Army veteran, a serial DUI offender, back in Pa. county jail
By BETH BRELJE | The (Stroudsburg, Pa.) Pocono Record | Published: February 22, 2014
STROUDSBURG, Pa. — U.S. Army veteran Timothy Flaherty, who was furloughed from his DUI prison sentence following questionable claims of battlefield heroism, is back behind bars in Pike County.
A court hearing scheduled for Friday was canceled after Flaherty's request for another furlough was withdrawn.
With a record of at least five counts of drunken driving, including causing injury while driving without a license, and assaulting two state police troopers, he was sentenced to serve a minimum of one year and 90 days to a maximum of five years at Pike County Correctional Facility.
But in the year since he was sentenced, Flaherty had only spent 25 days behind bars, until this month.
Pike County Judge Joseph Kameen had agreed to grant him a number of furloughs based on Flaherty's claim of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by a combat-related injury.
The claim was that Flaherty was injured in an explosion in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in struck an improvised explosive device that killed all of the other men in the vehicle and nearly killed him.
He requested, and received, furloughs from prison and permission to get PTSD treatment through Veterans Affairs.
But records surfaced that showed Flaherty was never involved in this explosion. Instead, he was hospitalized while on duty when he had a sudden seizure and his tongue swelled up from a bad reaction from a combination of medicine and nutritional supplements he had been taking.
Flaherty's military service records stated he was honorably discharged from the Army with advice to seek rehabilitation. The Pike County District Attorney's Office repeatedly asked Kameen to keep Flaherty in prison because, among other reasons, sentencing guidelines made him ineligible for furlough.
Kameen has denied each request and continued to allow Flaherty to remain on furlough, even after the furlough time had run out.
Flaherty completed the PTSD treatment program in May at the VA Hudson Valley in Montrose, N.Y. He was then admitted and completed on Sept. 8 a psychosocial program that prepares veterans for transition back into society.
On Oct. 2, he was admitted to the Substance Abuse Outpatient Treatment Program and moved to Common Ground transitional housing for homeless veterans in Montrose, where the curfew is 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
It was here that on Jan. 27, Flaherty was charged with introducing alcoholic beverages onto VA property, according to a violation notice from the U.S. District Court in Middletown, N.Y.
After this incident, at the urging of the Pike County prosecutor's office, Kameen ordered Flaherty to return to prison to resume serving his sentence.