Shamokin Mayor Sues Police Officers

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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Charges against the mayor were withdrawn, but now, Milbrand is suing the officers who arrested him.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.


  • bill

    This is for political gain! He is a good and anyone from the town knows he’s a drunk!!!!! The police were doing their job just as they would is a citizen would suspect criminal activity, drug activity and such, they investigate and make an arrest! Does he get special treatment because hes the mayor absolutely not!!!!! He don’t back them for anything!!!! These guys are veterans served their country to keep him safe and free and put their lives on the line every single day!!!!!
    He has gotta be someone puppet! They need the feds to come in and investigate the city because it is corrupt!!!

    • Michael

      Bill, I completely agree that an investigation needs to be conducted into City affairs and that would also include the police department. I would argue that the arrest was made for political gain for the candidates running against Milbrand and I would challenge you with providing PROOF that Milbrand is a drunk (other than what you hear from other people). Your ignorance is evident based on your post. The investigation of Milbrand should have been conducted by an outside agency due to any perceived bias. If he had been cleared by SPD it might have been perceived as a cover up and by the same token it is perceived by many that the arrest was made in retaliation by ex-officer Miner. I am a veteran that has served on many deployments to keep everyone who lives in this Country and others safe so I would appreciate it if you would not use that as an excuse to put the cops on a high horse. The Police Department needs a leader who can keep the officers from committing acts of misconduct. We will soon read what the Attorney General’s Office uncovers in their investigation into Miners actions in making such a ridiculous arrest. Also, I find it very convenient that all the media outlets were present when Milbrand was brought to the District Judge. It was nothing more than an attempt to discredit and publicly humiliate Milbrand by a worthless officer(s).

      • bill

        worthless officers ?!?!?!?!?
        they’re fair from worthless when their putting in 16 hours shifts sleep for 8 and back for another 16 hours because their is no man power!!!

      • Jim

        Not true at all. Feel free to check the schedules. They love to claim they are working non-stop but in reality they are pretty much back to normal. Get your facts straight.

  • Rob

    This a perfect example of how much of a drunk he is. They were working in the capacity of police for shamokin. They never withdrew charges. The DA did on a weekend at 1140 pm. A back door deal. He doesn’t realize the city has to represent the officers. He is a schmuck who spends every night getting drunk at Indies then driving home.

    • John

      You must be a drunk yourself if you know he is drinking in the bar every night and how do you get home. Obviously you have no clue what you are talking about.

    • Gene

      Maybe you, Rob, should run for Mayor since you know EVERYTHING about what is going on. I agree, how do you know that Milbrand is drinking at the bar every night if you are not there yourself? Is it possible there are other things to tend to at the establishment. He is an active house committee member but since you know everything I didn’t need to tell you that. Keep drinking felon Jory’s kook-aid.

  • John

    This is a perfect example of an incompetent chief of police. A competent chief would have never allowed his own department to investigate the mayor or other members of city council. It should have been turned over to the attorney general’s office. The department needs revamped starting with new leadership. Take sunbury’s lead and hire someone who will straighten things out.

    • Truthseeker

      Well said John! Isn’t this the second lawsuit in a month for Officer Miner and the Shamokin Police Department? They falsely arrested a woman for a stolen dog. The dog was part of an estate of a person that passed away but some ambulance claimed to own it. It was completely a civil matter and not criminal. The charges were dismissed by the President Judge Saylor months later.
      It seems like the Shamokin Police Department needs to be cleaned up. Maybe an educated police chief with a college degree or a retired state trooper.

      • Mark

        I believe that this is the second lawsuit. An educated police chief from a respected police department or a trooper with leadership experience is what Shamokin needs. The good old boy club does not work which was evident in Sunbury. Shamokin’s Chief has shown he is incapable to leading the department. City Council and the Mayor need to get rid of him before he runs the department further into the ground.

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