Attorney Joseph Askar (left) with Commissioner Tony Amadio / file photo by John Paul

Beaver County Commissioners are expected to vote this week to contract an attorney to serve as solicitor for Beaver County Children and Youth Services (CYS). Among those who submitted an application and is said to be lobbying hard for the position is former chief county solicitor Joseph Askar.

Commissioners decided in August not to renew a long-standing contract the county had with attorney Robert Masters after it was revealed that, when serving as district attorney in 1964, he had terminated an investigation into a priest accused of child molestations because he wanted the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s political backing. The revelation was included in an 884-page report released last month detailing the Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury’s findings about abuses by the Catholic Church. Masters is now a subject of investigation by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office.

Attorney Joseph Askar is a long-time associate of Masters and now hopes to take his place as CYS solicitor. Askar regularly filled in for Masters to represent CYS in court, experience the attorney is touting to make a case for why he should be awarded the contract. He submitted an application to the county for consideration along with several other interested attorneys, including Robert Alsko, Dana Kwidis, David Neely, Felicia Santillan, Nicole Tesla, and Robert Dappenbrook.

Commissioners are expected to vote on a replacement during a public meeting on Thursday. It is unclear if the matter will be a subject of discussion during a public work session scheduled for Wednesday.

Askar has been a figure of contention for the current Board of Commissioners since BeaverCountian.com published an investigative report involving him in June 2017. The article revealed that Askar as county solicitor oversaw the sale of the county-run Friendship Ridge nursing home in Brighton Township, then began representing the facility’s new corporate owners after the sale was finalized but while still serving as the county’s head attorney.

Commissioner Sandie Egley subsequently filed a complaint against Askar with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Camp and Amadio refused to sign on to the complaint, which is still pending a year later.

Askar previously made headlines in 2014 after he pleaded his Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination during a hearing in the FBI’s case against Nick Trombetta, the convicted former head of Pennsylvania Cyberschool in Midland. FBI testimony revealed that Askar had been a “target subject” of its ongoing investigations, but he was never charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

Commissioner Dan Camp has called Askar a “close personal friend,” and politicos say he has been a de facto senior adviser to Camp since he was elected commissioner. Camp previously acknowledged to BeaverCountian.com he has met with Askar an average of several times each week since taking office.

Commissioner Tony Amadio is a long-time friend of Askar and is similarly close with Askar’s father-in-law, prominent local developer Pat Nardelli. Askar and Amadio co-hosted a fundraiser for Governor Tom Wolf at Friendship Ridge in May 2017, a time when the county was engaged in an ongoing legal dispute with the nursing home’s new corporate owners over payment for the facility.

See Also:

Investigative Report: Camp & Amadio Signed Nondisclosure Agreements – Met Privately With Veon & DeNaples About Casino Project

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

23 COMMENTS

  1. These people are a complete disgrace and continue to be a disservice to the good Americans that live in and finance Beaver County. I don’t know how they can face the public everyday knowing full well everything they do puts the bone to the very people that elected them and pay their salary. I find it ironic that this story is published on the same day as 911. Two disasters on the same day.

     
    • Ya he sure will look out for the interests of the children of Beaver County. Even considering Asshole is a big FU to the people of Beaver County.

       
  2. Dan and Tony, all of those favors and all of that advice you got from Askar, none of it was free. He’s calling in the debt, and your political capital is the price. I don’t see how either of you have a choice but to vote for Askar. Without Askar, both of you are lost. If you don’t give the position to Askar, the favors dry up. It’s a done deal. Nothing left to do but call your spin doctors at the Beaver County Times to try to put some lipstick on this pig.

     
  3. This is embarrassing for the BC. The fact he has stains and is more worried about saying the wrong thing, exercising his 5th than to clean his record and move forward with integrity says it all. Why would we even consider such an applicant when if anyone else has these marks the ‘guys’ would insist on us throwing their names out of the running? And this choice to advocate for our children. Embarrassing.

     
  4. Get a good Catholic in there. They are very family oriented and care deeply for the welfare of children.

     
  5. can,t wait till us. attornet generals office has full blown investiageting here with we the people come together behind them by hundreds

     
  6. The Commissioners and other courthouse officials know that there is no chance for re-election. With this knowledge, they are focused on spitting in our face as much as possible for the purpose of revenge and retribution until they are finally out of office. They are going to do maximum damage while collecting maximum benefits. Next election can’t come soon enough.

     
  7. EVERYTHING THAT JOE ASKAR HAS COME IN CONTACT WITH CONCERNING THIS COUNTY HAS BEEN A BIG SCREW UP LOOK HOW BAD HE SCREWED THE COUNTY ON THE FRIENDSHIP RIDGE DEAL COME ON PEOPLE WAKE UP AND PUT SOMEBODY IN THERE WHO WILL DO THE RIGHT JOB AND NOT WORRY ABOUT HIS POCKET GROWING

     
  8. JohnQ,
    You keep saying with quite certainty that they will not be re-elected. I wouldn’t bet on that, esp if Askar gets this position, which he’s probably been doing for Masters for years anyway.

     
  9. Why do these questionable people never go away permanently. He will be selected and the two commissioners will give him the necessary votes, touting his great experience at CYS and of course, his expertise in handling the sale of Friendship Ridge, neglecting to mention working both sides of that sale.

     
  10. Only in Beaver County! How can anyone believe Askar I ready to help others. He continues to rob the county and Camp an Amadio are taking it up the butt so they get some of the money. Is there any way the state can take over Beaver County?

     
  11. Concerning the chances of the two commissioner’s being reelected. The very sad fact voters in Beaver County will vote a straight ticket or vote the familiar name and unfortunately this would portend that both will be reelected. Of course one must understand we are not voting for the power behind these two puppets..the person that is actually advising them and he is currently seeking a position back in the courthouse “family.”

     

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