Op-Ed: Thoughts On Sheriff David – or – A Little Bit Of Tyranny Is A Little Bit Too Much

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Editorial Note: The following Op-Ed contribution was written by the confidential source who provided the Beaver Countian with a copy of a video he secretly recorded of Sheriff George David. The video led to a series of investigative reports by the Beaver Countian, which have called into question Sheriff David’s administration of concealed carry gun permits in Beaver County. “Secretly Recorded Video May Show Sheriff David Violating Warnings By State Auditors” | “Sheriff David May Have Illegally Denied Gun Permits To Hundreds Of People Who Applied

Lately, many of us have been reading the articles John Paul has been writing about the Beaver County Sheriff, George David. In these articles, we have found that George David has been threatening people that oppose him, providing favors for those who support him, and unlawfully denying our residents their Constitutional right to self-defense based on minor infractions. I’ve been a long-time reader of the Beaver Countian and have only recently become a contributing member of the comments section under the pseudonym “Silence_Dogood.” As a brief history lesson, I will give you the reason why I chose that name as my online persona.

As a teenager, Benjamin Franklin worked as an apprentice to his older brother, James, in his printing shop where the New-England Courant was printed. After being denied the opportunity to have his works published in the paper, Franklin took on the name Silence Dogood, a middle-aged widow who enjoyed poking fun of colonial life, religious hypocrisy and the persecution of women and other members of society. He did this between April 2 and October 8, 1722. I chose this persona because Benjamin Franklin sought to expose the truth about colonial life, but couldn’t under his current name. In letter 3, Franklin wrote, “It is undoubtedly the Duty of all Persons to serve the Country they live in, according to their Abilities… Let it suffice, that I now take up a Resolution, to do for the future all that lies in my Way for the Service of my Countrymen.” I felt the same way about my position in Beaver County, especially after I recorded the video between Sheriff David and Ray Dushac. I know that Sheriff David, as well as some of his deputies and office staff, have a tendency to say one thing, then claim another, so I sought to protect myself from such incidents by recording my interactions with them. I came to understand this for certain when I heard Sheriff David make the comment to Ray Dushac that, “I would never threaten anyone. I don’t even swear.” Once I was informed about what I had actually recorded (Sheriff David issuing Ray Dushac a License To Carry A Firearm ‘LTCF’ at a discounted rate), I gave John Paul the go-ahead to submit the video to the Pennsylvania State Police for investigation into Sheriff David’s actions. Ultimately, I sought to protect myself from any retaliation the sheriff may have sent my way for as long as I could while still being able to contribute to the community what knowledge I had.

Some people on here were set on the idea that the video was taken unlawfully by either a private citizen or by Stephanie Guidice. Those readers, along with Sheriff David, set out on a witch-hunt to crucify the person who would dare catch him in the act of committing a crime and record him without his permission. At that time, and still to my knowledge, Sheriff David has yet to see the video and can only speculate as to what it contains. My recording of the sheriff was completely lawful as the sheriff was in a public place (the lobby of his office) in full uniform, speaking with another elected official (Ray Dushac, elected constable) and acting in his official capacity (Ray Dushac had stated that he was there in the office to renew his LTCF). To record the conversation between David and Dushac is the same as recording a police officer issuing a citation to a person he knew. Any conversation that took place between the two would be incidental as they have no reasonable expectation of privacy. No one, aside from me, knew that I was recording in the office. This includes Ms. Guidice, who has recently been the target of Sheriff David’s witch hunt.

I, unbeknownst to myself, set forth a chain of events that has helped John Paul, through his excellent investigative reporting, expose many of the sheriff’s unethical, unlawful and unconstitutional actions through the years. Lately, it has been exposed that the sheriff has been using an unlawful blanket policy of denying a LTCF for any and all criminal convictions. Here is a copy of a denial letter sent to an acquaintance based on §6109(e)(1)(i):

“Dear Applicant:

You have recently applied for a License to Carry a Firearm through this office. This letter is to inform you that the application has been denied in accordance with 18 Pa. C.S.A. 6109(e)(1)(i), which states that a license shall not be issued to any individual whose character and reputation is such that the individual would be likely to act in a manner contrary to public safety.

At this juncture, the only recourse available would be to contact the Clerk of Courts in the county where the offense took place, and inquire if the case is eligible to be expunged. Once the case is expunged, you may reapply through this office. Otherwise, the decision is final.

George J. David
Sheriff of Beaver County”

As I have shown in the comments I’ve made recently, I’ve spent countless hours researching case law and the laws involved in the issue, denial and revocation of a LTCF. John Paul’s reporting states that the sheriff has been denying people their LTCF based on ANY AND ALL criminal convictions. 18 PA C.S. §6109(e)(1) lays out the reasons why a person must be denied their LTCF. Every one of the reasons is pretty clear cut in spelling out what the prohibiting offenses are with the exception of one. §6109(e)(1)(i) gives discretion to the issuing authority to investigate the applicant’s background and assess if their “character and reputation is such that the individual would be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.” Until February 2013, this section of the law gave full discretion to the issuing authority to deny or revoke a person’s LTCF if they thought the person’s character and reputation was such to create a public hazard. Most sheriffs in PA used this authority only in extreme cases, with exception of the Gun Permit Unit in Philadelphia that, to this day, denies citizens based on such minor infractions as parking tickets.

In 2012, Francisco Caba had his LTCF revoked by Sheriff Weaknecht of Berks County under §6109(e)(1)(i) much in the way that Sheriff David denies permits today. Through the arguments presented in his appeal, Caba sought to prove that the sheriff had unlawfully revoked his LTCF. Ultimately, his appeal was brought before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania before Judges McGinley, Leavitt, and Brobson (Caba v. Weaknecht, 64 A.3d 39 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2013)). The decision by the court, while ultimately a loss for Caba as his LTCF revocation was upheld, was seen as a victory for the firearms community by Joshua Prince of Prince Law Offices in Bechtelsville, PA. In the decision opined by Judge Brobson, it was set forth that along with the statute, the issuing authority must state the specific reason for revocation:

“In this case, Caba had a license. Under the Act, the Sheriff must have “good cause” before he can revoke a license. 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109(i). In other words, he cannot revoke a license as a matter of administrative whim. He must revoke a license if the licensee becomes ineligible, for the reasons set forth in Section 6109(e)(1) of the Act, during the term of the license. Id. He also must provide the “specific reason” to the licensee for his revocation decision. Id. And, the licensee may appeal the Sheriff’s decision to the court of common pleas. Id. When a regulatory scheme provides for a review of an adverse governmental decision, this “sheds light on the legislature’s intention in conferring a property right on those” with the appeal right. Pipkin v. Pa. State Police, 548 Pa. 1, 7, 693 A.2d 190, 193 (1997).”

With this decision, it is now set in stone that the sheriff must deny or revoke a license if the applicant or licensee’s character or reputation is such that they would be a danger to the public at large. He must also provide specific reasons for the action to provide the licensee the opportunity to appeal; else it is a denial of due process.

I once approached the prothonotary of Beaver County, Nancy Werme, about appealing a denial of a LTCF. She had stated that no one, for as long as she’s been in the position, has ever attempted to appeal a denial of the sheriff’s decision. She actually called the Prothonotary’s office of Allegheny County to find out what the process was as she was unfamiliar with it. This fact concerns me greatly as this means that not one person has ever challenged a denial in Beaver County. Part of the problem, in my opinion, lies in the fact that the sheriffs denial based on character and reputation states that, “…at this juncture, the only recourse available would be to contact the Clerk of Courts in the county where the offense took place, and inquire if the case is eligible to be expunged. Once the case is expunged, you may reapply through this office. Otherwise, the decision is final.” His letter makes the decision seem absolute and beyond the realm of question. This also leaves the applicant without reason or cause of the denial short of the fact that their character and reputation is in question, thus denying them their Fifth Amendment right to due process as there is nothing specific for them to challenge.

Through his actions, Sheriff David has created an atmosphere in his office that has become quite hostile. Between the actions of Sheriff David, his deputies, and some of his office staff, they’ve set the tone of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.” They’ve set out to intimidate and/or silence anyone who would dare stand against them. Many greats in history have said that when the people of a nation fear their government, that is the definition of tyranny. Benjamin Franklin once said, “all tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” I feel that, through many of his actions, Sheriff David has shown to be a tyrant. I don’t know about the rest of the citizens of Beaver County, but I am sick and tired of remaining silent and refuse to be the victim of a tyrant. I believe that it is time that the good people of Beaver County stand up against Sheriff David for all of his misdeeds. He, like all other politicians, should be held accountable for his actions. This business of threatening people’s lives for seeking the truth, cronyism, and theft from the taxpayers of Beaver County by giving his friends and associates discounted LTCFs, despite being told not to, has got to stop. The only way this can be done is if We the people start holding our elected officials accountable. I hope that I am not alone in this thinking and that you will continue to support John Paul and others in their endeavors to bring out the injustices in our great county.

I close this with a Latin phrase from a great movie: Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici. Translated, the statement reads “By the power of truth, I, a living man, have conquered the universe.”

Editorial Note: Famed 2nd Amendment attorney Joshua Prince, Chief Legal Counsel of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, is currently seeking individuals in Beaver County who have been declined a license to carry a firearm based on character and reputation for a possible class action lawsuit against Sheriff George David.

48 comments

  • This was very good well put now the witch hunt is over Jay and the Sherrif better kiss someones ass or get ready to open up your wallet boys someone gonna be knocking and and you are going to be busy.Jay is made an ass off by the Sherrif and stays by him you are not to bright or just a loser. :time:

  • I’ve watched the great debate if the sheriff should or could due different duties some debatable some clear cut the law.

    But I’ve watched the leadership he has laid and I can honestly say this is the worst LEADERSHIP I’ve ever seen blanketed in a law enforcement office ever, besides opening the door serving papers and warrants with transportation. What has he done correct?

    thus has gone on straight for last five years and complied a thirty year career of blunders,mis haps and law breaking, besides a gun being pulled on a reporter there is a trial beating on those charges where are the others?

    Terrorized some employees what leadership has rose in these incidents ahhh nobody not one person down ladders and asked fir resignation

    This is beyond words the longer this goes, the level of corruption is crazy and no LEADERSHIP

    For any guys that work in sheriff department with act120 and has not atattempted to be a leader, those that have or currently work in municipal department should be ashamed and go look at the oath that you took need to take a look at it again

    Jay I can understand on some but he has lossed his precipition on reality and his role the tarnish of his career has set in. it’s sad and there are lot of other guys that should be afraid of looking themselves in the mirror your serving what you should be arresting

  • WOW…..What a great well written article…I couldn’t stop reading…GREAT JOB…and you also cleared Stephanie, The sheriff and his attorney Slimeavich said they watched the tape and seen her filming the conversation, what LIARS…hope every thing works out for you KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? is my question….

    • No Mr. Nardick, George David needs to be held accountable for all of the DISGUSTING attention he has brought to the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office. He and he alone tainted what this department represents, as well as some of the good and decent Deputies that have been there from when Frank Policaro and Felix DeLuca was Sheriff, in that they have to endure what this man has done to their loyalty, dedication and service. Granted, they had their quirks with Policaro and DeLuca, but at least they had their dignity in tact. It is seen how some of these “loyal” deputies walk around the Courthouse who try to keep their heads up and do their job…then you have the ones that don’t give a crap and just bide their time, we see them every day! And in all fairness, you really can’t tar and feather Chief Alstadt, put yourself in his place having to deal with the mighty George David. We see him running in many different directions in the course of the day, trying to put out all of George’s fires. I’m sure he’s doing the best he can with what he has to deal with. Let’s just hope and pray there is justice coming to take Sheriff David out of service. He doesn’t deserve the title of “Sheriff”!!!

    • Mr. Nardick, George David is not a whipping boy here. He has arrived at this point all by himself. If he is not convicted, you will be able to see this for yourself when full-page ads appear in the print media prior to the next election, carrying a verifiable, factual timeline of this long-evolving fiasco. With the help of people who formerly voted straight-party Democratic, he will be gone from office.

    • Michael Nardick, have you fallen off a turnip truck or just plain STUPID ???????????????????????????????

    • You must be dumb or dont understand justice he should say stay of the gun permit girls ass.Hate to break your heart but there is much more to come and his ass will be stomped on and only can blame his stupidity.This takes care of the video what about the door that was unlocked to set her up this never heard anything being done about it or did that get shoved under the rug dont let that go someone needs to look into that.NOW STAY OFF HER ASS YOU LOSER.

    • Enough will be enough when the sheriff stops openly flaunting the laws that he is sworn to uphold, stops terrorizing the very people who work for him AND those whom he is sworn to protect, stops using the Beaver County coffers as if it is his own “personal money stash”, and last but not least, stop strutting around the county of Beaver, with the delusion in his head that he is the “lord and master” over everybody that either works or lives in the county of Beaver. When he stands up in court and admits his wrong doings, THEN AND ONLY THEN will it be enough…No, I take that back. That won’t make it enough, When he resigns from office, be it with a graceful exit, or he is removed kicking and screaming, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL IT BE ENOUGH!!!

    • Mr. Nardick, tell us, why is it that you feel that “enough is enough”. Clearly it’s not since it seems no matter how many times the Sheriff is busted for stepping outside of legal boundaries, he continues the behavior anyway.

      After browsing your Facebook photos, it seems that you are a very confused person. One photo is of a pistol, another is a Pro – Obama one, the next is another pistol then yet another Obama support photo. You are aware that Obama is about as anti-gun as they come, right?

      Maybe I have underestimated you. Perhaps you are not confused, but rather you are trying to keep 1 foot on each side of the fence.

      So I ask to which are you more loyal: Your personal freedoms and the American way, or to the Democrat party / your union? At some point you’re going to decide, even if by default, whether you want to or not. What will you stand up for?

      By the way, the Ruger LC9 is a great pistol in my opinion. Not so much a big fan of the Glock, although I admit I am a little bias as I tend to lean towards guns manufactured in the U.S.

  • Silence_Doogood: For now, I shall just confirm that you are NOT alone. That is why I am here, and I shall support you. This is an excellent piece, and now I shall read it again. Tyranny is accurate, and not a convenient pejorative term. Hopefully, people will come to realize that and give this matter the serious attention it deserves. I am focused on the next election. Hopefully, we won’t see this Sheriff’s name on the ballot. Rather, I hope for jail time for him. If not, then his candidacy should be undermined. A recall is a very good option as a backup, even if it has to follow after an election. But, one successful recall will make further recalls that much easier. I will work toward those goals.

  • what a joke

    @ act 111 your dead on some of them need to step up, you shady know where the others are, trying to fuck the good ones, only ones left that have stripes and integrity are Knopp and yasic, ,lupo and yonlinsky are on the proverbial fence of falling into the cess pool….

  • YOU SNOOSE YOU LOOSE!! THIS RIP VAN WINKLE (M.F.) BEEN SLEEPING FOR A WHILE TIME TO GO!!! AND YOUR CRONNIES!!! THE DUMB ASSES IN QUIP & HOPEWELL I KNOW YOU BITCHEZS ( BEE OUCH KISS THE RING!!! ANDRE DID!!!!!!!!!

  • Silence_Dogood, you have earned my respect and admiration, which, if anyone has paid attention here, I DO NOT hand those out freely. You are a great example of what needs to be done, with exposing corruption and backalley shady deals.
    You have my full backing, and hopefully, with your endless wisdom that WE ALL know that you possess, hopefully, we see your name on a sheriff’s ballot when election time comes around….
    Please stick around here, because you are so vey knowledgeable, and we ALL could learn a thing or two from you…

  • Thank you Silence_Dogood, you are a strong honest person. I have witnessed George David and his actions for years and I am ashamed of myself for becoming a silent person when seeing all this person has done. Mr. David has done all that you and J.P. has said he has done and more. I hope his reign of terror stops soon, and that a fair and honest sheriff replaces him. I do hope that David spends some time in jail, but he has too much money following and supporting him for that to happen. To all who have stood up to George David, thank you and keep safe.

  • All that is necessary for Evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing. Sir Edmund Burke

    Remember people, if we don’t use our rights, we will surely lose our rights. These people in a position of power all to often forget 2 things. 1) They work for us. 2) They take an oath to protect the constitution of the United States, and the rights of all Law abiding citizens. We have to stand up against this type of tyranny and use our right to vote as a means to exterminate these parasites that continually forget what they swore to do…

    • Actually, Debbie, no. You can be a mushroom, live in the dark and be fed shit, or you can visit this site — and even others — for 5 minutes each day, be informed and be a knowledgeable, responsible voter. There is plenty of time left for the rest of your interests.

      • Some people around here seem to like the taste of shit. Hank’s could make it flavor of the day. On another note, doogood– balls AND brains. You rock! Excellent op-ed.

    • Debbie, a visit to your Facebook page was enlightening, especially the pictures. It speaks volumes. I understand more about what you said here, now that it has a context. Obviously, you are not an isolate. Maybe, as a supporter of law enforcement, the military, and a believer in American values, you will comment about why this matter about George David is not important? Perhaps you are seeing something about this matter that others are not. Make some noise in the deafening silence of missing comments from George David supporters.

  • A Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism? If you visit the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism website, you will see that the works of the winners of the prize are not much different than John Paul’s work, taken as a whole. When these investigated topics are eventually resolved, I don’t see why he would not be a viable candidate. Give it two or three years, at most five, and watch it happen. This article, and the surrounding coverage, are excellent examples of the quality of this BC site at its best. Thank you, also, Silence_Dogood — you are an exceptional person.

  • Sheriff David thought he could fool us by “suppporting” the 2nd amendment in public, while giving it the shaft when he thought no one was looking. Corruption must be fought whenever it is discovered. The corrupt must be dealt with severely. We must stand together, all of us, and make it known that we will not back down! We will be heard! We will shut this down!

  • author

    I just want to say thank you to all of you for your positive feedback. More than anything, I expected to receive some mixed emotions about my op-ed here. As Benjamin Franklin once penned, “I am very sensible that it is impossible for me, or indeed any one Writer to please all Readers at once. Various Persons have different Sentiments; and that which is pleasant and delightful to one, gives another Disgust.”

    More than anything, I just wanted to put my opinions, experiences and knowledge out there for you all to read. I must say that it has been EXTREMELY difficult for me to sit back and read the articles JP has written recently about Stephanie Guidice being harassed about being the creator of my video; but I was informed along the way that Stephanie was doing quite fine at taking care of herself. Ultimately, I only wish there were more I could do to help protect her and everyone else from Sheriff David’s wrath.

    Some of you have raised the question of recalling Sheriff David as well as some of our other elected officials. Unfortunately, there are currently no recall laws on the books in Pennsylvania. That would be something that needs pushed in the state legislature. Also, while we all know the things Sheriff David has done, he cannot be removed from office based on ethics violations until he is convicted of something. As much as we all know the truth, we have to keep in mind that the power of the great Constitution that ensures our freedoms must apply to all and not selectively when convenient. We are all innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Despite the fact that Sheriff David has denied so many people their right to due process, we mustn’t stoop to his level and degrade ourselves by denying him the same.

    I do appreciate seeing several of you stating that you would like to see my name on the ballot for the next election. Unfortunately, I have no experience in anything involving law enforcement or elections to public office in general. I am just a concerned citizen who has taken the time to educate myself on the laws that seem to affect my life the most.

    I will continue to be an active member on here, contributing what knowledge I have when I see that it applies. Thank you, again, for your continued support and be sure to make your disdain for the cronyism in Beaver County known both now and in the next elections.

    • Silence_Dogood: You are right about the recall difficulty. But it does not mean we are dead in the water. Laws can be enacted, state officials can take action, and George David’s arrest and conviction can’t be ruled out.

      • author

        Laws can absolutely be enacted, which is why I stated that that would need to be taken up with the legislators. In regards to having an elected official removed from office, this is from the PA Department of State “Elected Officials in Local Government” printout:

        “All elected officials in Pennsylvania, including county, municipal and school district officials are subject to an exclusive method for removal established in Article VI, Sections 6 and 7 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Elected officials are removable from office only: (1) by impeachment in the General Assembly; (2) by the Governor for reasonable cause after due notice and full hearing on the address of two thirds of the Senate, or (3) upon conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime in accordance with the Constitution. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that recall procedures contained in home rule charters are unconstitutional since they violate Sections 6 and 7, of Article VI.”

        It’s true that his conviction can’t be ruled out, but it also can’t be used as the means for his removal until it is official.

  • Does anyone else notice that although there is a clear majority of people thinking the same way on most of these comments, there is one person that where everyone else gives a thumbs up, that person gives a thumb down….Have we finally reached the time where Georgie only has one supporter left?

    • There are a select few that give “thumbs down” no matter what the subject matter may be, as soon as they see a certain person’s name, they automatically hit the thumbs down. This has been proven time and time again, and actually, it’s something that is happening on another article here on the site. These people have nothing better to do, besides trying to start arguments that have nothing to do with the subject. The less attention that is paid to them, the better off we all are.

      • author

        Exactly what Ben Franklin said as I quoted above, “I am very sensible that it is impossible for me, or indeed any one Writer to please all Readers at once. Various Persons have different Sentiments; and that which is pleasant and delightful to one, gives another Disgust.”

  • Hey Michael Nardick, just a hint of who I am-I’m one of the hired people who worked at Eat & Park that used to spit on this FREELOADRRS sandwitches. You must have some idea !

    • You probably shouldn’t have confessed that little tidbit, even though it seems like a minor thing, it is actually against the law. It is considered assault, believe it or not…
      Just thought that I’d throw that out there.

      • Nikki, true but that was over 40 years ago, I doubt that the statue of limitations would be in effect. Also, no proof, just saying !

    • What’s your point McCoy ? David could spend thousands of his dirty money to find out. Go ahead Georje James David, I’ve got a surprise for yoy. How did it taste ? Remember the first admendment ? Perhaps if you ever solve this one. I’ll pleade the 5th. Ha, Ha Ha !

  • really take a look at his full-time hires as he said he needed a colored hire he did that by virtue of coin flip.

    then look at his other you know his hand picked it was what nobody else wanted or was about to fired, it’s maddening to think and dint even go to the promotions of a few,lol lol