The Beaver County Board of Commissioners used secret codes during a public work session Wednesday when discussing resolutions they planned to vote on this week, saying they needed to protect themselves against “leaks” to BeaverCountian.com.
The board briefly discussed various resolutions by their assigned numbers and refused to release the corresponding language to members of the public, press, or even fellow county officials, leaving everyone in the dark about what exactly they were referring to.
Commissioners said the change came in response to a September 3 investigative report published by BeaverCountian.com that first revealed taxpayer resources were being used to settle a federal lawsuit between several former sheriff’s deputies and Sheriff Tony Guy. The agreement saw taxpayers assume legal responsibility for derogatory political ads Guy ran during his reelection campaign.
Wednesday’s meeting stood in stark contrast to what has been the county’s standard practice for years, which has been to post resolutions online or make them available in print before commissioners held their work session discussions.
Treasurer Sandie Egley, who previously served as a county commissioner, objected to the change during the meeting.
“I called the office yesterday to get a copy of the resolutions and was told the law office was not permitting resolutions to be disclosed until after the work session,” Egley said. “I would like the resolutions before the work session.”