House candidate in Pa. charged with burglary

/ Source: The Associated Press

A Republican congressional candidate was charged Thursday with felony burglary and criminal trespass stemming from an encounter last year with an ex-girlfriend.

Derek Walker, a 32-year-old financial planner, called the charges politically motivated because the Pennsylvania primary is Tuesday. The district attorney denied the accusation.

Walker is one of nine candidates seeking the GOP nomination in a race to fill retiring Rep. John Peterson's seat in a sprawling north-central Pennsylvania district. Three Democrats are also running.

Authorities said the charges stem from an August 2007 encounter with his former girlfriend at her apartment in Clearfield.

According to a police complaint, Walker showed up at the apartment after the woman, who had left the door open because it was warm, had returned there with another man.

The two heard Walker say, "This video is going to put an end to your job with the school district," and saw Walker with a cell phone in his hand, the complaint said. He left after making the comment.

"The impression of both victims was that Walker had videotaped them," police said.

Walker was also charged with misdemeanors including disorderly conduct and stalking.

"These charges are false," Walker said in a statement Thursday. "The entire matter is politically motivated — any thinking citizen in our area understands that charges of this nature brought five days before an election are clearly motivated by politics."

Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw Jr. said the investigation had just concluded Wednesday.

"This investigation has been going on since August of last year, well before there was any mention of politics, which have nothing to do with the facts of this case," he told The Associated Press.