Edward "Ted" Knafelc / submitted photo

Editor’s Note: Attorney Ted Knafelc has officially announced his Democratic candidacy for Beaver County District Attorney. County primary elections will take place on May 21, 2019. His announcement letter is being published in full below as received from the candidate:

Dear J.P. and the readers of the Beaver Countian:

I am writing you to introduce myself and announce my candidacy for District Attorney of Beaver County in 2019. I am a lifelong resident of Beaver County and have chosen to raise my family here. I have always had a passion to serve our community, and if elected District Attorney, I would work tirelessly to make Beaver County a better place.

Over the past several months, I have reached out and spoken with members of the Beaver County Bar Association, local and state law enforcement officials, as well as members of our community to discuss the current status of the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office. I have had one profound and unanimous takeaway from those conversations: We need better leadership from the Beaver County District Attorney.

It is imperative the District Attorney be willing and capable of acting as a liaison between local law enforcement, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the staff of the District Attorney’s Office, and the community at large. The District Attorney must have working relationships with those entities in order to ensure that taxpayer resources are all actively working towards the singular goal of making Beaver County a safer place to live. I have already begun forging those important relationships and will continue to cultivate them as I move forward.

Law enforcement is being looked to more and more to combat the social impact of the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our communities. This epidemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. I believe that the District Attorney of Beaver County could, and should, be a leader in this struggle. As District Attorney, I will seek to engage the public in this fight and create a dialogue of cooperation between our schools, communities, health care providers and law enforcement to help in this ongoing battle against addiction. It is imperative that we not only zealously prosecute those who are coming into Beaver County to traffic the deadly mix of heroin and fentanyl, but we must also treat those who are struggling with addiction.

I hope I can count on your support and I look forward to talking to you over the coming months about my candidacy for District Attorney of Beaver County. I also hope to hear your thoughts and ideas on how together we can make a difference in this County.

Sincerely,
Edward “Ted” Knafelc

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.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Do you have any criminal legal education, investigation, litigation, or prosecution experience? If not, you will likely not be able to defeat Gerald Benyo, if he runs. The current DA is an inexperienced, incompetent former ambulance chaser, and we have seen where that led. Sorry, but having only a nice smile and a vision of rainbows and unicorns won’t cut it. And, Conehead came with a family name, why should we be impressed by yours?

     
  2. I’d rather vote for an outsider, not someone whose family name is ingrained in County politics. We’re just going to “treat” the addicts, not prosecute them? That’s a problem when the DA’s office pleas all the dealing charges down to possession, and they all claim to be addict/victims. I doubt Benyo will be better on that issue, though.

     
    • Do we treat drunk drivers of prosecute them? Do we treat some on legal pain medication, that kills someone while driving, or do we prosecute them? Any other illegal drug, do we prosecute them? Heroin addicts must be treated the same!

       
      • Do you have any education or expertise in the area of opiod treatment to back that up? Otherwise, your opinion should not be taken into account.

         
  3. “Ted Knafelc had previously been hired by the county under the prior Board of Commissioners to work as law clerk for President Judge John D. McBride before eventually resigning to work for a private law firm. Knafelc’s then-girlfriend Simone Temple was hired by the county to work in the Public Defender’s Office at around the same time. Temple and Knafelc later married, she remains employed by the Public Defender’s Office. Neither Knafelc or Temple had undergone a competitive employment process when hired.”

     
  4. This guy is the next Democrat “Machine” of Beaver County candidate. Be warned. His mother and father have been government employees and partisan Democrats their entire lives. His mother is the former Ambridge teacher union president and later school board member. His father is of course the Judge and former ambridge District judge and the former solicitor for the Ambridge School district. We all know poorly run the Ambridge School district is because of what a cesspool the politics there are. This guy is born and bred into the Beaver county Democrat political circle.

     
  5. Mr. Knafelc, since you are asking me, as a reader of the Beaver Countian, for my vote I will reply to your request with some requirements for what it will take for you to earn my vote.

    One of the reasons Mr. Benyo is an attractive candidate is that he does not speak in vague terms. He tells us exactly what he would do in a given situation and he’s built enough trust that I believe he really would do what he says. I realize that your announcement is intended to be brief, but I am going to need to hear a lot more about specific actions that Lozier has taken as DA and what you would have done differently, and why. If you want my vote, you will need to speak out about the Friendship Ridge ‘investigation’ specifically. How would you have handled it? How about the DelTondo investigation? How many county detectives should Beaver County employ? What is your position on the Sheriff’s department as law enforcement? Handling of the Beaver K-9 officer situation in Midland in 2016?

    Next, I’m going to need you to do regular press releases of your campaign finances. I realize you are under no obligation to do this, but based on your family name, circle of friends, and lack of experience, I already have some major concerns about you I want to know where your money comes from. This is non-negotiable if you want my vote. I will not put in a request at the courthouse for this information. If it’s not offered by you, I will not vote for you.

     
    • Mr.Knafelc, I agree 100% with Disgruntled.

      An observation : I attended a meeting where CJavens called Dan Camp DANNY as she chastised him. I get a quick vision of you running through the courthouse as a child and everyone making a fuss over little Teddy. No Thanks, no more, it’s adult time with adult issues. Belaboring this fight against the deadly mix of heroin and fentanyl, opioid epidemic, will not get my vote.

       
    • I agree with Disgruntled: Lack of experience in criminal law and sorry but the Family & Friends Inc. is going to hurt you at polls. Too many connections to the present corruption for my liking. I would like to hear your stance on the DA’s Super Dicks that cannot solve anything but a petty weed grower and the usual suspects. Check their murders that have not been solved. They are budget busters for this county and the taxpayers who pay for this ridiculous duplication of services. Your going to have to do much better selling yourself with the truckload of baggage you bring. Don’t be vague like Stonewall Loser and the Midget. Answer straight up what your plans are. We cannot afford more of the same from the county outhouse.

       
    • I also agree with disgruntled. Please let me know how you are going to handle things that Lozier did differently! Also, Benyo is gonna win!

       
      • I also agree with Disgruntled, Knafelc has no criminal litigation experience! What is he thinking? He thinks his family name will get him elected. Maybe in Ambridge, but not county wide. Waste of time and money if he runs. He’s not qualified!

         
  6. I think I’ve seen him as a public defender. As such, he did very little for his client, merely processing them through, after about 10 minutes of meeting them and hearing their side of the story. Push them through, get them fined and on probation. More interested in the courthouse hijinks with his fellow court jesters. So, the answer is NO.

     
  7. Why? Why is this on here? This was like something from a sixth-grade mock election. No thank you, sir.

     
  8. Just did a Beaver Countian search for Judge Harry Knafelc….And we all know that the apple does not fall far from the tree…And I WILL NOT be voting for littlle Teddy…Same name…Same results. Period.

     
  9. Dear Edward “Ted” Knafelc, I would never vote for you or any member of your fucked up nepotistic, crony infested phony family for any elected office.

     
  10. How about attorney Benyo tells us if he is in fact running. Until he does announce his candidacy he is just wishful thinking.

     
  11. Maybe not an ambulance chaser, but a novice for the past five years and still wet behind the ears. And he wants to be a District Attorney when he grows up? With little or no criminal background experience? Jeez. Another Stonewall?

    From the online web site for Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky:

    Edward Knafelc
    Associate

    Practice Areas
    Litigation
    Public and Non-Profit
    Education
    J.D., Duquesne University, 2013
    B.A., Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2006
    Admissions
    Pennsylvania, 2013
    U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 2015

    Biography
    Edward “Ted” Knafelc is an associate at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky. Mr. Knafelc practices primarily in the areas of municipal and local government law, zoning and planning law, estates and trusts, and civil litigation.

    Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Knafelc clerked for President Judge John D. McBride in Beaver County where he researched issues relating to land use disputes, will and estate cases, liquor license renewal contests and adverse employment action claims. Mr. Knafelc also worked for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 16th District from 2006 – 2014 where he dealt extensively with local municipalities and community organizations in and around Beaver County.

    Mr. Knafelc was born and raised in Ambridge in Beaver County where he continues to reside.

    Professional Affiliations
    Beaver County Bar Association
    Beaver County Young Lawyers Division, Past President
    Beaver County Legal Journal, Member
    Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Bar Association Bar Leadership Institute, Class of 2016-2017
    Community Activities
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Beaver County
    Rotary Club of Ambridge

     
    • Flimsy resume but obviously has gotten all his political connections down pat. IS he related to Judge RM too? THAT WOULD SEAL THE DEAL! Another hack family politician looking to graze at the taxpayers trough. Correct as noted above, long line of brain dead family “D’s” voting straight party. Look at what we have today from that stupidity. NO MORE STATUS QUO!

       
  12. “I have already begun forging those important relationships and will continue to cultivate them as I move forward.”

    Name ONE local law enforcement organization or agency that endorses you.

     
    • Raven , Raven, Raven… Just what are we going to do with you my feathered friend ???

      How much longer do you think it will be before they begin to trot out pre-planned endorsements from either individuals or groups of the Ambridge and Aliquippa police departments for this candidate ?

      Both police departments seem to be in a heated competition to prove which one is worse.
      Remember just how just how well connected this guy is to Ambridge politics ?

      Here is also a little tidbit that you probably don’t know. At least if my memory serves me correctly, this guy’s grandfather was a long time AMBRIDGE COP !! Somebody correct me if I’m wrong on that one. I’m getting old and my memory is fading.

      The political roots run deep here.

       
      • Perhaps, buzzkill. But as far as I can see, he is far from an endorsement from anyone, preplanned or otherwise. Thanks, though.

         
  13. I love reading the average Beaver county person. So dumb and illogical. This county has been way too high on itself forever. Corruption everywhere. Everywhere. Dummies and POS’s everywhere. This county has way too many schools and way too many police departments that exist to write parking tickets and not do substantive police work that could make a difference. Let’s prosecute addicts and over burden the prison system so these people can get out and still be addicted. All so they can go back to jail. What is wrong with you people? Do some self-reflection and figure out why this county is such garbage full of garbage people. Look in the mirror.

     
    • I don’t want the addicts on the roads. I don’t want the addicts and drug dealers in the schools and near my kids. I don’t want the addicts robbing houses and stealing from Walmart, which ties up law enforcement. I don’t want police to feel like they’re wasting their time taking these losers off the streets only to be sent back to their neighborhoods with a ticket. So, great, get them treatment, but lock them up, too! Be the county that’s tough on drug dealers and drug addicts, so they go to Washington County or Westmoreland or Butler or Allegheny. Heroin addicts will do anything to avoid “being sick,” so make them go through withdrawal by locking them up for a few days before letting them bond out. Make it uncomfortable for them instead of being complicit. We’ll save money in the long run if we are the county that’s tough on druggies.

       
      • Do you have any education or expertise on which to base that, or is this just your opinion? Because in many more progressive areas, treatment of opiod addiction is changing very much for the better as we move away from criminalization. Your opinion does not match the facts.

         
  14. I know both Ted and Gerry Benyo; and while the level of skepticism of Ted (as it relates to his youth and political family is certainly relevant and concerning); the level of support for Mr. Benyo on this site is alarming.

    The position of District Attorney is one of managing a team of ADA’s and working with other law enforcement organizations. Mr. Benyo has never managed a law firm or office in his life. Further, he flies by the seat of his pants instead of thinking through decisions. (Look at the Braslawski campaign that Benyo “managed”. At the 11th hour the campaign releases a mailer that was not only illegal but also in very poor taste. ) Benyo would make a great Assistant District Attorney, but lets be honest, he’s not exactly management material.

    While I agree with his politics; he would be a disaster as a District Attorney. (as bad as Lozier.? no, but lets be honest Lozier is a special kind of failure)

     
    • I think the overwhelming support for Benyo on this site comes from ex criminal clients of his… maybe they were impressed with his flamboyant buffoon attire that seems to be always a size too small, or maybe it was the smell of stale cigar smoke that sealed their loyalty to him. I’ve seen Benyo in and out of the courtroom, I’m not impressed with his rhetoric. He is a joke in legal circles and he would be worse than Lozier.

       
  15. Benyo is the man most qualified for the job of DA. The next honest DA will have to deal with like 50 years of out of control corruption. And its now gotten to the point where BC is totally out of control. The citizens of BC cannot trust law enforcement here in BC. Don’t think this kid has anywhere near the ability or grit Benyo has. Strength and resolve is needed in the next DA. This kid Knafelc just don’t have the ability or the stones to stand on his own and do this very hard job.

     
    • I do remember reading that Lozier was the “ man for the job”. We all see how that proclamation turned out. I ask again is Benyo running? If not you had better get behind any candidate other than Lozier.

       
    • I look at your example as very disrespectful and ignorant. Yes, it’s no secret and it’s been publicly stated before..Mr. & Mrs. Benyo have experienced a very rough road. They are making a new life. They have proven that commitment still means something. They have honored “though thick and thin” I will stand by you.
      So, you can look at as a negative and I will look at it as a positive. Gringo, maybe tomorrow you will have a good day, but it doesn’t seem promising.
      Benyo, if you decide to run, you will have my vote and my family’s vote. If you feel it’s not the right time, I will understand and respect your decision.

       
      • Cry me a river We the People, a little thinned skinned aren’t we? Facts are facts , and we can say that Veon, Lavalle, and all others who made mistakes are also making a new life for themselves. I was trying to understand why certain people claim that just because one candidate has questionable family, that thes same standard should not apply to all. And I will have another good day tomorrow riding my bike in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains

         
  16. Well, Teddy, I guess you didn’t tell us much about your experience as a lawyer because you don’t really have any that is relevant to being a DA. You “forged relationships.” Hmmmm, what exactly did you? Have a beer with a few cops? Ask dad to tell them to call you?

    What have you ever managed? You’re an associate at your law firm; why not a partner? Could it be the usual reason why a lawyer is an associate which is because you haven’t proven yourself to the firm yet. You aren’t qualified to be a partner yet you think you’re qualified to be the DA…that’s actually kind of funny (but more in a pathetic sort of way rather than a ha ha way).

    I’m comfortable that the best future for the county rests on eliminating the majority of those in the courthouse who are currently elected along with all of the employees who are there because of nepotism. So adding another Knaflec to the courthouse would be going in the opposite direction. Not to mention the possible cost to the county when it would have to pay to defend you in federal court after someone convicted in your father’s courtroom sues because having a father and son as a judge and DA is about as close as you get to the idea of one person being the judge, jury and hangman. And since you’re only an associate at the firm, you may not realize that this might just be a violation of a defendent’s constitutional rights….but you’d learn that as you gain more experience (you know, experience, that thing that DA’s are supposed to have a lot of).

    So, I’m sorry, Teddy, but I just won’t be voting for you.

     
    • Wow, this drill-down theory about father and son conflict is bizarre. You totally ignore the fact that Judge Knafelc is retired, and is now a senior judge. That means they can very easily assign him support or civil cases, ones in which the district attorney’s office would have absolutely no involvement.

      I’m not saying you need to support Ted, but at least frame your opposition within the guidelines of reality.

       
      • Ahhh…. So because of a conflict of interest they’ll change the senior judge’s work load. How about this instead…. how about if we hire people to do their job and not have to make that job contingent on, or accommodating because of, other family members who also work at the courthouse.

        The current reality that we’re “framed in” is one where there are already more relatives in that building on any given day than in an extended family’s hut in a shithole country.

         
  17. Yeah let’s get some last names that aren’t corrupt, or connected to this gang that murder, pad pockets and sell dope! We need a complete power washing of the courthouse!

     

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