High school dropout Donald Shaw is an Elizabeth homeowner who is seeking re-election as Mayor of Roselle while the borough government is in pandemonium, suffering an exodus of top level employees that left major gaps in municipal services.
In the hotly contested campaign the Mayor’s political allies are suggesting that the son of martyred 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is a ‘dangerous conspiracy theorist’ as they are launching vitriolic attacks on former Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley, but that is not the biggest political news.
The most shocking news to emerge from the campaign is that Shaw somehow evaded a process for criminal background checks prior to being hired as recreation department director after spending nine months behind bars at New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison facility.
Sources with direct knowledge say Shaw refused to submit fingerprints because he knew that the background check would reveal his criminal record, which involved the sale of heroin and resulted in prison time in New York State.
Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw is a convicted drug dealer who spent nine months inside Rikers, one of the world’s largest correctional institutions and mental institutions.
Dansereau admitted that she did not know why Shaw was incarcerated.
During Mayor David Dinkins’ term as mayor of New York, the jail filled to overflowing, and an 800-bed barge was installed on the East River to accommodate the extra inmates.
Shaw evaded the requirement that he submit fingerprints when he was hired a the borough recreation director because he knew that he spent 273 days behind bars after he was arrested on September 13, 1989.
Police said that Shaw attempted to sell heroin, a highly addictive narcotic drug.
Shaw was arrested on Sept 13, 1989 and held until June 13, 1990, when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served plus three years of probation.
When he was prosecuted, Shaw admitted that he committed the crime of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree under New York Penal Code § 220.39.
In a recent interview, former Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau said that she discovered Shaw had failed to submit his fingerprints after a complaint was filed against him with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
“Donald Shaw filled out the application for the recreation job and he had to be fingerprinted,” said Dansereau.
“Cynthia Johnson had a problem with him so she went to EEOC about him,” said Dansereau. “They asked questions about his personnel employment file and it turned out it did not exist.”
“The EEOC asked for his personnel file and there wasn’t one,” said Dansereau, who explained that she learned Shaw had refused to submit fingerprints because he knew that the background check would reveal his criminal record.
Shaw spent nine months behind bars in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison facility.
“Business Administrator Dave Brown discovered that (Shaw) never went to get fingerprinted, so Donald admitted that he didn’t get fingerprinted because he has been incarcerated before,” said Dansereau. “He lied.”
“My understanding it was in the business administrator’s hands,” said Dansereau. “I don’t know if he ever actually received those fingerprints and Cynthia Johnson decided not to go through with the EEOC complaint.”
Dansereau said Councilwoman Cynthia Johnson raised questions about Shaw’s criminal record as an issue while she was opposing the proposed Mind and Body complex, but he has never really been vetted, either for his elected position or the $80,000 a year job he holds in the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz was not available for comment but the New York State Court Administrator’s office said that Shaw pleaded guilty on June 13, 1990, in a case captioned as New York Supreme Court Docket Number N13014-89 and court control number 12612991P. Shaw completed his sentence on May 1, 1992.
Dansereau said Shaw’s criminal nature showed itself when he was entrusted with money from a Pop Warner football program fundraising effort in which children sold candy.
“When Jerry Orlando was chief of police, I had a phone call (because) the candy fundraising company was upset with Donald Shaw,” said Dansereau. “He told me that Shaw, who was in charge of the Pop Warner football program, owed $20,000 to the candy company from chocolate that was sold and the company was entitled to.”
The account manager told Dansereau that he intended to go to the police and report it as theft.
Dansereau referred the matter to the police chief and “Orlando told Donald Shaw to make restitution and make it fast.”
“He’s a scam artist and hustler,” said Dansereau of Donald Shaw.