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Former DA sues political consultant

Published July 30. 2012 05:03PM

A former district attorney of Schuylkill County, who lost his bid for judgeship in the 2011 election, has filed a civil suit in Schuylkill County court against a political consultant and seeks damages in excess of $20,000.

The action was started by Claude A.L. Shields, 1940 West Norwegian St., Pottsville, and the Committee to Elect Cal Shields for Judge against Bob Caruso, 1037 Willow Street, rear, Wilkes-Barre.

According to the complaint filed in the spring of 2011 Shields was a candidate for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Schuylkill County. Caruso is a self-employed political consultant whom Shields contacted to provide expert consulting services in connection with political mail-out for the Spring Primary Election of 2011, paying $1,000 in advance.

The suit states Caruso was to provide expert political consulting services, including targeting, contracts for production of 40,000 mail-outs, scheduling, postal mailing, and offer advice as to strategy and targeting of the mail out flyers.

In the suit Shields and the committee to elect him claim mail outs were late and not properly delivered. It states the entire mailing list of 40,000 pieces were sent to the wrong recipients, including being addressed to nonexisting persons at apparent random addresses.

Shields claims he suffered public embarrassment and ridicule as a result and claims that Caruso's failure to properly direct the mail effort contributed significantly to the subsequent loss in the primary election and thus is seeking compensation of more than $20,000.

Shields served four terms as district attorney from 1985 to 2001 when he lost to attorney Frank Cori, who served one term and was defeated by attorney James P. Goodman.

Goodman, who is halfway in his second term, ran against Shields and six other attorneys, won the primary nomination on both the Republican and Democratic ballots and was unopposed in the general election in November and is the new county judge.

Goodman's unexpired term as district attorney is being served by his first assistant, attorney Karen Byrne Noon.

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