"What's black and white and read all over?"

Monday, March 13, 2006
Posted 8:18 PM by

Perfect replacements for Habay

One candidate admits to a child out of wedlock, the other admits to illegally seeing the sealed case file.Pennsylvania sure can pick 'em. The two candidates fighting to fill out the term of disgraced and jailed former state Rep. Jeff Habay seem ready to step into his slimey shoes.

Democrat Shawn Flaherty, 46, admitted Monday he had a child out of wedlock while he and his wife were separated 14 years ago.

Flaherty and a woman had the girl in 1992 while he was separated from his wife, Debbie. Flaherty said he paid child support until the girl's mother married two years later and her husband adopted the girl. Flaherty and his wife have been married for nearly 20 years.

Flaherty said he came forward with the information because his Republican opponent, Mike Dolan, 26, obtained it through "background research" and planned to use it.

Dolan admits he saw Flaherty's court file but said he did not plan to use it. "I would never do something like that," he added.

Before you go thinking Dolan is a nice guy, please remember adoptions - as well as most family court cases like the establishment of child support payments - are supposed to be sealed in Pennsylvania and it's illegal for the public to see them.

The only time that information might have become public is if Flaherty had been a deadbeat dad, which no one here is alleging. That means Dolan probably violated the law just by looking at the court file.

So here's the choice Allegheny County voters will face - an admitted adulterer or a guy who feels nothing about violating privacy laws even before he's elected.

Lest we forget, Habay resigned from the Legislature and was sentenced to six months to one year in a halfway house on Feb. 8 for making his staff do campaign work on state time.

He used them to stuff envelopes begging potential contributors for campaign money. Habay got the mailing list from state Department of Transportation records, but was never prosecuted for their misuse.


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