Ex-Lawrence police officer seeking diversion agreement after alleged misconduct

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

David Shane Williams, pictured in February 2020

Updated at 4:52 p.m. Wednesday

A former Lawrence police officer accused of official misconduct is seeking a diversion agreement with the Douglas County district attorney’s office, court records show.

David Shane Williams, 33, was placed on paid administrative leave from the Lawrence Police Department on Nov. 21, 2019, after he reportedly told detectives that he used his credentials on multiple occasions to access driving records of a woman with whom he’s involved in custody litigation, according to court documents. He resigned three weeks later, on Dec. 12, 2019.

Williams is also accused of contacting the woman’s insurance company to report her for driving on a suspended license. He allegedly told detectives that he didn’t think accessing the woman’s driving information was illegal. However, police department policy states that the records system is meant to be used for criminal justice and law enforcement purposes only.

Williams has been charged with official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. He was set for a hearing Wednesday to schedule a jury trial, but that hearing was continued to July 22 to allow time for a diversion agreement that would resolve the matter, according to a document in his case file.

Diversion agreements, typically available to some first-time offenders, can allow defendants in criminal cases to complete a program rather than face prosecution. If completed successfully, the prosecutor will generally drop the charges.

However, another former Lawrence police officer was granted a diversion in February 2018 for using excessive force; that June, his peace officer certification was revoked, according to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training.

Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the Douglas County district attorney, said via email Wednesday that “notes on diversion obligations” mentioned in Williams’ case file are staff notes about the court costs Williams would have to pay if the diversion agreement is granted.

“Please be aware there is no resolution in this case at this time and that the notes should not be taken as an indicator of how this case will be resolved,” she wrote.

Williams’ attorney, Michael Riling, said via email Wednesday that he and Williams have no comment.

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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Related coverage

March 10, 2020: Ex-Lawrence police officer used credentials to access his child’s mother’s driving records, affidavit alleges

Feb. 22, 2020: Former Lawrence police officer charged with official misconduct

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