Ohioville Officer Remains On A Legally Suspect Indefinite Suspension

Solicitor Paul Steff (left), Councilman Kenneth Doughty, Councilman Richard Decker / Beaver Countian file photo

Solicitor Paul Steff (left), Councilman Kenneth Doughty, Councilman Richard Decker / Beaver Countian file photo

Ten weeks after Ohioville Borough Council voted to suspend a man who previously blew the whistle on the town’s former police chief, Officer Nevin Beatty remains off duty as his future with the department remains unclear.

Officer Nevin Beatty has been on a suspension by Ohioville Borough since March 17th — his third such suspension from duty since the officer went to the Pennsylvania State Police with evidence former Chief Ronald Lutton had allegedly been stealing from taxpayers by falsifying time sheets and hearing notices. Beatty has lawsuits pending in state and federal court against Ohioville Borough and several of its officials, alleging he was retaliated against.

Acting Chief Mark Smilek presented a list of alleged policy violations by Officer Beatty to Mayor Karl Anthony and Borough Solicitor Paul Steff back on March 17th. Mayor Anthony suspended Beatty pending termination as a result of Smilek’s complaints. The next day on March 18th, Ohioville Council held their regular meeting in which they voted 4-2 to uphold Mayor Anthony’s suspension of Beatty (with Councilmen Hill and Jackson voting no) and at the same time promoted Assistant Chief Smilek to the position of Chief.

But what Council didn’t do, was vote to terminate Officer Beatty.

Sources inside of Ohioville Borough tell the Beaver Countian that the efforts to terminate Officer Beatty were thwarted after two Council members (Hill and Jackson) conducted their own independent investigation into the complaints made by Smilek against the officer, finding many of the accusations to be unsubstantiated. The alleged wrongdoings by Officer Beatty date back to 2012 and 2013; a list of incidents which he was not disciplined or reprimanded for at the time they allegedly occurred. The list does not contain any incidents from this year.

In one of the complaints made by Smilek against Beatty, he accused the officer of failing to appear at taser training on March 18, 2013 as directed. But sources tell the Beaver Countian that council members went through the officer’s time sheets and discovered that Beatty was at CPR training that day and could not have attended the taser training course as well.

In another incident, Smilek said Officer Beatty refused to cooperate with the Pennsylvania State Police in late August 2013 about an investigation into an alleged death threat that a confidential informant heard was being made against several officers. But the State Police confirmed that Beatty had indeed been cooperative, and one Trooper even acted as a job reference for him.

Other alleged violations include Officer Beatty’s failure to properly investigate cases that had been assigned to the part-time officer, although sources say council members found several of those incidents corresponded to a time when the officer was suspended or when the officer’s hours were drastically cut by Smilek down to approximately 4 shifts per month (Beatty had previously been working nearly 40 hours per week on average).

Smilek also accused Beatty of wearing jeans to Central Court back on November 29, 2012 as one of the reasons for his recommended termination.

Sources say Beatty has been sent no notices from Ohioville Borough about his continued suspension from duty, hasn’t been told how long the suspension may last, and Council hasn’t mentioned him in any of its public meetings since March, leaving the officer in a legal limbo.

Officer Nevin Beatty had never been disciplined by Ohioville Borough before he came forward with the allegations against former Chief Ronald Lutton. Longtime Ohioville Borough Secretary Maureen Hapach resigned at the end of April, alleging she was being mistreated by Solicitor Paul Steff, who she accused of organizing retaliatory acts against Officer Beatty while actively advocating for former Chief Ronald Lutton.

Ohioville Borough is currently the subject of an investigation by the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office. Former Chief Ronald Lutton is currently awaiting trial on 64 felony counts of forgery for allegedly concocting fictitious court slips to justify overtime pay he did not earn.

Ohioville Solicitor Paul Steff has repeatedly refused this publication’s requests for comment and has failed to return numerous messages left for him over the past year.

 

19 comments

  1. Hang In There AND Remain Strong — Fight For What Is Right !!!

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  2. It sounds like they want to fire him, but they don’t have the grounds to do so, so they’re just going to keep him on suspension until he quits. Pretty shitty, if it’s true…

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  3. why is the FOP even letting this shit happen?

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  4. so my ? looks like jp still had a mole in the ville to give him all the info how about the names of 2 that are actually doing there job and running this community or the names of the 4 that aren’t so we can make sure not to RE ELECT them again small town politics at its finest but guess after beatty is done with law suits he can rename the town and fire all the commisioners after he owns this place

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    • I just cleared it with a source and have updated the story to report that it was Councilmen Hill and Jackson who conducted an independent investigation and subsequently voted “no” to suspending Officer Beatty.
      As always thanks for the suggestion and for being a reader of the Beaver Countian!

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  5. SpeakTheTruthToo

    Smilek should be fired after the dust clears from all of this. That Council needs to be dealt with as well.

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  6. I dont understand how these people are still in office! 

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    • Ohioville Hillbilly

      I don’t understand how this piece of shit town is still allowed to operate a police department!

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  7. Soon it will be called Beattyville. Hill and Jackson seem like the only level-headed councilmen. I hope people remember all this whenever elections come around again. How is Smilek chief? Please tell me that residence will wake up and send a message.

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  8. Smilek has shown how dirty he can be by “creating” bad evidence against beatty.  I’d like to see Smilek fired for an investigative job that was done shitty and malicious… and Beatty should be hired as Chief for his outstanding morals of saving the tax payers of Ohioville money by turning in frauds like chief Lutton and the boys….and hire back that secretary that blew the whistle also!!!  HERO’S!!!

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  9. Three cheers for Hill and jackson!!!!  Glad to see you two fellas stand up for what is right!  INTEGRITY at its finest!!!

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  10. I have followed many of the articles posted on the situation called Ohioville. It is nice to see the comments taking a change of tone. Beatty, hill, and Jackson obviously genuinely care about the community. These other dishonorable unmentionables should be run out like smilek was the first time. The entire establishment is a joke. How much tax payer money is being wasted on these petty fools ? Why not disband the entire department? The only guy who did his job got punished. Everyone else stood by idle while taxpayers were robbed. How much longer would this have gone on if some one did not act?

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  11. keepcalmandlawyerup

    Relax Kemosabe’s, former disgruntled employees all speak with forked tongue, talk to much, make headache.   Tonto

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    • regardless what anyone thinks about Nevin I don’t know how anyone can say Maureen was anything but an outstanding asset to Ohioville dismissing her story as just a disgruntled employee after all those years of service doesn’t fly sorry keepin drinking that coolaid

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  12. open your eyes

    What a joke let beaver come in and Handel law enforcement in ohioville lock up those running the show now stick that in piece pipe

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  13. I am not so sure beaver or Brighton would want to work Ohioville after all this bullshit. Might have to go to the state boys.

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