A retired district judge has come under scrutiny for his part in fixing a drunken driving case for the nephew of an assistant prosecutor who is now sitting on the bench in a southwestern Pennsylvania county. He has pleaded guilty to the charge.
According to court documents, Dwight Shaner, 71, of Dunbar Township, pleaded guilty before a Dauphin County Judge last week. He will spend 18 months on probation.
Shaner and his defense attorney declined comment after the plea was entered.
Shaner could still possibly forfeit his $3,600 monthly pension according to Senior Deputy Attorney General L. Todd Goodwin, even though the charge is considered a misdemeanor by law.
Shaner had been the district judge in Dunbar Township in Fayette County, when he dismissed the charges of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident filed against the nephew of Linda Cordaro, Robert Rudnik, 31, of Connellsville, in 2011. Cordaro was an assistant district attorney at the time. Cordaro has since been elected a Fayette County Common Pleas judge.
A private citizen brought the dormant case back to the attention of the attorney general’s office with allegations of possible case-fixing last spring. The attorney general looked into the matter and filed charges against Rudnik in July of 2014.
Rudnik pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.
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