BUFFALO, N.Y. -- He had a front row seat at Molly's Pub the night William Sager Junior was fatally injured; and unlike his colleague, Officer Robert Eloff, Officer Adam O'Shei isn't facing any federal charges in the case.
"I knew it was coming and I was happy. I mean, it's certainly consistent with my investigation and analysis that Mr. O'Shei was not guilty of any criminal misconduct whatsoever," said Joseph LaTona, O'Shei's attorney.
Both O'Shei and Eloff were off-duty the night Jeffrey Basil pushed Sager down the stairs at the bar. Basil pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in the case Tuesday.
While Eloff pleaded the fifth amendment during Basil's trial, O'Shei was one of the prosecution's key witnesses, and described seeing the push.
"I think it's very obvious he cooperated with law enforcement," said LaTona, "He's testified repeatedly, been truthful and obviously he was truthful regarding what he saw Mr. Basil do, because Mr. Basil admitted it in open court the other day."
O'Shei was granted immunity by the Erie County District Attorney's Office. That was something U.S. Attorney William Hochul considered in the federal investigation of whether the two officers committed civil rights violations against Sager after he was injured.
Hochul described the allegations against Eloff: "It was Officer Eloff that first dragged Mr. Sager outside, he was already unconscious at this point... We also know that Officer Eloff put handcuffs on the unconscious Mr. Sager, so in these kinds of instances, there was a determination made that what Officer Eloff did amounted to a violation of civil rights, but again, Officer O'Shei was not determined to have any role in those actions."
Both officers are currently suspended from the department, but following the U.S. Attorney's decision, LaTona hopes to see his client back to work soon.
"It's been very difficult upon him, very stressful. I hope there will be a full analysis and evaluation and a decision made to reinstate Officer O'Shei."
A spokesperson for the Buffalo Police Department said a hearing for O'Shei is pending.