SHAMOKIN -- Shamokin Mayor Bill Milbrand is fighting back, even though charges against him were dropped several months ago. The mayor was accused of damaging graves at the Shamokin Cemetery during construction of a cell phone tower.
Charges against the mayor were withdrawn, but now, Milbrand is suing the officers who arrested him.
Mayor Milbrand filed a federal lawsuit against retired Shamokin Police Officer William Miner and current Officer Nathan Rhodes. He is looking for $75,000.
This is in connection with his January 31 arrest on 42 counts, including vandalizing graves.
The lawsuit claims the officers made a false arrest, falsely portrayed Milbrand as a criminal, and abused the criminal process.
People in Shamokin have mixed opinions on the issue.
"He's doing what he has to do. He feels like he was slighted so this is a way to even things up I think," Bruce Heefer said.
"How can you sue your own police officers in your own town and represent this city? That's a joke," Dylan McNaughton said.
Milbrand did not want to go on camera, but he tells Newswatch 16 he is suing the officers because he knows he didn't do anything wrong and wants the officers held accountable.
"He seems like a guy who makes a sincere effort to do good for the city," Heefer said.
But not everyone has formed an opinion. Some people tell Newswatch 16 there's been so much out there about this on social media that they don't know what to believe.
"It's all speculation. Even the people who are supposed to be in the know don't really know what's going on," Howard Taylor said.
Milbrand is suing as a private citizen, not as mayor. Milbrand did not sue Shamokin itself.
Right now, it is not known whether the city will pick up the legal fees for the two officers.
We were unable to speak with the two officers, but the Shamokin police chief told us this does not affect Officer Rhodes' employment.