Beaver County Treasurer Connie Javens went down to a local bank, withdrew $275,000 from a county account without authorization, and then made no record of her transaction in the county’s financial systems, according to several county officials. Officials say Javens’ unilateral withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars appears to be in direct violation of state laws requiring the Board of Commissioners and County Controller to approve all distributions of public funds.

Beaver County Controller David Rossi told the Beaver Countian his office discovered a withdrawal from Citizens Bank in Beaver while reviewing newly received bank statements from the county’s various accounts.

“We saw a $275,000 withdrawal from October 14th that we didn’t sign off on, we didn’t authorize any transfer of funds from,” said Rossi. “I talked to the Commissioners, I talked to [Beaver County Chief of Staff] Vince LaValle, and [Treasurer’s Office First Deputy] Charles Gibbons, they all said they didn’t know about the money being withdrawn. That’s when I went down to the bank personally to see what happened […] They said Connie [Javens] came down to the bank to take out the money, they showed me a withdrawal slip for $275,000 that had just Connie’s signature on it, she signed it alone. They also showed me a cashier’s check made out to Friendship Ridge in the same amount.”

The Controller’s Office, not the Treasurer’s Office, is responsible for printing the county’s check runs.

“In order for funds to leave the county, the County Commissioners and Controller have to sign off for the funds to be released, have to sign all of the checks or wire transfer forms” said Controller Rossi. “Money can not legally be released without these signatures on each transaction. In this case, neither the Commissioners or the Controller signed for the release of the funds.”

According to Rossi, the money that Javens withdrew was from a county bank account used when Friendship Ridge was still owned by the public. The account saw several deposits after the sale of the facility for various Medicare reimbursements. According to the sales agreement between the Board of Commissioners and Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services (the company that purchased the nursing home), as the facility was transferring hands certain reimbursements would belong to Comprehensive and in turn Comprehensive would be responsible for certain expenses.

For the past several months, Controller Rossi’s Office and attorneys for the Board of Commissioners have been investigating the possibility that Comprehensive still owes the county hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of the facility. Rossi said he would not have authorized the release of the funds to Friendship Ridge until after that review was completed. Friendship Ridge was notified the county was investigating possible discrepancies in payments.

“No money should have gone anywhere until we figured out what is owed […] The money Connie [Javens] withdrew was a round figure, $275,000.00, that number doesn’t match any deposits or invoices, there is still $2,000 some odd random dollars left in that account” said Controller Rossi. “She didn’t have the legal authority to do what she did.”

Controller Rossi said that Treasurer Javens did not record the hefty withdrawal with the county. “There was no record made of the withdrawal in the county’s financial records system. There was no record of it anywhere.”

Rossi said his office has since identified other similar withdrawals, although for smaller amounts, that came out of the county’s bank accounts. “My office will be looking into these incidents further,” he said.

Beaver County Solicitor Bernie Rabik told the Beaver Countian that he was made aware of the issue and is scheduling a meeting with the Board of Commissioners, Treasurer Javens, and Controller Rossi, to discuss the matter.

Officials say the cashier’s check obtained from Citizens Bank by Javens using the withdrawn funds was cashed by the new private owners of Friendship Ridge.

Treasurer Connie Javens’ dealings with Friendship Ridge and its new owners have been the repeated subject of public controversy, with Commissioner Joe Spanik previously speaking out about the lucrative contracts several of her family members garnered from the facility. Beaver County Chief Assessor Mike Kohlman has previously told the Beaver Countian that Javens personally walked the new owners of Friendship Ridge down to the County’s Assessment Office after their close of the sale, helping them start the process of having a reassessment done to lower their property taxes — even though it is not one of the duties of her office.

Records maintained by the Beaver County Bureau of Elections show that Javens reported receiving a campaign contribution from Friendship Ridge in the amount of $250 during the general election cycle. Although she failed to properly report the date the donation had been made as required, records appear to show she may have received it sometime in October.

Beaver County Treasurer Connie Javens did not return a message left by the Beaver Countian seeking comment for this story.

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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John Q TaxpayerthebigdiggerJealousOrWhatSay What????Letsbehonest Recent comment authors
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buzzkill
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buzzkill

We should change the name of Beaver County to Bizarro County immediately….

Mungo Jerry
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Mungo Jerry

Indeed buzkill! Apparently Cons was so busy playing the fuzzy math game that she had no time to take down all of her personal litter….i.e campaign signs! Conster pick up yer shit!

Arnie Pellegrini
Guest
Arnie Pellegrini

Tom Leydig spoke of this type of thing, yet couldn’t beat the machine…something’s terribly wrong here.

Robin Moka
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Robin Moka

Wtf

JoAnn Barley Hages
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JoAnn Barley Hages

Thank goodness she didn’t get my vote. I feel she’s been dipping in the till for years. SMH.. Dang shame

Candy Nolder
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Candy Nolder

And what is your proof? Did you know about previous transactions? If you did and didn’t tell, you are in on the conspiracy. If you are just making a comment and have no idea what you’re talking about, then I think you should tone it down.

JoAnn Barley Hages
Guest
JoAnn Barley Hages

First of all Candy Nolder I’m intitled to my thoughts on the subject & that’s what I stated. I said “I feel”. I was trying to be polite under the circumstances, unlike some of the comments. Second of all it’s called “women’s intuition”! Third.. If she is found innocent I will apologize FOR MY THOUGHTS. Have a wonderful evening! BTW… I see you know her

janice
Guest
janice

Joann………..you are right…………everyone I know has been saying this about her for years!!! How did she get voted in is what I would like to know……….haven’t talked to one single person who voted for her! But if she gets dumped…………what will happen to all her friends and family that she gave jobs too???

Sick of This
Guest
Sick of This

JoAnn Barley Hages, you say the treasurer has been “dipping in the till for years”? What does that mean? Can you give us some information on when this has happened? Before you make damaging statements like that you should have proof and I don’t mean “women’s intuition.” If you read today’s Beaver County Times, you should get ready to apologize.

Candy Nolder
Guest
Candy Nolder

Yes you are, but when you are ignorant of the facts, you need to be quiet. Renee is a very good friend of mine. You’d better recheck your intuition levels….when you do apologize, make sure it’s for your stupidity and nothing more.

janice
Guest
janice

Shame on you mean girl!

Mw
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Mw

I don’t think the bank would be able to show you that information. So you must of done something illegal to retrieve it.

buzzkill
Member
buzzkill

It’s public funds. She doesn’t own Beaver County….yet.

jayeric
Guest
jayeric

are you illiterate? it says clealy in the article that it was discovered by and reported by the county controllers office.

Wow
Guest
Wow

“So you must have done something illegal to retrieve it.”

That’s the part you focused on? Not the fact that she took $275,000 out of a county account with no authorization, and has with other amounts, but the fact that you think JP did something illegal to find this out.. you are a special kind of stupid.

JW Hall
Guest
JW Hall

No MW is not stupid just stating facts. I don’t agree with what she has done but I don’t think John Paul is someone authorized to view the accounts. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I think an employee of the bank can get into serious trouble if they release information to just anyone. If they do that in this case what makes you think they won’t release your personal information.

AT
Guest
AT

The bank is allowed to release the information to the authorized individuals on the account. All of the information regarding the bank statements are direct quotes from individuals who would have access to that information.