Beaver County Democratic Commissioner Joe Spanik called out Republican Commissioner Dennis Nichols and Democratic Treasurer Connie Javens today during a no–holds–barred discussion with the Beaver Countian.

The Beaver Countian met with Commissioner Spanik in his office at the courthouse to discuss recent controversies surrounding Unis Demolition.

Commissioner Spanik was critical of remarks made by Commissioner Nichols during a public meeting held yesterday. Nichols had criticized Unis Demolition’s performance under several contracts they have with the county to demolish blighted properties in communities including Aliquippa and Midland. Nichols said that Unis was significantly behind on many of their projects and was leaving other projects uncompleted.

“This is how Dennis [Nichols] is,” said Commissioner Spanik. “Dennis just goes off and wants to attack someone, this time he goes off and starts attacking Ralphie [Unis]. Why is that? I don’t know, I don’t know what is wrong with Dennis.”

“Dennis has only been here 2 years, I’ve been here more than 10,” continued Spanik. “I don’t know what Dennis is trying to do because Dennis doesn’t know what he’s trying to do […] I know from all of my experience all of these years that demolition is a major undertaking. There’s also more to demolishing a building than just demolition. There are a lot of circumstances that can cause delays, including paperwork, including disposing of waste […] I know what caused some of these delays with Unis because I actually talk to Ralphie Unis. Sometimes things that go on to cause delays are just out of their control. Dennis doesn’t know all the facts.”

It is Commissioner Nichols’ contention that Commissioner Spanik is the reason why Unis Demolition continues to get work from the county despite all of the problems surrounding their demolition contracts.

Commissioner Spanik insists the county wasn’t simply handing work over to Unis Demolition. “We put this all out there to bid and sometimes Unis is the only one that submits a bid or sometimes he’s the only one with the equipment and manpower necessary to get the job done […] He’s local folk, what are you going to do? We try to keep all of the work local as best we can. We can’t stop him from bidding on things.”

Commissioner Spanik said the county needs to stop overloading one of the only local vendors in the area capable of demolishing blighted properties. “I told them we need to stop giving Ralphie [Unis] 5 projects at the same time and expect him to get them all done at once […] These towns, these communities, they expect as soon as the money comes through the buildings will all go down right away. It doesn’t work that way. You need to space them out 30 or 60 days at a time so he has the equipment and manpower available, so he doesn’t get stretched too thin.”

“If Mr. Nichols wants to start a political battle about this, fine we’ll do that then,” quipped Spanik.

Commissioner Spanik said he believes that Republican Commissioner Dennis Nichols has been working in tandem behind the scenes with Democratic Treasurer Connie Javens. Spanik feels Treasurer Javens has been attempting to cause political turmoil in the county and said Javens has been using Commissioner Nichols to help push through contracts that will personally benefit her or her family. Spanik believes Nichols is trying to use Javens to help garner Democratic votes for himself in the next election and to help shore up political contributions from vendors.

“When Friendship Ridge was for sale Dennis [Nichols] placed many private phone calls with Marcus & Millichap (who brokered the sale of the facility) that [Commissioner Tony Amadio] and I were never privy to, that we were not a part of,” said Commissioner Spanik. “I know that Dennis was meeting with [Treasurer] Connie Javens, that they were meeting together all the time during the sale […] I know her one daughter (in-law) got a large contract at Friendship Ridge renewed when it sold and then her other daughter that was fired up there before got a new contract too […] Connie was blaming me for firing her daughter, I didn’t fire her daughter, the Administrator we hired to run Friendship Ridge fired her daughter because she wasn’t showing up to work […] So we know what Connie got out of those phone calls. We know what she got. What did Dennis get out of them? How much money did he see from those deals? We’ll never know will we?”

“We’re here to work together the three of us,” said Spanik. “If [Dennis] doesn’t want to then I don’t know, I guess Dennis just wants to work for Dennis from now on.”

Commissioner Spanik brought up what he asserted was another example of Commissioner Nichols working in his own best interests instead of those of the taxpayers.

“People should also know about that building over there, that burnt out old building (pointing in the direction of the former law offices of Reed, Tosh, Wolford and Douglass that sits next to the courthouse). Dennis keeps telling people that I’m holding up the county from buying it, that it’s my fault we haven’t bought that building,” said Spanik. “Why? Why would we buy that building? No one’s ever told me what we’d do with it […] I’ve got a list of $17 million in capital projects that need done here in Beaver County, we don’t need that building. Dennis needs that building because it belongs to Harold Reed (of the lawfirm) and he’s on his campaign committee that’s why Dennis needs that building […] How much of that money would end up in his campaign account? You want to talk about political favors? Campaign contributions? Well there you go […] I’m not buying that building. He wants to start a political war because of that? Well ok.”

Commissioner Spanik also addressed an investigative report published yesterday by the Beaver Countian that raised questions about Joan Unis’ apparent failure to make property tax payments over the past two decades on dozens of properties, and the county’s failure to start any collection efforts against the woman (Joan is the mother of Ralphie Unis Jr. and owner of Unis Demolition).

“I don’t know about the Unis family not paying property taxes for 25 years or whatever it is, the first I heard about that was reading it on the Beaver Countian,” said Spanik. “I wasn’t elected to collect taxes. [Treasurer] Connie [Javens] was elected to collect taxes and so I guess we all see how that went […] I was elected to run this county, to be here for the people, and here it is in the middle of the day on a Friday. I’m here, who else is here? Who else is in their offices right now?”

Commissioner Spanik grinned while pointing to the left and right walls of his office, adjoining the offices of Commissioners Tony Amadio and Dennis Nichols, both of which were empty at the time.

See Also: Op-Ed: Commissioner Nichols Responds To Commissioner Spanik Interview

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. Looks like a sinking ship to me. Tell it to the judge, Joe. You know about it now so what are the commissioners going to do? 
    You are responsible for the county overall and these are taxes, some of them federal funds.

  2. Wow, that’s pretty funny stuff there.  It really sounds like everything is just coming apart at the seams.  100 lbs of manure in a 50 lb bag.

  3. Your culpable in this whole county mess also Joe. You are a County Commissioner who was elected to oversee the running of this county. Your nothing more than a low-level politician like Nobama and DEE-WON. 10 years and your still an idiot?! Time for you to find your life’s work. Hint: It’s not politics!

  4. Joe Spanik is Beaver County. As long as I’ve known Joe, he’s always focused on the concerns and needs of the people. Joe Spanik, if the truth be known, is the only commissioner that is hands on. I don’t like to see people ridiculing Joe. If they really know Joe Spanik, they’d know he’s one hell of a good commissioner. Nobody is perfect, in politics what you think may be a good decision in the front end, may turn out not to be. We also need to keep in mind Joe is one vote, so maybe if he was the only vote, some things in the county would be different. I am glad he said what he said, long overdue. I think in the county’s next election we can expect to see Joe Spanik front and center and perhaps with no running mate. Joe’s a good man, and I’m sure for him to discuss what he did with John Paul, he had to be fed up. Still Supporting Spanik!!

  5. If they were to give Western Pa an enema, they would stick the hose in the front door of the Beaver County Court House.

    • No Yeti, Nichols, and Javens are spending all their time, down the hall, third toilet, in the second Restroom on the right.

  6. Lol lol

    I commented hours earliar, nichols has a slot between his legs with alligator mouth

    You wants to fuck regular Joe but okay democrats for votes, good job line up with Connie lol lol

    Spanik I don’t like you but respect the fact you work it, and I will vote for you and another republican not Dennis

  7. Wow. Sounds like someone has their hand in the cookie jar. We need the AG (or maybe the FBI) brought in. Full Audit. Top to Bottom.

  8. Joe is one of the few employees in the courthouse that earns his pay. He is dedicated to Beaver County and shows his face and his interest for every cause. Unlike those other two leeches.

  9. I think you will see, that come election time, Joe has more support than you think. Deservedly so. His diligent work will reap its reward.

  10. More I get to find out about politicians, I realize just about every one of them are crooked!!!! An it’s all about the all mighty dollar lining their own pockets!!! Some day it’ll bite them in the ass!!!!

  11. PA Representative Jaret Gibbons’ introduction of PA House Bill 1679 and PA House Bill 1680, which deal with recall petitions and recall legislation, are inactive in committee at the present time. Only when PA has recall legislation on the books will we be able to get rid of these elected officials. Call his office, and say you support the bills, at Hon. Jaret Gibbons, 302 Main Capitol Building, PO Box 202010, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2010, (717) 705-2060.

    • You cannot even call these people crooked politicians, they are flat out criminals. Everyone in this county should refuse to hand over their hard earned tax dollars to criminals. Not saying don’t pay taxes, just refuse to pay them to criminals who are trying to act like big time politicians, when really they are just low life gangsters lined their pockets with the counties monies. maybe not directly, but the are getting rich from their positions at our expense. Connie should have had Unis demolish her landscaping while they were doing favors for her. How in the Fuck can the treasurer write checks to someone that owes the county millions. They are criminals and cant wait to see them do their time in JAIL.

      • How do you know it was favors..don’t you hire people you know  to do work?.  It’s not her job to collect back taxes and I think more people sign off on checks than the treasurer. Why the obsession with the landscaping?????

  12. I have requested assistance from public officials (both Repub and Demos) for years, mostly township but some County. In EVERY instance my pleas fell on deaf ears, with the exception of ONE.

    To make a long story short, I visited the Courthouse to inform someone, ANYONE, of a problem caused by county construction spilling barrels and trash onto county property, BUT near my house. The ONLY Commissioner at the courthouse (in the middle of a workday) was Joe Spanik. I sat in his office and told him of the problem. He IMMEDIATELY made a phone call and demanded the problem be cleaned up.

    I thanked him and left (thinking, yeah… right). Is it possible that a politician could actually care? I’ve been told that Joe can be seen at many community events, usually in the back out of the limelight.

    Within minutes of arriving home I saw county employees policing the area. I don’t know Joe. I didn’t have to kiss his ring. I’m not CJ Betters. I’m just a nobody who had a problem, and he fixed it.

    Joe’s got my vote.

  13. Saint Joe! What a joke. Spanik is part of the problem, not part of the solution. And this childish, holier than thou attitude just proves it. He has held this county back more than anyone over the last ten years. He feeds the corrupt democratic machine that runs this county and especially the courthouse. Nichols just pointed that out and now Joes feathers are ruffled. Awww, poor Saint Joe 🙁

  14. Spanik is a basket case. He needs to think before he talks…

    Commissioner Spanik said the county needs to stop overloading one of the only local vendors in the area capable of demolishing blighted properties. “I told them we need to stop giving Ralphie [Unis] 5 projects at the same time and expect him to get them all done at once […] These towns, these communities, they expect as soon as the money comes through the buildings will all go down right away. It doesn’t work that way. You need to space them out 30 or 60 days at a time so he has the equipment and manpower available, so he doesn’t get stretched too thin.”

    So that means you are a part of the problem Joe and not part of the solution…..for 10 years.

    No wonder you keep hearing people say “Joe must Go”

  15. gee maybe a question should be raised as to how much time javens used while on citizens time for her own agenda or her daughters

  16. Nichols is an idiot.  Why do you think everyone in Brighton Twp supported him for Commisioner?  Because they didn’t want him to get elected in their township again.

  17. Dear Joe Spanik,

    Thank you for the ball licking you gave me in this article. As a matter of fact, it was so amazing that instead of paying me for the next demolition, you can just donate that entire check to your campaign. Don’t worry about when John Paul connects the dots concerning this deal either because we’ll just blame it on Connie Javens.

    Ralphie Unis, Jr.

  18. JP, you are having visions of grandeur. If you think this bullshit website is read by anyone but courthouse employees who got their jobs by nepotism and payoffs and democratic and republican pseudo-power brokers, you’re an idiot!
    Check voting records to see who shows up at the polls. Not the neer-do-wells that read this tripe, but senior citizens, veterans, union brothers, and informed voters that see Mr. Spanik at the forefront while the others are hiding in their offices assuming that if they don’t make any waves nobody will notice and re-elect them. I won’t.

    • why are you piss at JP i thought this made Spanik look really good? its about time some one tells it how it is and that’s what Spanik did! hell with Javens and Nichols!

    • Voter, maybe in 1980’s but this is 2014, every hear of social media? Little old grannies, veterans, union brothers, and just about anyone east of the Mississippi, uses the internet on a regular basis. In Beaver County, where the only other daily news source is the infamous, politically censored, Beaver County Times, many people read the Beaver Countian regularly. If that wasn’t the case do you think Joe Spanik would have spoken to John Paul? Actually, this article was excellent for Joe Spanik, might have even pushed him to the commissioner to keep next year! Joe Spanik, I agree with you commissioner Spanik is at the forefront, while the other two selectively work for Beaver County.  

    • Rarely do I respond to other posters here as I’m not interested in pissing contests, but you couldn’t be more wrong about the readership of this blog.  This site has a wide ranging readership that cuts across racial, social, and theological divides.  Just a look at some of the likes on facebook shows the diversity of the readership.  I see all races, republicans, democrats, people of faith, militant atheist, politicians, small business owners, clergy, activist, and career unemployed to name but a few.
      As for me, I would take issue with the bias of the site owner that I see here.  However, that’s no different than all news media, as bias is revealed in simply deciding what is to be covered.  What has to be said in the affirmative is that I’ve seen nothing reported here provably untrue and many things absolutely spot on accurate.
      Muckraking has its place in an open free society.  This site I believe advances a greater public cause in exposing decades of corruption in our home area, regardless the motivation of its owner.

  19. so, any facts to go with this story?

    This could have been a great opportunity to give the people of Beaver County useful information. It reads like a bad episode of days of our lives. The people in the courthouse really need to grow up.

  20. Less than 15% of the registered voters showed up at the polls for the last primary election. What the fuck does that tell you? It’s all about “What can you do for ME” ?

    • Could be because most, if not all of these ass clowns run unopposed. Then the only one’s that do show up to vote are the ass lickers and the one’s who want to be ass lickers.

  21. Joe what were you elected to do?   Sell Friendship ridge?  Sell the unions out?  Talk out of both sides of your mouth….  if I’m not mistaken  I believe the treasurer collects new taxes  any unpaid go to tax claim which is under the commissioners  that’s you JOE   

    • Ya, what’s Commissioner Joe Spanik have to do with Poland’s success in the 2012 PISA test. LMAO, these lunatics make no sense with all their bantering against Joe.



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