Chief County Assessor Kevin J. McIlwain / photo by John Paul

Beaver County’s Chief Assessor has been interviewed by investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police as part of their ongoing probe into allegations of corruption in Aliquippa City Government; officials stress he is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The Beaver Countian was first to publicly reveal Wednesday morning that County Assessor Kevin J. McIlwain has been interviewed by State Police. The Beaver Countian asked questions of county officials about the matter during a public meeting of the Beaver County Board of Commissioners.

Assistant County Solictor Nate Morgan confirmed the Beaver Countian’s information, saying he accompanied McIlwain when he was interviewed.

“Yes, the Assessor notified me when he was contacted by the State Police,” said Morgan. “I went up there […] it was relating to an outside matter. I don’t want to get into exactly what they were asking about as I do not want to interfere with their criminal investigations. But it did not involve a county employee or any county business.”

Sources familiar with the interview told the Beaver Countian it took place earlier this month. The sources stressed that McIlwain is in no way suspected of any wrongdoing, and that state law enforcement officials were seeking his assistance in understanding the county process for individuals purchasing properties being held in the Beaver County Tax Claim Bureau’s repository.

Commissioner Sandie Egley expressed outrage at the Beaver Countian’s revelation during the meeting, saying she had not been informed by county employees about the interview.

“I was not aware that you went up with the State Police,” said Egley to Morgan. “Why am I not aware of that?”

Chief County Solicitor Garen Fedeles told Egley the law department would discuss the matter with her, “I would liked to have had that discussion before someone would say something in public. I’ve had this conversation with you. This is not the first time.”

Commissioner Egley then went for a walk before entering an executive session of the Board. Courthouse sources tell the Beaver Countian the matter was talked about in that executive session, where the county’s Law Department apologized for being remiss in notifying Egley about the interview. Commissioner Dan Camp had been notified about the matter at the time the county was contacted by State Police.

A source who has been interviewed by the Pennsylvania State Police as part of their corruption probe says they are investigating the City of Aliquippa’s purchase of properties from the County Repository. County records obtained by the Beaver Countian show the City of Aliquippa purchased two properties from the repository on April 30th.

Listen To The Beaver Countian’s John Paul Question County Officials:


See:

Politically Influential County Vendor Hasn’t Paid Property Taxes In 24 Years

State Representatives Call For Investigation Into Tax Claim Bureau

New Beaver County Chief Assessor Starts Work At The Courthouse

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.

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Accordingtome
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Accordingtome

Why is a distressed city spending money on buying properties when they should be spending it to tear down the blighted properties in their city?

JP, can you let us know which two properties they purchased? It would be very telling to see what they purchased, what their plans are for these properties and what developer is rebuying them for less than market value (effectively using the city as a source of dirt cheap financing after taking potential tax breaks into account in exchange for developing them).

I’d also like to know what the actual process is to purchase these properties. I wasn’t aware that the county had enough of them to be considered a repository.

BeaverNewbie
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BeaverNewbie

Aren’t property purchases a matter of public record?

Cosmo5150
Member
Cosmo5150

They should be public record or is this a possible reason for an investigation?

Ron Burgundy
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Ron Burgundy

Just a guess, but maybe the city has to buy a property before they can tear it down. I am in no way defending the city of Aliquippa, just sayin’.

Jay Eric
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Jay Eric
mercbenz
Member
mercbenz

I was told people left the last quip council meeting pretty ticked over this. The purchase of the properties.. one being the old Players Lounge and the other close to it.. was done with No discussion with residents or council. Someone wants to put a med marijuana place there. Per usual Dewannn just does whatever he wants thru his flunky Gill and screw the community and most council members. I’ll say it again … they need to step down!

rick
Member
rick

This county is like a Soap Opera.

We The People
Member
We The People

According to this article Dan was informed BEFORE the assessor and the board of commissioners law department went to the state police.

Dan, this is NOT a dictatorship. The Home Rule that you promised, didn’t take place. You seem to think it did and now you’re the county executive.

I’m addition, it’s quoted…this is NOT the first time! Sandie said she’s had this conversation with them before! Goodlord!

Dictator Dan. Haha, you happy with your choice now Tony?

John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

More like Dickhead Dan. Take a good look at that chrome dome.

Walk
Member
Walk

@ We The People, I agree, BC now has a self appointed county executive. Sure Tony is happy ! He’s got an incompetent idiot taking all the heat.

Disgruntled
Member
Disgruntled

Camp acting like he’s Mr. Popular at Rochy HS. Only talking to the cool kids.

Grow up. Adults talk to each other. Put the fucking Candy Crush down and engage in the real world. Pretend that you’re not in over your head and communicate.

Does anyone need to approve these parcels being sold? I guess that was the purpose of the interview, to see who knew what, and when.

mercbenz
Member
mercbenz

Ideally it should have been discussed in open meeting in quip prior to the purchase but it WASN’T! Can’t meet a payroll but they found money to buy 2 properties which wasn’t a necessity. Unless they bought them to run thru their lil private economic development corp so they can do whatever they want with funds run thru there

Sunshine
Member
Sunshine

Traditionally- If there is property on the repository at the county, and someone wants to purchase it, they have to get written consent from local government ( in this case Aliquippa) to sign off on the taxes owed to clear them. Then it goes to the county level for the same.

Issue #1- Of course Aliquippa is going to sign of on clearing taxes for property THEY want.
Issue #2- Which County Commissioners signed off on this? ( I will give you 1 guess)

The decision to go after these properties by Aliquippa should have been done in a public meeting. Which public meeting was this discussed? Where are the minutes so we can see?

Hm…….. But these are just my thoughts……