July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Firefighter faces domestic violence charges

LORAIN – A Lorain firefighter was charged with domestic violence earlier this month for allegedly threatening his wife of two years and his stepdaughter.

Kenneth P. Shawver, who has been with the department since 1998, was pulled over by a county sheriff`s deputy about 7 a.m. Nov. 15 in Elyria Township after a check on his license plates revealed he was wanted for domestic violence.

Shawver, 38, of Elyria, told the deputy he was on his way to work and had no idea he had a warrant out for his arrest, according to a sheriff`s report. He was charged with two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence. He was taken to the Elyria City Jail on a $10,000 bond, which he posted the same day, Elyria police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said.

In an interview Tuesday night, Shawver said the incident stems from a complaint his now estranged wife made to the Elyria city prosecutor over the summer – about the time the couple separated. She tried to withdraw it a short time later, but was told charges were being pursued, he said.

“It was the day we split up and we moved out and everything,“ Shawver said. “We were both mad at each other, but she withdrew it. We`re trying to put all this past us.“

At the time of his arrest, Shawver had his child in the car with him and had to call his estranged wife to pick up the child before he was taken into custody, the report said.

Lorain Fire Chief Tom Brown said he learned of the incident that day because Shawver asked a friend to go into work for him.

Brown said Shawver remains employed and has accrued enough vacation time to attend any necessary court hearings. Brown said he has not had an opportunity to speak with Shawver about the incident, however, because the two have not worked the same shift.

“I`ll speak with him at the appropriate time,” Brown said. “I want to make sure I have all the information, too. I`m taking this seriously because firefighters are held to a higher standard, and rightfully so. I know there are charges, but right now I`m going to let the judicial system run its course.”

Although the charges are misdemeanors, meaning Shawver would not be in danger of losing his job if convicted, it doesn`t mean that other consequences wouldn`t be warranted if he`s convicted, Brown said.
Two months before they were married, Shawver filed for a civil protection order against his then-fiancee, according to court records. He withdrew the order the day after he filed it, records show.

Shawver, whose father is Lorain Council President Kenneth C. Shawver, has never been disciplined at the department and was recommended for a lieutenant`s job by a superior officer, according to his personnel file.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.