District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Hampers Journalistic Efforts

District Attorney Berosh / Beaver Countian file photo

District Attorney Berosh / Beaver Countian file photo

A criminal investigation conducted by District Attorney Anthony Berosh into alleged confidential journalistic sources for the Beaver Countian has caused a chilling effect which is hampering this publication’s efforts to expose further governmental corruption.

District Attorney Anthony Berosh ordered County Detectives to uncover the Beaver Countian’s confidential source of a tape that was secretly recorded in the Sheriff’s Office, showing Sheriff David illegally giving a discount on a gun permit to a man who offered to testify as a character witness for him. The four month long investigation was conducted beginning in August at the request of Sheriff David and his solicitor Myron Sainovich.

Sheriff George David has illegally issued scores of discounted and free gun permits to his political cronies since taking office, and has now effectively used the District Attorney’s Office to expose the concerned citizen who uncovered that wrongdoing.

Chief Beaver County Detective Joseph Fennych was among those who were illegally given a free gun permit by Sheriff David at the expense of county taxpayers.

As part of their extensive investigation for David, County Detectives showed up unannounced at a suspected sources’ home, made phone calls to an ex-spouse and other family members, and questioned individuals inside of the interrogation room of the County Detectives Bureau and the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks.

While District Attorney Berosh has previously recused his office from investigating alleged wrongdoing perpetrated BY Sheriff David due to conflicts of interest, he did not hesitate to have his office investigate alleged crimes perpetrated AGAINST the Sheriff. In this case, that apparent “crime” was exposing Sheriff David violating the law.

Following his investigation, Berosh released background information about the source, including his alleged motives and activities, to both Sheriff David and the press. Berosh’s public comments about the source, who has a constitutional right to anonymous speech, came even though his investigation determined no crime had been committed on the part of the individual.

Sources inside of the District Attorney’s Office tell the Beaver Countian that Berosh has no intention of filing criminal charges against Sheriff George David for illegally distributing free gun permits to those who have benefited him politically, including to his own Chief Detective.

After news of the District Attorney’s extensive criminal investigation into journalistic sources broke this week, several long-time confidential sources for the Beaver Countian have chosen to go dark, saying they fear they may be the next ones unjustly targeted, harassed, and exposed by Berosh and his Detectives on behalf of the Sheriff.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter is a named victim in criminal charges filed against Sheriff George David by the Pennsylvania State Police.

40 comments

  • Harassment and intimidation…..

    wait, isn’t that the same way that the Mafia/Mob operates?
    Oh, that’s right, it’s different when they have the law on their side…..

    • This is the way Beaver County has always operated. At least since the Democrats came to power in the 1950s and early 1960s. They have a stranglehold on this county. Its their gang “turf” and they are the ones who manage what goes on and who gets to break the law and get away with it. The BC Democrat Committee is darn close to an outlaw enterprise. Its very similar to living under the Chicago Democrat political machine where politics and crime intertwine. Only we don’t have the great market fresh steak restaurants like Chicago. We have to make due with the Texas Roadhouse (not to say anything bad about the Roadhouse its the best we have).

  • How much money was spent on this investigation of a “noncrime”? Outrageous behavior on Mr. Berosh’s part.

  • sheriff needs stopped immediately but……

    trust me Joe fennych the chief detective in no way was looking for a freebie after nearly 40 years of impeccable law enforcement career, he I will guarantee was under assumption he was to getting the protocol and will make right about the error of the sheriff department.

  • I dont care how good of men they were they turned the other cheeks to sheriffs to many times they all become dirty too good men must act to make wrong right

  • Well folks your staying to realize the world and operation of the sheriff and his legal side kicks.

    the first slice of your soul is the most valuable slice to give…. once it’s given to men like this they take another and another and do so until you say enough is enough.

    But flip side is when you have let that gaurd down and given up slices of your soul to the point you have done wrong they will just take at will and feel they can.

    case in point it took so long to correct sheriff and slow down his run away train because?

    COMPROMISED he had everyone compromised.

    Budget out of control, hiring political people’s family, side deals with judges list goes on and on. Now you got ROGUE fugitive within the system and all knows he is doing wrong but giving way to outside forces people know the landmines will go off within circle of trust. PANDORA BOX has to much to tell cause that Stupid stuttering little fucker COMPROMISED your dumb asses, permits prime reason he will play dumb say unaware and tell who all he helped,

    Commissioners let him run wild with budget.

    president judge got tricked into swearing in commissioners as special deputies are you fucking kidding me.

    We could go on and on.

    Relinquish jurisdiction and get out of way, let the varsity roll in and when the storm is over and tide goes back who left on shore will move forward others oh wellll.

  • I live in Beaver County and for the first time in my life I have sincerely grown afraid of my own government. What is happening here?

  • One of the biggest reasons I never spoke up about Georgie was that I was afraid his cronies that I worked with would hurt me or my family. A lot of my family live in Aliquippa and in Beaver County. This repulsive excuse for a man intimidated me on a daily basis for more than five years. He yelled at me in front of co workers, loved to berate me and others and the one time I fought back I became a target for some of my co workers. It was hard accepting that those folks that I trusted the most were now out to physically and emotionally hurt me. If you work for the county, there are people who turn their backs on you because they are either crooked like Georgie or are afraid of him. I have had family members hurt by this piece of crap sheriff when he was an Aliquippa cop. He was/is a racist, he can’t speak English and he is just like a mean Barney Fife. I hope Mr. Berosh thinks twice before trying to het information from an informant that should be kept confidential..

  • This is new…and troubling. How deep does the illegal meddling go? The next level is the judges. Let’s hope not.

  • George David IS the J. Eger Hoover of Beaver County! He has dirt on everybody that is somebody. Make no mistake about that, EVER! Forget the AG’s office for any help. When they investigated the Aliquippa Police Dept. in 2001 for corruption following the James Naim murder, rumor has it that the corruption when all the way up the ladder to the AG’s office. Think about that for a minute. Don’t EVER forget who George David is related to, some very powerful people. Money is power. This man is not going anywhere soon.

  • Why should an officer of the law need a gun permit? Chief Detective Fennych should be carrying a firearm just like every LEO. I don’t understand why a LEO has to pay for a permit. Please explain.

  • William, I totally agree. I’m fairly new to this area, and from everything I’ve read about George David, it’s pretty obvious he has dirt on many, and the only way to clean this mess up is to take it to the State level. If not and at this rate, it would be tragic, but would not surprise me in the least to start reading about someone getting hurt or much worse.

  • Time for Attorney General to step in and find out what is going on in DA office. NO ONE should think they are above the law. To out someone to a sheriff who is under indictment and has a history of anger and physical abuse problems is just not right YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER

    Oh and by the way did you not know the law in being able to record in public office

    witch hunt to find John Paul sources all this to satisfy yourself and sheriff

  • This whole mess makes my skin crawl, unbelievable, why the big investigation? Sheriff is a public figure and he has no rights to any privacey, we pay his wages and there we go again with Stephanie, leave her alone, calling her x husband and family..totally appauling!!!!!! now you joined in BEROSH, WHY would you believe any thing he told you? Now she’s completely innocent and all of you caused her grief if this other man hadn’t come along and told the truth you would of pinned it on her, why because she wouldn’t lie for the Sheriiff in the Hicks case? Wasted money for nothing 4 months and you didn’t realize it wasn’t her, UNBELIEVABLE……..

  • When you go into that voting booth, remember all this crap and vote accordingly. Not only does Beaver County need to vote this piece of crap out of the sheriff’s office, it is time for the DA to join him. So, if I perceive the goings on at the Courthouse correctly….Sheriff, DA, County Commissioners all need to go……is there anyone else?

    • It would be folly to believe that these circumventions of the law exist in isolation. At each level of the government, there exist the means to stop corruption at the next lower level, or, at the level above, for that matter. The Sheriff could be stopped, IF the next level of governance WANTED to stop him. But that is absent. Why? If one person in a “gang” is attracting all the heat, why would anyone else want to remove such an easy target that draws the fire away from themselves and allows the attention to be focused upon them instead? The Sheriff then becomes a pawn, not a King, perhaps not unwittingly, and manipulated by his superiors who would gain from it. Apparently, the DA is willing to run the Sheriff’s errands for him, possibly to keep him in office and under the microscope. If the whole damn courthouse, and beyond, is on the make and on the take, so be it. But approach it from that perspective to understand it. I know for at fact that many honest people work in the courthouse, but the thread of corruption connects them all, for as long as they are willing to tolerate it. It’s just common sense. The principle actors in these events, and those whom they affect, would have to know EXACTLY what is going on. The Sheriff’s actions are obvious, and get the most attention, but, as we are now seeing, those around him cannot be left out of scrutiny, and they must be held accountable as well. This Sheriff, perhaps connected and feared by many, could not do all of this on his own. He is not smart enough or connected enough, and if he stepped out of line with his enablers, he would be thrown under the bus without hesitation as others scramble to save their own skins. Think from the position of “Whom is to benefit?” and the conclusions become much easier and more obvious.

  • Given the remarks by some people here and elsewhere, I feel naive in thinking that the corruption begins and ends in the Sheriff’s office. Apparently, it does not. That might be just the most obvious. If it extends into county and state government, then the Sheriff is only an inconvenient distraction. I have long wondered how such pervasive criminal activity could persist, without the involvement of organized crime, especially the drug trade that is present everywhere. If any of these people is “dancing on the strings” of underworld party bosses, or for that matter is holding some of the strings, the revelations here could only get much worse. Call me an alarmist, but the sheer extent and size of the corruption problem probably could not exist without sizable outside influence and support. God help us all if this is only partially true. I hope that I am completely wrong, but I believe that the possibility should at least be entertained. Ask yourself why legal actions against these people go dead in the water. It sure as heck is not because of George David’s good looks.

  • D.A. Berosh appears to be as dirty as the sheriff. Why, again, hasn’t charges been filed against the deputys for the false reports and arrest of Mr. Hicks? As I stated befor, it’s right in front of him, sworn and signed in black and white ! If the State Police were handling this case it would have been absolved months ago. You MUST do your job M.R. D.A. like it or not. Or are you afraid of the big (oops) bad wolf ?

  • What’s next? Will the DA get a court order to get the IP addresses of anonymous posters here every time he decides to conduct a witch hunt? What appears to be abuse of power seems to run rampant in this county. I didn’t realized that we lived in a monarchy….until now.

    We have too many elected officials who seem to not report to anybody….including the citizens who pull the voting levers.

  • I really don’t care if Sheriff David knows who I am. I have done nothing wrong and there’s nothing he can do to me. I will not be intimidated by bullying and/or mob tactics. Sheriff David is an elected official and he works for ME AND YOU, not the other way around! He WILL be held accountable for his actions one way or another.

    • If journalists for this website only succeeded in putting themselves at risk by exposing wrong-doings of this sheriff’s department, it all seems somewhat bittersweet in terms of success.
      The way I see it, the only proactive measure is to write to Pennsylvania lawmakers, urging them to pass already proposed legislation to recall elections. Even if it can’t make a change for Beaver County anytime soon, I would hate to see this proposed legislation get quietly killed in committee when the perfect example exists right now for why it’s necessary.
      Does anyone know how to facilitate a form letter as a combined effort – thru some sort of separate blog, then forwarded directly thru to Representatives via a link with individual names only identified to the recipient Representative?
      Here’s my thoughts –
      Dear PA State Representative;
      I am a resident (and registered voter) in the Beaver County, Pennsylvania and would like to see your support of proposed legistation to recall elected officers, one act being HB 1559 of 2009, authored by Representative Jaret Gibbons to amend elections code______.
      (“Courts of this County as well as Erie, PA have determined that wrongdoings were and are continually being committed by the elected Sheriff of Beaver County, George David, while acting within the scope of his duties. Taxpayers have been and continue to pay for investigations and court proceedings directly involving egregious individual acts of Sheriff David, as well as, combined acts of conflicting legal procedures performed on behalf of the Beaver County Sheriff’s Department under his direction and/or soley at the hands of his discretion. I no longer have confidence that this elected officer can or will ethically and effectively serve Beaver County since it appears he is unwilling to uphold the law and properly oversee this department for the well-being of those who he was sworn to protect and administer to.”)
      I urge you to address this with your constituents and formally approve proposed amendments to recall elections for the future benefit of citizens and taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
      Sincerely, (signature)

      • I don’t know how this matter would be implemented, Gwen’s Down, but I’m willing to also investigate the process. Then, I’ll get back to you. Thanks very much for your post.

    • Silence, Good, and it shouldn’t matter to you what anyone else thinks if private citizens like yourself expose criminal activity. We need more like you. And according to the Sheriff all anyone exposed anyways was a sting operation he was conducting to catch wrong doers. I’m sure he was doing the same thing when he gave the president Judge (McBride) a $1.00 permit as I’m sure McBride wouldn’t break his oath being a judge and all. As to the “Monkeyface” letter lots of Myron’s handwriting around get it checked. Spike

  • Tank you Silence you are so right, When Georgie steps in front of God no amount of his church going will matter. Going to church doesn’t erase sins, repentance does. We all know Georgie hasn’t repented because he thinks he is right all the time.

  • Sheriff David CLAIMS that he was using this “ploy” to snare the “mole” in his office. So he violates state statute in order to entrap the person who would turn him in for breaking the law. Anybody see anything wrong with this picture? “I want to get rid of anyone in my office that would turn me in if I do something illegal.” REALLY!? HOW ABOUT JUST FOLLOWING THE LAW!!! THEN YOU WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MOLES!!!

  • WHY DONT THE PEOPLE OF BC RALLY TO TAKE BACK OUR COUNTY FROM THE CONTROL OF THUGS AND CRIMINALS. START PETITIONS, DISTRUBUTE LEAFLETS AND INFORMATION,
    DO IT IN FRONT OF THE COURTHOUSE, INVITE THE MEDIA, DRAW MORE ATTENTION TO THESE WRONG DOINGS, START A FACEBOOK PAGE, TWITTER ACCOUNT OR WHATEVER. THERE IS PLENTY THAT CAN BE DONE, BUT IT NEEDS LOTS OF ATTENTION AND PUBLICITY.
    ALSO, WHY HASNT SOMEONE WITH THE RIGHT TALENT STARTED A BC GOVERNMENT CARTOON YET? COULD BE A BIG HIT, THE CHARACTERS ARE ALL THERE ALREADY AND GOD KNOWS THE GIVE PLENTY OF MATERIAL TO WRITE ABOUT.

    • You actually think that the old boys club is going to stop their behavior because somebody made a facebook page? It all starts and ends in the voting booth…the majority of those in power will still be in power because there are just too many idiots who keep pulling their lever.

      • I understand where “Had Enough” is coming from, though. While the actual creation of the facebook page may not, in itself, deter the individuals from continuing their behavior, what it does serve to do is provide another platform for people to spread the word about all the corruption in the courthouse. So it works to inform more people into hopefully NOT pulling their usual lever in the next election. Also, if enough people finally start to wake up, they could start pressuring lawmakers into passing laws like the recall bill. I know that I’m thinking EXTREMELY optimistically, but ultimately, it’s better to try and sometimes fail than it is to never try and always fail.

    • Link to Lawmakers ~

      Write about your concerns and request that your District’s Representative support and formally approve legislation to “Recall Elections”, introduced by Representative Jaret Gibbons. The news release concerning this topic is: http://www.pahouse.com/PR/010060109.asp

      The link for a listing of all Beaver County Legislators with their District numbers is:
      http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/county_list.cfm?CNTYLIST=BEAVER

      or for a direct email contact form, there is an easy district search available for Democrat Representatives at:
      http://WWW.PAHOUSE.COM

      or for the direct email contact form for Republican Representatives at:
      http://WWW.PAHOUSEGOP.COM

      Click on the Representative’s name and individual contact page, then submit your message directly thru from either of these two PA House websites.

      Most, if not all of these Reps have their own websites for other contact information too.