Kenelm Shirk

Kenelm L. Shirk III, an ex-Ephrata attorney, is charged with making terroristic threats to shoot government officials around Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania State Police arrested him Jan. 21, 2021, as he was headed south on Interstate 81.

Kenelm L. Shirk III, Akron’s Borough’s former solicitor serving supervised release for threatening to kill unspecified Democratic senators in 2021, was disbarred Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The action is largely a formality; Shirk, 73, already had been disbarred by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in May 2021.

Shirk pleaded guilty last March in federal court in Harrisburg to a single count of threatening to murder a U.S. official. It was the only crime he was charged with.

He was sentenced in June to time served, fined $10,000 and placed on supervised release, which is akin to probation.

Shirk spent nearly 17 months in federal prison after he was taken into custody Jan. 21, 2021, at a gas station near Shippensburg after his ex-wife called police to report that he had threatened to kill Democratic senators, who were not identified. Multiple firearms and ammunition were found in his car at the time.

After Shirk’s plea hearing, Shirk’s attorney maintained the incident was blown out of proportion and stemmed from an argument Shirk had with his ex-wife. He said Shirk lawfully owned the weapons and was going to Alexandria, Virginia, to visit family members.

At his sentencing, Shirk apologized to law enforcement, the court and his ex-wife, saying he had no excuse and never should have said what he said.

Shirk's former firm, Shirk Law Associates, was the longtime solicitor for Akron Borough. Akron dropped the firm shortly after Shirk’s arrest.

What to Read Next