A Beaver County Sheriff’s Deputy has wrecked one of six new 2014 Ford Interceptors the county recently bought for the department.
According to an incident report filed by Aliquippa Sgt. Don Lane, Beaver County Sheriff’s Deputy Ronald Costanza struck a utility pole at around 4:30am on November 26th on Sheffield Road in Aliquippa. Deputy Costanza was not injured in the incident, but there was extensive damage done as a result of the collision into a utility pole.
“On 11/26/2013 at 0433 hours I investigated a report of an accident involving a vehicle into a pole – pole down on Sheffield Road,” wrote Sgt. Lane in his report. “I arrived on scene and found Unit One resting on the roadway facing west on Sheffield Road at 23rd street.”
“Poll #155 has been sheared at the base and was lying on the ground with all attached utility wires, cables, and the transformer lying on the ground also,” continued Sgt. Lane. “The transformer was leaking a green colored fluid onto the roadway and it was draining into the nearby sewers. I spoke with the operator of Unit One [...] He stated that he was driving Unit One and hit ice and lost control of the vehicle and hit the utility pole.”
Aliquippa Fire Department and Duquesne Light arrived on scene for cleanup and to place a new pole and reattach wiring. Power was lost to nearby areas as a result of the wreck.
Sources inside of the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office tell the Beaver Countian that Costanza was patrolling the City at the time of the accident.
Deputy Costanza is one of several part-time deputies that Sheriff David has been scheduling in excess of 40 hours per week in violation of collective bargaining agreements and county policies. Departmental directives obtained by the Beaver Countian appear to confirm what many confidential sources in the department have been saying for months, that Sheriff David is continuing to order his Deputies to patrol properties owned by private corporations, including slag mines located in Aliquippa owned by local real-estate tycoon Charles “Chuckie” Betters. David also regularly schedules several of his deputies, including Deputy Costanza, to patrol the streets of Aliquippa at night.
Beaver County Commissioners have been trying for over a year to stop Sheriff David from ordering the patrols, which are outside the scope of his mandated responsibilities under provisions of the Pennsylvania County Code.
As a result of a lawsuit filed against Sheriff George David by the Beaver County Commissioners last year, Senior Erie County Judge John Bozza issued a preliminary injunction on February 7th prohibiting the Sheriff’s Office from performing private security work. Under the Pennsylvania County Code, any Sheriff or Deputy who performs private security services for outside organizations is guilty of a misdemeanor. Sheriff George David pleaded his Fifth Amendment Rights against self incrimination to avoid testifying at a hearing held on the matter back in January.
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.