October 13, 2015

Commissioner Amadio Takes A First Amendment Stand

County Solicitor Joseph Askar (left) with Commissioner Tony Amadio (right)  / file photo by John Paul
County Solicitor Joseph Askar (left) with Commissioner Tony Amadio (right) / file photo by John Paul

Beaver County Chairman Tony Amadio won’t support a policy limiting the rights of county employees to speak to the press. Amadio came out against a new “media policy” resolution during yesterday’s public meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Dennis Nichols had ordered the county’s law department to research and draft a policy that would limit public employees’ interactions with members of the press. Under the proposal, the county would hire an official spokesperson (who would also serve as a county grant writer) that would act as a go-between for the press and public employees. Any county employee who had direct contact with members of the media, other than for purely social reasons, could face disciplinary action.

The County did not consult with any representatives of the media while crafting the proposal.

Commissioner Nichols motioned to pass a resolution adopting the policy yesterday, but he failed to garner a second. Commissioner Spanik said he was not against a media policy in principal but wanted more time to review the measure.

Chairman Tony Amadio, a retired public school teacher, has come out against the measure.

Before yesterday’s vote, the Beaver Countian informed County Commissioners and the county’s law department that it is arranging for legal representation for any public employee who is disciplined for speaking to the media or who wishes to preempt a county media policy. The Beaver Countian also notified county officials that this publication would boycott any official spokesperson and would continue speaking with public employees directly.

About The Author

Profile photo of John Paul

John Paul is a Beaver County native and the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

Reader Comments

V Putin
1 year 2 months ago

at least some one in that building has some damn common sense

1 year 2 months ago

There goes Nichols again trying to spend that Friendship ridge money. I’m sure his propaganda minister will be another crony. I thought tea partiers were for smaller government. First he wants to give out Friendship Ridge money to buy that property next to the court house from a supporter then expand the courthouse so he can fill it with cronies. That money won’t last forever

Profile photo of wheresmemoney
1 year 2 months ago

Keep Tony for commissioner. He’s the only one working hard over there for the people and now the peoples rights. When you’re a elected official why the Hell would you ever want to silence people. This isn’t the Middle East. What numbskulls to think such a thing. Shows you what the other two really believe about civil rights. Next they’ll make a policy, white folk only.

Dennis McKee
1 year 2 months ago

At the heart of the first amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas. Freedom to speak ones mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty, but essential to the quest for the truth and the vitality of society of a whole. In the world of public affairs many things are done with motives that are less than admirable that are none the less protected by the first amendment.

Supreme Court Justice
William Renquist