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Trial nears in alleged battery on mayor

Hagadone News Network | December 14, 2010 8:00 PM

EAST HOPE - A former councilman accused of slugging the mayor over a dispute involving a newspaper delivery tube is scheduled to be tried this month.

Dan Burton Shanahan's jury trial is set for Dec. 20 in the magistrate division of 1st District Court. Shanahan is charged with battery at the misdemeanor level.

Shanahan is accused of punching 78-year-old Mayor Jake Both outside City Hall on July 17. Shanahan, 35, paints Both as the aggressor in the dispute.

The alleged confrontation revolved around a Daily Bee newspaper tube that Shanahan insisted was on property he was rented. The city maintained the delivery tube was in fact on public property and presented maps and other records to Shanahan to back up the assertion.

Shanahan, according to a Bonner County sheriff deputy's report, became upset and slammed the door to City Hall as he left the building. Both followed Shanahan outside and reportedly admonished him for the outburst.

Accounts conflict as to what ensued.

Both said Shanahan did an about face and aggressively walked up him, which prompted Both to put his arms up in a defensive manner. Shanahan allegedly bumped into Both and landed the blow.

Shanahan, through an attorney, maintained that Both ran after him and grabbed Shanahan under the arms, causing him to shove the mayor away.

A special prosecutor from Kootenai County has been assigned the case and three Bonner County magistrates have disqualified themselves because Shanahan's spouse is a deputy public defender for the county.

Shanahan's current attorney has claimed his client has been treated unfairly in the press and hinted at a possible motion for a change of venue.

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