecktown Fire Company Social Club, on a third Wednesday of the month, Shawn attended a union meeting and after having a few drinks too many, caused a huge hole in the wall of the room where the meeting took place. Shawn demonstrated his anger that night and after seeing the damage to the wall, I can only imagine what his wife had endured throughout their marriage. I did not witness Shawn doing this, but I did see the hole the next day and their biggest picture for hanging was too small to hang on the wall to cover that hole. So yes, the union members and officials know what he is capable of and I find it very sad that this union would defend his actions knowing that there is a victim in all of this that did not deserve what she got, no matter if she provoked Shawn to hurt her or not, she did not deserve her outcome.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:18, You do understand the County is trying to fire this guy and has gone to court over the matter, don't you? It is not the County defending him, but the union. This is where I find fault with unions. They defend people like this, but would not lift their hands to help two secretaries who exchanged naughty emails and were improperly fired. They got their jobs back, but it was not thanks to the union. They also did nothing for AFSCME workers who were granted a raise that was then taken away. That betrays a sexist attitude by union leadership.

Anonymous said...

Bernie I am no attorney and do not pretend to be one, but one question I have is this, is the union fighting for this binding arbitration award that was awarded in Hofferts favor for the sake of all union members in the future that might win arbitration for other things other than his case, could this set a precedent for future awards.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I understand the union fighting for a man's "right" not to be fired for repeatedly beating up his wife. I agree a favorable ruling here will make the county reticent to appeal other arbitration awards. But the union did no fighting for two employees who were fired for exchanging naughty emails. The union refused to help magisterial employees deprived of a raise. They sat on their hands when two occupational therapists at Gracedale were booted. I sat there and watched it. It seems to me that the union has an obligation to ALL county employees that it represents, not just white guys who beat up their wives.

Anonymous said...


Let's shine a light on the current administration and expose some of their past transgressions. You have a deputy warden who ended up in federal court for his alleged role in hogtying a female inmate and leaving her like that for nearly 7 hours, you have another administrator who cost the county nearly $100,000 for repeatedly harassing a former female officer, and yet another administrator who served underage females alcohol. If Officer Hoffert must go then the administrators should follow him out.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, the unions are obligated by law to represent their members. How hard they push this can be a different story. They do not have the option of not representing them.

Anonymous said...

A protection from abuse order is handed out in the majority of cases where it is requested. There is no real decision of guilt or innocence. in fact many divorce lawyers recommend that women should apply for PFA as a bargaining tool and get the husband out of the house. all they need is to convince someone that they are in fear. So to fire someone because of pta is ridiculous, a verdict of domestic abuse would be another matter.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I would like to address two things with you and your readers. The union representing Hoffert is not the same union that poorly represented the secretaries for emailing naughty messages or the workers who were denied raises. Both are AFSCME, but separate union bodies.

Also the corrections officers union is obligated by labor law to provide adequate defense/representation. The general sentiment is they wish Hoffert would accept his transgressions and move on. CO's are already looked at negatively by the public in general. They do not need individual actions to shed more negative light upon them.

Anonymous said...

1:14 is on point. The issue is due process and I can assure you the union was unaware of Hoffert's "priors". It was Keen who discovered Hoffert's past transgressions during the termination hearing and that sealed his fate. He made a concerted effort to leave these past details out, and had the union known of this then the whole dynamic of the process would have been different. Hoffert, as is his right, chose to fight to the end. It was sad and shocking to find out in this manner but the union is still obligated to adhere to his demands. We are held to a higher standard, and I have always felt that you should always take responsibility for your actions and accept the consequences. Sadly, he wouldn't budge from his demands but the union only stood by in the sense that his rights were protected throughout the process. No winners here. As for those unfortunate secretaries, this is also news to me and I wish I would have had a chance to defend a case like that because they were seriously shortchanged by their local.

Anonymous said...

He'll be OK. He just needs to apply for a job at one of the progressive municipalities that has "banned the box".

Anonymous said...

If the county could terminate county employment for PA Constable Lance Wheeler, stating conflict of interest, why wouldn't the same hold true for Shawn? Both Lance and Shawn worked with people convicted and or accused of crimes. Why would it be ok for Shawn to work for the county and as a PA Constable and not Lance Wheeler? It should not matter whether you are union or not, a conflict of interest is a conflict of interest. Lance is a very likable guy and did a good job at the courthouse. He did not deserve what he got from the county. What am I missing here? Double standards?

Matty Deezer the Tampon Eater said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

2:43, I appreciate your comment. Those ladies got there job back, but it was thanks to Attorney Brian Monahan.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matty Deezer the Tampon Eater said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

7:45,

Union pukes always protect other union pukes. It's in their breeding. Inbreeding, that is.

Anonymous said...

union leadership is an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

a wife beater is not really a man.

Anonymous said...

No there is no double standard. Hoffert is a constable in lehigh county and a officer in northampton county 2 different counties for hoffert so there is no conflict there. Wheeler on the other hand was attempting to hold 2 positions within northampton county which is a conflict of interest and is written in county policy.

Anonymous said...

I wonder where the public outcry was when we have a recently appointed Slate Belt Police Chief with not only a DUI but also had a PFA as well...... Right there in the public prevue and no one cares and the prison guard gets all this attention ad a man running a police department who made headlines gets appointed to run a police department.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Please name this Chief so i can look it up.I had heard something like this but confess I simply forgot with all the other stuff going on. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

12:33 said : "Let's shine a light on the current administration and expose some of their past transgressions. You have a deputy warden who ended up in federal court for his alleged role in hogtying a female inmate and leaving her like that for nearly 7 hours, you have another administrator who cost the county nearly $100,000 for repeatedly harassing a former female officer, and yet another administrator who served underage females alcohol."
I use to work at the Jail so I have inside knowledge. Funny how people always like to reflect wrong doings by bringing up stuff from 5, 10 and 20 years ago. As far as I am aware these individuals you talk about if I'm correct were never charged with any crimes with the exception of one of them for providing alcohol to minors at a party. The issue with a female officer being harassed, their have been a number of alleged issues of this nature. Most are sue happy individuals who just wanted a free ride on the county. Your comparisons are pathetic. Mr. Hoffert has been in trouble numerous times including being charged. Get over it and start looking at the real problem not past alleged incidents.

Anonymous said...

Do a public search on Scoot Miller. He is chief of Washington Township recently appointed his PFA was in the news media etc. No secret but why the double standard? Someone who is to uphold the law and?

Anonymous said...

Word is this matter has been settled. I hear there was a deal met between the County and the employee.

Anonymous said...

@11:14 the point is that the people in power, the standard bearers, are all flawed. if you really intend on cleaning house start at the top and work your way down. the people at the top are supposed to set an example for everyone else and unfortunately they are morally and ethically bankrupt.

Anonymous said...

yeah, like the high profile parking scandal??

Anonymous said...

12:15 Lance Wheeler might see an inmate in court or on a transport. Might be a little conflict of interest! Nothing like S. Hoffert getting off work from prison and waiting in the shadows to apprehend a discharged inmate as a constable to have them appear before a magistrate for a few dollars more! PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was 7 days. Ass