The Beaver County Board of Commissioners has hired new Chief and Assistant Solicitors to fill the county’s vacant law department.

Attorney Garen Fedeles has been hired as Chief Beaver County Solicitor, a part-time position with a salary of $80,000 per year. Fedeles replaces Andrea Cantelmi, who was fired by Commissioners on March 22nd. His official start date with the county was April 5th.

Attorney Nathan Morgan has been hired as the county’s Assistant Solicitor, a full-time position with a salary of $75,000 per year plus benefits. Morgan was previously an attorney with the Beaver law firm of Reed, Tosh, Wolford & Douglass. His official starting date with the county is set for April 16th. He replaces attorney Jessica Sullivan, who resigned her position with the county at the end of last month (Morgan had previously interviewed for the position that was instead given to Sullivan).

County Commissioners made their newest hires following a desperate search for attorneys to staff the county’s law department that saw Human Resources Director Sidney Shaw being ordered to cold-call lawyers asking them to apply for the positions.

Former Chief County Solicitor Bernie Rabik submitted a letter to the Commissioners asking to be hired back after being fired from the same position last year. Rabik stressed his “loyalty” in the letter and offered to work full-time for $100,000 per year — he then began sending friendly greetings to Commissioners in random text-messages. Although Commissioner Tony Amadio pushed to have Rabik rehired, Commissioners Dan Camp and Sandie Egley were strongly opposed. After his offer was rejected by the Board, attorney Bernie Rabik went on this week to use his position as a columnist at the Beaver County Times to write in “Ask Attorney Bernie” that Commissioners had violated state transparency laws when removing former Chief Solicitor Cantelmi. The column contained no disclosure that he had unsuccessfully applied for the job.

Along with serving as the new Chief County Solicitor, attorney Garen Fedeles will also be maintaining his position as a partner in the Beaver law firm of Santicola, Steele & Fedeles — formerly the firm of Sainovich, Santicola, Steele. Garen Fedeles replaced Sainovich as a partner in the firm last year after Sainovich was removed by the other principals.

Attorney Myron Sainovich was himself once Chief Beaver County Solicitor until being fired by Commissioners back in 2011, following a high profile dispute over billing. The county was eventually forced to file a lawsuit against Myron Sainovich and the firm of Sainovich, Santicola, Steele, to recoup nearly $45,000 in taxpayer monies that had been improperly paid to them.

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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.

19 COMMENTS

    • Great hires, commissioners! Glad to see we’re hiring our own from the county. What about the chief assessor? Who is it? Hopefully another beaver countian, remember Beaver County first!

       
  1. Mungo has a question for Bernie the Attorney! How does it feel being turned down for a position that you wanted so badly that you had to go on a virtual brown nosing campaign, only to be turned down because of your past political antics? This by people in positions capable of hiring you, but instead had to have an employee cold call others and plead with them to apply for that very same position you had wanted to apply for? Haha Mungo just knows that has to be a real kick in the nuts…so to speak!…

     
    • They are good choices. I said in an earlier post that a young attorney from an established local firm would be hired. Garen made the wise choice going with part time assistant solicitor. Unfortunately the toxic environment the commissioners created with their actions towards the legal dept, they will never be able to attract a qualified full time chief solicitor. At least the county can start doing business in the short term.

       
      • The Solicitor position is part-time; the assistant solicitor position is full-time. They’ve gone back to the way the office was staffed prior to Mr. Rabik.

         
  2. “County Commissioners made their newest hires following a desperate search for attorneys to staff the county‚Äôs law department that saw Human Resources Director Sidney Shaw being ordered to cold-call lawyers asking them to apply for the positions.”

    Maybe next time, Moe, Larry and Curly Sue can have a transition plan in place before they create a need. The “crisis” didn’t last long, but it didn’t need to be a “crisis” at all, did it?

     
    • Right tired of the 3 stooge commissioners having no vision and no plan in place before they act! Government at its worst!

       
  3. Good choice but what a cluster f to get there.
    Question is will there be a law suit over the whole affair?

     
  4. Next month after one of these two don’t work out the 12th caller will win a job as county solicitor…. They will just have to name the first three songs played during the six o’clock hour.

     
  5. Classical case of music chairs amongst the movers and shakers of the legal power-brokers. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. Robem, Cheatum, and Fukem, esq.

     
  6. I wish people would stop calling the commissioners “the three stooges ” they really should be called ” Peter, Paul, and Mary” . For one sings Puff the Magic Dragon as she takes paper work home and the other two sing Where have all the Attorneys (flowers) gone

     
  7. While Peter, Paul, and Mary are trying to figure out things the Sheriff is singing ” I’m – Blowing in the Wind” with Connie

     

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