The Beaver County Board of Commissioners is expected to block attempts by Sheriff George David to once again expand the authorities and powers of his office, senior Democratic Party Officials have begun preparing to stop David’s nomination in next year’s primary election, and new criminal charges may be headed his way.
Sheriff David told the Beaver County Times that he intends to meet with County Commissioners in hopes of restarting many shuttered practices of his office. David said the Commissioners “took a lot away” from him the past two years and he wants things to “go back the way this office was.”
David’s statements come on his first day returning to office after being placed under house arrest for violating conditions of his bond on three separate occasions. David was awaiting trial on charges stemming from an incident in which he pulled out his firearm and threatened to murder this reporter. He was acquitted of those charges last week after a judge ruled there was no proof his service revolver was actually loaded and a jury found reasonable doubt as to the remaining counts. During the course of the trial, Sheriff David admitted to saying he wanted to kill Beaver County Times Reporter JD Prose and Prothonotary Nancy Werme while he was on duty, although he claimed he didn’t really mean it.
Senior county officials tell the Beaver Countian that Commissioners are expected to refuse to increase Sheriff David’s budget, deny his request to promote clerk Karen Hopkins to full-time status, block his attempts to have Deputies perform private security services again, stop his office from becoming first responders to emergencies at county parks, and will take action against him if his office attempts to conduct criminal investigations.
Many of the activities Sheriff David announced he wants to resume have already been ruled illegal by the appellate courts.
Sheriff David made an announcement on Monday that he intends to run for re-election, but officials within the Beaver County Democratic Party say they will not support David’s nomination in next year’s primary. Party insiders say the two current front-runners to receive the Democratic endorsement for Sheriff are retired Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Wayne Kress of Center Township and retired Deputy Sergeant Donna Knopp of Brighton Township.
Law enforcement sources say Sheriff George David’s defense attorney Lee Rothman has been notified that his client may be facing new criminal charges related to his failure to collect state mandated fees for gun permits he issued to his friends and political cronies. County officials have already handed over documents requested by investigators from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office related to his issuance of permits.
David is currently awaiting a non-jury trial later this fall on harassment charges stemming from an incident in which he is alleged to have threatened to dismember and cannibalize one of his campaign volunteers. A motion to have David held in contempt of court for allegedly violating a preliminary injunction issued against him by a judge related to private security services is also still pending before the courts. David likewise has multiple grievances pending against him with the county that were filed by employees of his office.
Deputy Lieutenant Thomas Ochs is currently awaiting a preliminary hearing on charges related to allegations that he lied to investigators in order to protect Sheriff David.
The Beaver County Sheriff’s Office is represented by attorney Myron Sainovich, who was hired by Sheriff David to be his solicitor after the Board of Commissioners fired him as County Solicitor when it was determined he had been billing the county for amounts above his yearly salary in violation of state law. Sainovich was ordered to repay taxpayers in excess of $60,000 by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.