Howard Shafer is facing additional charges tied to him allegedly dumping soiled cat litter several times near two homes, and he reportedly resigned his political committee position.
Bethlehem police took Shafer, 70, into custody on Tuesday, March 17, when he appeared in Town Court and charged him with three counts of criminal tampering in the third degree, a misdemeanor, four counts of prohibited disposal of waste, and two counts of harassment in the second degree.
Police arrested Shafer, of 346 Maple Ave. in Selkirk, early Sunday morning, March 1, after he allegedly admitted to dumping dirty cat litter near a Trinity Place home. Police reportedly observed one empty box of cat litter on the front seat of the truck, along with another litter box on the back seat appearing full of soiled litter.
A Peel Street resident is also accusing Shafer of dumping cat feces on their property more than 20 times, with the first incident occurring on March 29, 2014, according to Bethlehem Town Court records.
The Peel Street homeowner eventually installed a motion-activated video camera on their front porch to record any unusual activity at night. The camera captured video of a suspicious vehicle several times from late-January to mid-February, which was turned over to police.
A temporary order of protection was issued for the victims and their family.
Bethlehem Democratic Committee Chairman Jeffrey Kuhn said Shafer was sent a letter asking for his resignation from the committee within 48 hours of his arrest. Kuhn said Shafer formally submitted his resignation Thursday morning, March 19.
In November 2011, Shafer was ousted from Selkirk Fire Department, where he served as treasurer and a volunteer firefighter, after being charged with insubordination. Shafer appealed his dismal to state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, but the expulsion was upheld.
Shafer also previously served on the Albany County Legislature and the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education.