Meet the DA
William A. Shaw, Jr. took office as the District Attorney of Clearfield County on January 3, 2004. Prior to being elected as the District Attorney, Mr. Shaw served Clearfield County as an Assistant District Attorney and as the First Assistant District Attorney. Before his career as a prosecutor, Mr. Shaw was employed as a judicial law clerk for then President Judge John K. Reilly, Jr. and Judge Fredric J. Ammerman. Mr. Shaw was first appointed as an Assistant District Attorney by Judge Paul E. Cherry.
During his tenure with the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Shaw has successfully prosecuted a wide variety of criminal cases including murder, rape, burglary, child pornography, assault, white collar crime, as well as multiple drug related offenses. As the District Attorney, Mr. Shaw oversees the prosecution of all criminal cases filed in Clearfield County and personally handles the prosecution of major felony cases.
Upon taking his position as District Attorney, Mr. Shaw embarked on an effort to improve the quality of law enforcement and prosecutions in Clearfield County. Among other things, Mr. Shaw saw to it that Clearfield County gained access to the Commonwealth Justice Network. JNET provides instant access to important information used to investigate and prosecute crimes. Every police department in Clearfield County now has access to this extremely valuable law enforcement tool.
Mr. Shaw also brought JNET to the Clearfield County Courthouse. Prosecutors, probation officers, judges, sheriffs, and domestic relations officers now have access to JNET and can quickly access vital information that would have otherwise taken days to obtain.
Mr. Shaw is dedicated to providing law enforcement officers with the tools they need to assist in their daily operations. As drug related DUI offense grew in number, Mr. Shaw obtained the equipment necessary to assist officers in their efforts to detect individuals who are driving under the influence of controlled substances. Police officers in Clearfield County are now able to make an on the spot determination if an individual is under the influence of illegal drugs. Those individuals found to be driving under the influence of controlled substances are now able to be identified and cited immediately.
With an increase in the volume of criminal cases filed in Clearfield County, Mr. Shaw recognized a need to re-work the County’s criminal justice system. Mr. Shaw worked closely with President Judge Fredric Ammerman to make the needed changes. Criminal cases now flow through the criminal justice system in a much more timely basis. Countless tax dollars are saved as a result of Mr. Shaw’s efforts.
Technology is an important tool for prosecutors and Mr. Shaw makes use of the latest advancements. Mr. Shaw has installed computer programs to track criminal cases. With the use of imaging and scanning technology, Mr. Shaw has minimized the amount of space needed to store files and reduced the cost of maintaining records.
To save tax dollars, Mr. Shaw takes advantage of the latest computer technology. Information is now provided to defense attorneys electronically. The cost of postage, paper and copying has been reduced drastically. To further enable electronic communication, Mr. Shaw has created this web site – at no cost to the taxpayers of Clearfield County. Defense attorney’s and police officers are now able to enter secure portions of this site to obtain digital documents.
Mr. Shaw is a lifelong resident of Clearfield County and the son of Clearfield County Prothonotary William Shaw and Jeannie Shaw. He is an avid outdoorsman, a member of various sporting clubs and civic organizations, and a member of the St. Francis Catholic Church. Mr. Shaw and his wife Jennifer make their home in Pine Township.
Mr. Shaw is a 1985 graduate of Clearfield High School. Following his graduation from high school, Mr. Shaw served four years on active duty in the United States Coast Guard. Mr. Shaw was stationed in South Florida where he served as a Coast Guard law enforcement officer. During his enlistment, Mr Shaw received extensive training in federal law enforcement and investigation. Mr. Shaw has made multiple felony arrests, including arrests for drug smuggling and alien immigration. Mr. Shaw has assisted the United States Attorney’s Office prepare for criminal prosecution and has testified as a Coast Guard law enforcement officer in various Federal Courts.
Following his initial enlistment, Mr. Shaw worked his way through college and law school by serving in the Coast Guard Reserves. As a reservist, he served on active duty during the summer months, and was stationed on the Great Lakes and the Coast Guard District Headquarters located on Governor’s Island, New York. During his final year of law school, Mr. Shaw served as an active duty legal intern for the Coast Guard’s legal division.
Mr. Shaw returned to Clearfield County in 1989, following his initial service in the Coast Guard, and enrolled in the first class of students attending the Clearfield Campus of Lock Haven University. In 1993, Mr. Shaw graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelors degree in criminology, and went on to earn his law degree in 1996 from the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island.