Baden’s Mayor and Council President are both acknowledging taking part in a private discussion of Borough officials following the town’s public meeting this month where Council voted to table the hiring of part-time police. Although they agree about having a discussion, the two officials are giving vastly different accounts about what took place during the conversation.

Mayor Sam Gagliardi and Council President Judi Montell both tell the Beaver Countian they had a discussion with Councilmen Ted Kotula and John Shelkons that took place minutes after a public meeting on January 17th. Mayor Gagliardi had just cast a tie breaking vote to have the issue of hiring part-time police officers tabled for a month. Montell, Kotula, and Shelkons had all voted to hire the officers that night.

Mayor Gagliardi said that after the January 17th public meeting of Council he attended a planned meeting of the Public Safety Committee that was held in a small conference room in the Borough building, “There was a Committee Meeting, a meeting of the Public Safety Committee after the Council Meeting.”

Gagliardi told the Beaver Countian that the issue of hiring part-time officers was not discussed during the Public Safety Committee meeting because Council had voted to table the issue. He also said the topic of conducting an emergency phone vote to approve the hiring of police was never brought up that night.

“I had no idea they were going to have a phone vote,” said Mayor Gagliardi. “I knew nothing about it, I don’t know who planned it. I am telling you the truth.”

When asked what was discussed at the Public Safety Committee meeting, the Mayor said there were “various things” talked about, although he could not recall any of the topics specifically. He said the Committee meeting had not been recorded and no one present took minutes or notes of any kind.

Mayor Gagliardi told the Beaver Countian that anyone who claims he was part of a discussion about the hiring of part-time police that night or that he knew anything about the subsequent vote “is a liar.”

One of those people is Council President Judy Montell, who told the Beaver Countian there had not been a meeting of the Public Safety Committee the night in question.

“It wasn’t a Committee meeting, I’m not even a member of the Public Safety Committee,” said Montell. “It was a coming to Jesus meeting with the Mayor.”

Councilwoman Montell said that she, Kotula, and Shelkons were all shocked Mayor Gagliardi had voted against hiring the part-time officers that night and wanted an explanation from him why. Montell said Gagliardi had been strongly in favor of approving the hires prior to the meeting.

“I remember saying to the Mayor, why did you choose to break the tie in the ‘No’ vote,” said Montell. “I don’t know what that was about and I never really got an answer.”

She said the hiring of part-time police was just about the only subject of discussion that night, although she can not remember whether the topic of conducting an ’emergency’ phone vote had been brought up.

“As far as I am concerned it was not an emergency,” said Montell. “I’m told one of the officers that was going to resign didn’t resign so we don’t need all of those officers now.”

Council President Judy Montell said she was surprised when she got a call two days later asking her to vote on hiring the part-time officers.

“I was doing some stuff in my house and my phone rang and it was [the secretary],” said Montell. “It came as a surprise to me […] I said, I have no problem with hiring the police officers, I just want to make sure that this is legal. I wasn’t comfortable with the vote and I asked her to call the attorney. This happened I want to say 11:00 am, about 1:00 pm she called me back, she said he advised against it, he didn’t think it was the appropriate way to go.”

Judy Montell said the phone vote is void and she now plans to vote to approve the part-time hires at the next public meeting in February, “I would love to hire full-time police officers and never have to worry about this, but we can’t afford it.”

Montell insists she does not know who requested the phone vote take place and never bothered to ask who initiated it.

“I hope you can figure this all out because I can’t,” she told the Beaver Countian. “Do your investigative work and let me know when you’re done.”

See Also:

Baden Borough Stalling Release Of Public Records – Sources Allege Council Hired Police In Secret Vote

Baden Councilman Says He Objected To A Private Phone Vote To Hire Police

Baden Borough Stalls Release Of Additional Public Records So It Can “Assess The Cost Of The Request”

Baden Councilwoman Says She Was Confused By Vote – Excluded From Council’s Prior Phone Votes

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.


  1. If only you would follow the law of the Sun Shine Act, be transparent, you would not look like Bumbling Fools trying to hide something, blaming each other, pointing , he said /she said, be honest from the start, it will all come out in the wash anyway , an the Beaver Countian is the washing machine .
    Now ya’all look like a couple of monkeys playing with a basketball , good for laughs , but not for City Government accountability .

  2. I’m not even on a member of the Public Safety Committee…… YOU’RE PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL. YOU ARE PART OF EVERY COMMITTEE. Dipshit.

  3. Its like you got to take these people by the hand this is the law this is what you have to do. The sunshine law applies to Baden to. Jeez…………………………..

  4. This town is a mess. Lead by a bunch of uneducated politicians. Limit how many times you can run for office. Where’s councilman Dave? Thought he was going to save the town. He’s only worried about supporting the fire Dept and snubbing the police department

    • What did I say before? It’s amateur hour BECAUSE they are amateurs at this. Limit terms, vote them out? And who would be on council. If you get rid of five, history suggests that the next election you would have 3, maybe, 4 seats with no candidates. Shrinking, aging populations, both spouses working, usually outside the district and by the time you number people that could do the job and find those that would want to do the job, you get two or three to run the borough.

  5. I can tell with a great deal of certainty how this whole thing went down. The tape recording will be released. One of two things happened. One, the tape will be altered. Anything incriminating will be erased. Two, the tape recorder was shut off while the incriminating things were being said. This will be the classic he said she said. The actual minutes will be amended. The only hope that anyone will be held accountable for this is that the emails will be recovered. Do you all want to what the real problem is? It’s you the taxpayers. I have attended many meetings in several municipalities over the years. One thing is always constant. Nobody attends these meetings. You all get on this site and bitch about local politics. How about getting off your ass and go to one. They are advertised, public, free and you can record them. That’s the only way to hold them accountable.

  6. Getitright .. I too have attended different meetings, you are absolutely correct. From local council meetings to the BC Commissioners meetings. Nothing is done while in the preventable stage. People just don’t care until it effects them, and then it is too late, and the damage is done. Right now people should be asking the District DA to be accountable, and get involved in this(Baden) matter. If we get the response, there’s nothing here, or seemingly, looking the other way, it’s just more rope. I hope there is an actual investigation going on. So far …

  7. It looks to me like Ms. Montell’s agenda was to hire these officers immediately. When that didn’t happen, she and the the others then cornered the mayor after the meeting. A “come to Jesus moment”? What a dramatic, and self-important description. She was obviously upset that her power was undercut. Why did this vote mean so much to her? Perhaps the mayor didn’t want to admit that the after-meeting discussion was unorthodox, so he lied, badly, saying it was a public safety commission meeting. What a mess.

  8. It was wrong what was done. Other thing why is it ALWAYS the same “know it alls” commenting. Run for office if you think you’re so much better… bet you won’t either. Obvious you thrive on negativity. 4 of you criminal records yourselves & just because you all own businesses it really makes look bad. Since you all “blab” about your ridiculous posts. How many towns do you live in? This site isn’t for a popularity contest and you cowards hid behind screen names so you be foul-mouthed = low educated= rude= immature people. Let me remind all of you Beaver County and the towns DID NOT FALL APART OVER NIGHT. It changed after the mid 80’s when businesses closed, low income homes, welfare, criminals are factors too. Yes, the courthouse people gossip and we all know it. We all know its about people covering up for each other and its unethical!


    1. The comments are negative — because the article content is negative.
    2. The same know-it-alls comment — because they do know it all most of the time.
    3. Run for office — impractical, impossible, and no thanks.
    4. Thrive on negativity — no, just exasperated at the chronic negative corruption.
    5. Criminal records — nope, not true.
    6. All own businesses — no.
    7. How many towns — one apiece.
    8. Cowards behind screen names — did you read about the Javens and McKee lawsuits?
    9. Changed after the mid-80s — no, this began at the turn of the 20th century.
    10. The Courthouse people gossip — and do illegal things.
    11. Unethical — no, illegal, but not charged.
    12. Foul mouthed, low educated, rude, immature — some are, but if you can recruit some Harvard, Princeton and Yale graduates, I’ll never comment again.

    Your righteous indignation is encouraging, but your angry, rambling, confused writing betrays you as little more than the people who disgust you.

  10. Rock’em Raven. The whole bullshit about hiding behind screen names angers the hacks who can’t intimidate you or retaliate. Thomas Paine? “Common Sense” Ben Franklin? “Poor Richards Almanac”. I don’t think Be Polite thinks these men were cowards. At times WE MUST fear our government and the media that allows the CIA/FBI/DEA etc. to target innocent Americans. It started with Hoover, then the IRS and now the current criminal activity against law abiding citizens for political gain. Sounds like the BC Outhouse doesn’t it?

  11. I was going to subscribe to the Beaver Countian but after seeing the type of clientele on the site, I figured I would pass.



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