Commissioner Tony Amadio / photo by John Paul

Beaver County Commissioners held private interviews last Monday of the three candidates being considered for a contract to replace former Children And Youth Services (CYS) Solicitor Robert Masters.

Commissioners Camp and Amadio, along with the county’s CYS and Human Resources directors, met privately on Monday with attorneys Robert Alsko, Dana Kwidis, and Joseph Askar.

Commissioner Sandie Egley, who had pushed for the interviews to occur, did not show up to the courthouse last Monday. Egley told BeaverCountian.com she did not attend the interviews because a member of her immediate family was sick that day. She did not attempt to have the interviews rescheduled and did not seek to participate via phone conference.

Egley had originally proposed holding the interviews during a public work session instead of in private, but that proposal did not find support with Camp and Amadio.

Commissioners decided in August to not 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.

BeaverCountian.com has repeatedly raised objections to the process being used to contract an attorney to serve as CYS solicitor, including during a public meeting held September 12 where Commissioner Camp attempted to keep confidential the names of finalists being considered.

The Beaver Countian again raised objection last Wednesday, September 19, when it became clear that Amadio and Camp had held discussions about the matter.

Camp and Amadio announced during the public work session that following their private discussions they now felt the county should contract two attorneys to fill the CYS role, instead of one as originally planned.

The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, which regulates the meetings of a quorum of the board, contains an exception to public meeting requirements that allows the board to discuss personnel matters during an executive session that takes place in conjunction with an advertised meeting. Monday’s interviews were not held in conjunction with such a public meeting, and Commissioners decided against hiring an individual as a county employee to serve as CYS solicitor, opting instead to contract a law firm or attorney as a services vendor to fulfill the duties.

Deliberations about county contracts must generally be held in public.

Solicitor Garen Fedeles asserted that the meetings involving Camp and Amadio on Monday constituted “information gathering sessions” and not deliberations as defined by law.

Commissioner Tony Amadio became visibly agitated last Wednesday at BeaverCountian.com’s repeated objections to the lack of transparency in the contracting process.

“This government is so crippled right now. I am up to my boiling point now. We meet one day a week, we don’t even talk. We meet one day a week, for what, an hour? Because we’re afraid to do government. This is not direct democracy, this is a representative democracy.”

Amadio told Fedeles that he wanted to review an updated copy of the Sunshine Act. The law was last amended in 2011, and mandates not only that official votes be held in public, but also that most deliberations be held during public meetings as well.

“I want a copy of that new update,” said Amadio. “I want to know what the changes are in the law. I mean, are we not allowed? We used to meet with our department heads to discuss problems. The door was always open, people were free, department heads were free to talk. Now if they come in here they’re afraid to talk.”

Amadio went on to criticize the prior public work session, where BeaverCountian.com asked the board about its interactions with CYS Director Dayna Revay. Camp invited Revay to answer the question; she went on to describe a private meeting she had with Camp that narrowed the candidate field to three attorneys who had prior experience working with her office.

“What happened to Dayna Revay last week was unconscionable. Unconscionable,” said Amadio. “That’s all I’m going to say. And you wonder why morale is so bad here? Let’s move on, I’m just so frustrated.”

Revay had originally recommended in writing that commissioners hire attorneys Alsko or Kwidis, but after her private meeting with Camp added Askar’s name to the new list of “attorneys with experience.”

Askar is a close personal friend of both Amadio and Camp, while Egley has filed a still-pending ethics complaint against him related to his involvement with the new corporate owners of Friendship Ridge when serving as chief county solicitor.

Commissioners are expected to discuss the contract again at a public work session scheduled for 10:00 am on Wednesday. The meeting will be held in the Monaca Borough Building, rather than at the courthouse, as part of an initiative by the board to increase public participation.

See Also:

LISTEN: Beaver Countian Pushes For Transparency In Commissioners’ Contracting Of Solicitor For Children & Youth Services

Commissioners Consider Hiring Attorney Joseph Askar As Solicitor For Beaver County Children And Youth Services

Beaver County CYS Solicitor Halted Investigations Into Accused Pedophile Priest When He Was District Attorney

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.

33
Reader Comments

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
23 Comment threads
10 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
24 Comment authors
JennyWise OwlwindlovewinsWalk Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest top voted
Notify of
Uncle Wah Wah
Guest
Uncle Wah Wah

What a bunch of crap. All they do down at that courthouse is look for more staff, more staff. Did anybody read that story in the Times about the hotel tax? Rossi stopped eating doughnuts long enough to “explain” that they haven’t audited the hotel tax exemptions since 2010 because he doesn’t have enough staff. That is EIGHT years. 20 motels/hotels, many opened in the last 3-4 years and it hasn’t been looked at in EIGHT years. Do them on a rotating basis over a 2 year period. 10 a year, one every FIVE weeks. Can we fit that in? This all less than a year after it was pretty obvious that nobody looked at the bank statements for that Friendship Ridge check issue. Another thing that they weren’t working on. Noooooo, we don’t have the staff. The Treasurer department doesn’t have staff, the sheriff is understaffed, the next department to make the news will be understaffed. And they are underpaid at that! Contract all this work out and some actual professionals can come in and tell the department heads what their department should be doing for $200 an hour. Now, we need a Chief of Staff to help the 3 Stooges with their once a week hourly meeting burden along with a new lawyer to replace the old enabler at CYS. More staff. Amadio finally shows up and now Egley takes off. Get it all in , gang!, before we get into the holiday vacation merry go round which… Read more »

SpeakTheTruthToo
Guest
SpeakTheTruthToo

Wasn’t that Netherland cat hired to be the hotel tax collector? What the hell does he do all day if the hotel tax exemptions haven’t been audited in 8 years?

ricimer
Guest
ricimer

Amadio is up to his boiling point. Its not so easy any more co..missioner is it. Times are changing for you and your friends. You wanted your buddy Asshole I mean Askar in there real bad frustrating isn’t it. Jp is here to shine the light on all you do. Sunshine act you moron your breaking the law or are you and your friends above the law?

John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

These people are allowed to operate with impunity and are accountable to no one.

LostDollar
Guest
LostDollar

How do you think the taxpayers are feeling about all your shenanigans Amadio. We are at our boiling point, fed up, had enough, sick and tired of the constant crap flowing out of the courthouse. Please just shut up! If you did anything in the light of day, made one decision with even an iota of transparency you would not have the public, that YOU are supposed to be serving, questioning your tactics.

wtf
Guest
wtf

Awww Tony, if your feelings are hurt, you should quit. You are worthless anyway.
You just want to be able to do wtf you want without question.
Then get a job in the private sector, retire, whatever, JUST GO AWAY

Mungo Jerry
Guest
Mungo Jerry

Hahaha…..”I am up to my boiling point”……..Mr Amadio are you even aware of the irony of your comment?!?……haha sorry Mungo just had to go there!

Mungo Jerry
Guest
Mungo Jerry

So a dwarf walks into a sushi bar and says……”I’ll have the shrimp” Mr Amadio please have someone proof read these comments in the future before going on the record. Thank you Mungo