March 29, 2015

Convicted Perjurer MC’d David’s “Not Guilty Bash” & Other Happenings From The Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff George David / file photo by John Paul

Sheriff George David / file photo by John Paul

Here’s the latest roundup from our confidential journalistic sources about happenings in and around the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office:

– Sources inside of the Democratic Party continue to tell the Beaver Countian that Aliquippa Magisterial District Judge James DiBenedetto is considering a run for County Commissioner. DiBenedetto has frequently been seen by sources meeting with David, including just 1 day before he presided over a preliminary hearing in the Attorney General’s case against Deputy Lieutenant Thomas Ochs. DiBenedetto has been writing public comments on the Beaver Countian where he ignored questions raised by other readers about a possible run for Commissioner, leaving the speculation to continue building.

– In related news, Beaver County Jury Commissioner Shelley Blythe had the honor of being the first person to visit Sheriff David in his office following his acquittal at trial. She also had the honor of being the only county level elected official we were able to verify attended George David’s “Not Guilty Bash.” Leadership of the Democratic Party and the county’s top elected officials all “missed” the event.

Sources inside of the Democratic Party say Blythe is considering a run against fellow Democratic incumbent Beaver County Register of Wills Carol Ruckert Fiorucci as part of a ticket being organized by the Sheriff.

– Several people say they were disappointed when they arrived to the Sheriff’s Celebration de Center Stage after learning The Jaggers wouldn’t be headlining the event. Word had been spread for over a month that the popular local group would be providing the evening’s entertainment in hopes of attracting a crowd — the event was instead booked by a DJ.

– Turnout for Sheriff David’s “Not Guilty Bash” wasn’t what organizers had hoped. David had touted the event would be attended by some 700 people. Our sources say the actual number ended up being far less than half of that. Staff at the facility told one reveler their cooks were left with a lot of uncooked food in the fridge. One Deputy who was at the event said it would have resembled a “picnik at Friendship Ridge” if it hadn’t been for the “group of bikers” that showed up.

– In what may be dubbed as either an ironic twist or a perfect casting call, the Sheriff’s keynote speech at the event was introduced by a convicted perjurer. Bobby Williams made the introduction for his long-time friend George David. Williams was convicted of perjury under the elections code back in May, after an investigative report by the Beaver Countian revealed he lied about living in Aliquippa when he filled out paperwork to run for Aliquippa City Council. Williams is actually a resident of Center Township.

Several residents in Aliquippa had previously filed statements with the Aliquippa Police accusing Bobby Williams of flashing a firearm while making disparaging remarks against African Americans.

Judge Harry Knafelc found Williams guilty of perjury at trial but sentenced him to nothing for the first degree misdemeanor conviction — as in no fine, no probation… nothing. Chalk that one up as another mulligan courtesy the Beaver County judicial system.

– David told the crowd during his speech that he would remain as Sheriff as long as he wants.

– Sheriff David’s trip to the County Salary Board yesterday didn’t go as he had planned. David had sought hefty pay raises of 11% for First Deputy Jay Alstadt (who testified on his behalf at trial) and 8% for Captain James McGeehen. David made the motion, but when Chairman Tony Amadio asked if there was a second the Sheriff was met with silence. Commissioners Amadio, Spanik, and Nichols and Controller David Rossi all refused to entertain giving David’s men the salary increases. Sources tell the Beaver Countian that David left the meeting in a huff.

– Embattled Aliquippa Police Officer and candidate for Pennsylvania State Representative Paul Cain stopped by to visit George David in his office yesterday. Cain is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican State Representative Jim Christiana. No official word yet on what the two talked about, but sources inside of the Sheriff’s Office say this isn’t the first time the pair have spent time together.

– Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter has resigned from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Brandstetter was the prosecutor in the case against David, and some of the Sheriff’s Deputies had been telling people he was the cause of her ouster. Brandstetter announced this week she had resigned to take a job with Leech Tishman, and sources tell the Beaver Countian she had been looking to exit the public sector for nearly a year. Brandstetter will be launching a new practice area for the firm, providing “a comprehensive approach for preventing and mitigating the impact from violations of ethical, regulatory and governance standards as well as white collar crimes, such as fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft and forgery.”

– Some county officials are now discussing the possibility of surcharging Sheriff David for his alleged mismanagement of public funds while in office. Sources tell the Beaver Countian that several officials are exploring an action against David to recoup the money taxpayers lost when he gave out free and discounted gun permits to his friends and political cronys, operated a comp-time program in violation of county policy and federal law, and had his deputies perform discounted private security services for corporations and a local real estate tycoon in violation of state law. Officials tell the Beaver Countian the total losses to taxpayers goes well into the six figures.

Sheriff David’s criminal defense attorney Lee Rothman had been notified by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office they have a criminal investigation started into David’s issuances of free and discounted gun permits. Evidence for that case is still being gathered by investigators for the AG’s office.

About The Author

Profile photo of John Paul

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

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50 Comments

  1. weredareres

    Georgie David, is it getting hot for you yet? I hope the A.G.’s office continues to investigate you. You are a true slime ball.

     
    Reply
  2. Fred

    Seriously dude, you either are in love with this guy or you seriously need to get a life! I am actually thinking both!!!

     
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  3. jazzy

    Lol lol lol

    Whewww lol

    Wait hold on I’m sorry lol lol

    Friendship ridge picnic with bikers…..lol

    No jaggerz, I heard his brother didn’t want to anti up to pay them ,I actually seen a band member prior and he said they where not doing it and wasn’t giving no discount for that event.

    I love this site get me some links to sports and a listing for dead people and I will cancel my papers….

     
    Reply
  4. Profile photo of sd1120
    sd1120

    I agree that Georgie will be sheriff as long as he wants. Georgie will also run a slate of primary candidates forcing row officers to spend money. And you wouldn’t believe how much these entrenched biddies hate spending money. Stay tuned, next year is gonna be very interesting.

     
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  5. weredareres

    How can anyone support a person who supports Hamas? Georgie said this in front of me and several others. He is a terrorist as a sheriff or a human.

     
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  6. kmd

    You lost John Paul..Don’t make yourself out to be sore looser. You are becoming a stalker. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Give it up and get life. There are a lot of other things you could research and write about take a break from the sheriff for good.

     
    Reply
  7. Bill

    When are you going to give up! Nothing like beating a dead horse. I hear they need reported in Iraq to cover Isul .

     
    Reply
  8. Profile photo of Nikki
    Nikki

    I love the fact that you people don’t care about the corruption that runs rampant through all levels of the courthouse and outside of, that you ultimately are paying for with your hard earned tax dollars, and would rather live with your heads in the sand.

    You’ll also be the same people who re-elect this piece of shit, and then sit and bitch about the corruption, and why nobody is doing anything about it.

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

     
    Reply
  9. Profile photo of durn
    durn

    Nikki, I read this blog and really do, for the most part, enjoy it. I have to say though, the comments about beating a dead horse, in my most humble opinion, are right on. We live in a society where if you do wrong, or commit a crime and get caught, you are normally charged and it plays out through the justice system. The Sheriff was charged with a crime(s) and he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. You, and others, can keep making comments about him being a crook, etc., but the “system” said otherwise. Like it or not, it is what it is and the nay sayers need to learn to live with it. You may have your own personal opinion of Mr. David, as many do, but the bottom line is he was vindicated on all charges. This wasn’t decided by people that he may have done favors for or linked to his connections in the court house, it was a jury of 12 people that heard the facts and made an opinion based on the evidence presented at the trial. If the taxpayers of Beaver County decide to re-elect him to office, so be it. That is the democratic process. I don’t like that fact that Obama got elected to office, not once but twice, but I live with it and anxiously await the next election. Don’t usually post on here, or any other blog, but just felt compelled to comment. Have a blessed day.

     
    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Nikki
      Nikki

      If the taxpayers of Beaver County are to make an informed decision at election time, don’t you think they should get as much information about their candidates from as many sources as possible? I would NEVER preach that you should only listen to what this publication has to say, I would encourage you to go to as many sources as possible, get the information you can, and make an informed decision. That’s what is wrong with ALOT of things at election time. The voters vote for the people that their “party” tells them to. The system is irrevocably broken. You have people making choices based on if there is a (D) or an (R) after a person’s name. They’re NOT voting for the person, or based on that person’s merits, they’re voting on the fact that person is just spitting out the party line, and 9 times out of 10, if they’re elected to office, that line is already forgotten.

       
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      1. Nobama

        @Nikki-DON”T let this uneducated troll bait you like the other uneducated troll did. Just ignore her. She’s not worth it.

         
    2. weisserwolf

      So Durn, using your logic, we are powerless to do anything about the corruption and the mini Tammany Hall we have here?? I seem to remember a small town in Tenn called Athens back in the 1940’s that did something about their corruption, perhaps we might have to do the same.

       
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    3. nina bartoletta

      In Beaver County divergent political opinions are not well tolerated, especially when someone suffers personal hatred of “the other guy.” You are required to take sides to despise and denigrate the “other guy” or be portrayed as the ultimate enemy traitor. Its “my guy” or else. Your differing opinion is spun as “not caring about corruption,” not caring about what happens with your “tax dollars,” and on and on and on. Those who cannot convince you to hop on their bandwagon become enraged and vile, foul and rabid–all over a local yokel political figure who managed to one-up the opposition. Amazing.

      Beaver County will never change.

       
      Reply
  10. Profile photo of eddiemerchant
    eddiemerchant

    I’d agree that the sheriff’s boast about being ‘sheriff for life’ is far more likely to occur than a sweep of the county courthouse. Already, we’ve got 3 declared candidates plus the incumbent announced and intending to run in the 2015 democratic primary. It doesn’t take much foresight to see what’s about to happen, the 3 opponents split the anti incumbent vote, and the sitting sheriff wins the primary with a plurality.

    The party leadership I believe is embarrassed by the guy (and should be), but is timid about doing anything about it. It’s time for the bosses to get together in their ‘smoke filled rooms’, anoint a successor, and get the other candidates to drop out. Promise whatever has to be promised, but this needs to be a two person primary. The political ‘process’ needs to work for meaningful change this time, or the influence of the corrupt Aliquippa mob is only going to increase. I do believe there is sufficient sentiment to make significant changes in the next election cycle, but opposition against the status quo has to be organized and focused.

    While Beaver County voters have made some headway in voting something other than a straight Democratic ticket and a few Republicans have managed to get elected, I for one don’t want to trust the voting public to solve this problem in the November general election. We need a resolution of this in the May 2015 Democratic primary.

     
    Reply
    1. Profile photo of JoeDoe
      JoeDoe

      Well said eddiemerchant, well said and I couldn’t agree more! When is the so called “Democrat Chairman” going to intervene and do something…anything….to get this down to a 2 candidate race, the incumbent and new candidate?

       
      Reply
  11. Profile photo of durn
    durn

    Nikki, I agree with you 100%. I have never voted a straight ticket in my life. I think when someone does this, it indicates they are a very uninformed person, and to be honest, very narrow minded. I guess what I am saying regarding the Sheriff is simply this: He had his day in court, some may not be happy with the outcome, but he had a jury trial, not a trial by a judge. It would have taken just 1 person from the jury to not agree and the outcome would have been differently, didn’t happen. The ONLY alternative, as you have stated, is in the voting booth. There are a lot of horror stories out there regarding the Sheriff, but again, the man has been involved working with the public all of his life and when that happens, there are bound to be “stories”. I don’t have any first hand knowledge to confirm, or negate, any of the stories. All I can say, personally, is the man has always been a gentleman to me and that is how I judge people I know. I try to treat everyone the way I want to be treated. It is difficult being a public official and having the support of everyone, especially in the law enforcement field, and the fact that “most” of society has no love for anyone wearing a badge today. I believe that when you wear the badge, you should be above temptation and should set an example, however simply be the mere fact that you are the “man”, you are judged by a different standard, which can be either bad or good, depending on where the judging originated. I am not trying to argue, or defend the Sheriff, just calling it the way I see it, and believe we should all move on past the trial, it’s over. As far as the commissioners needing to do “something” I don’t see what they have the power to do, it’s been done in the courts, what further action can they take? Keep informed and make a sound decision when you vote, that is my plans. Have a great day!

     
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  12. signedepstiensmother

    Atta boy judge. tell em. Epstiens mother doesnt pass up a good cookout get together either. jeez! The poor guy cant even go and hang with his peeps and eat a hot dog for cryin out loud. Just do the right thing. In the end………you will not be judged by any man. The higher power of our choice is what we need to consider. Do the right thing and good things will come to you. I’d hate to see you end up like some of these Beaver County public assho……uh, i mean figures.

     
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  13. lifeguard

    JP, your hard on for the Sheriff, and your complete obsession with the whole courthouse in general is obvious (and getting old too). You need to relax. Hell, even the people at Viagra tell you, “if you have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours contact a doctor…………………

     
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  14. James F. DiBenedetto

    ‘Epstein’s Mother” : Thank you for the sound advice. In my hurry, I forgot to thank the FOP President, Dave Piuri, the picnic committee, and all of the FOP members and their families who made my family and I feel welcome. My son, and grandchildren
    had a great time. I haven’t seen so many happy kids playing together in a long time. “Great Job” to all of you.

     
    Reply
    1. lifeguard

      If this really is the Judge, I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to know that the person who is daily passing legal judgments on the citizens of Beaver County, is the same person who doesn’t have enough sense to not get into pissing contests with a bunch of clowns on a stupid forum like this.

      And you want to be a County Commisioner…………..Rrrrrrright……………You got my vote……………….Rrrrright.

       
      Reply
  15. Profile photo of Nikki
    Nikki

    People are so quick to forget that you’re often judged by the company you keep. Remember, Judge, when you lay down with dogs, don’t bitch when you get fleas…..

     
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  16. Profile photo of durn
    durn

    Dogs? Fleas? FOP Picnic? Wow!!! If the Judge goes to a picnic with the cops it’s all this? Sounds like pretty good company to me! Unless, of course………

     
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  17. say what

    @homeboy, I got news for you Judge James DiBenedetto is no Dumb Dumd , He is a very smart man. He’s one of the smartest men I’ve ever met, for God’s sake he taught law, so if you don’t know what your talking about, DON’T make stupid remarks you can’t back up, and by the way Judge James DiBenedetto doesn’t have a problem giving an opinion, he’s been doing it for years. He is a very respected and intelligent man……….but he is NOT DUMD…….

     
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    1. OhBrother

      IF he is no “Dumb Dumb” as you say, then WHY is he aligning himself with some of the most corrupt people in Beaver County and Aliquippa? Him being a Judge KNOWS who the players are, yet he chooses to do so anyway. Does not sound to smart to me.

       
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  18. James F. DiBenedetto

    Read the article. “sources inside of the democratic party,. . .”. Does it say anywhere that James F. DiBenedetto said anything ? In my 23 years of being a District Judge, I have been asked numerous times to seek another office. My response has always been the same as it is now : As long as I am serving as a District Judge I am not seeking another office. Period. End of story. I’ll bet some of you people own swampland.

     
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    1. Profile photo of John Paul
      John Paul

      It is important for readers to note that I very specifically mentioned in my article I was sourced by operatives within the Democratic Party, and not by Magisterial District Judge DiBenedetto or those closely associated with him.

      Under Pennsylvania law, it would not be appropriate for Judge DiBenedetto to formally announce his intentions to run for a non-judicial office while still serving as Magistrate. This is why I haven’t asked him directly about a possible run and why his carefully worded response above is understandable given his position at the current time.

      see: 207 Pa. Code Rule 15 (E)

      http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/207/chapter51/s15.html

      I will also note that Magisterial District Judge DiBenedetto’s District Court office in Aliquippa is scheduled to be shuttered by the AOPC on January 1 2016 which is in line with his current publicly stated retirement plans.

      Aliquippa’s Magisterial District (36-1-03) will then become part of the Magisterial District Office in Hopewell (36-3-04).

       
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      1. OhBrother

        Exactly! The Judge is facing mandatory retirement when he reaches the age of 70. He might not be allowed to say anything PUBLICLY, but PRIVATELY is another story.

         
      2. SpeakTheTruthToo

        OH SNAP! Janet Swihart is about to become busy as hell come January 1, 2106 if she is still in office.

         
    2. wtf

      If the Judge was seen talking to the Sheriff, he is a target for the Beaver Countian. This website is solely focused on the Sheriff and anyone who does not hate the Sheriff.
      Even if you have no opinion about the Sheriff, you will be attacked on the Beaver Countian.
      It’s for haters only.

       
      Reply
  19. Profile photo of durn
    durn

    Brother, OhBrother, Please help me out here. The only mention I seen regarding the judge was the fact that he wen to the FOP Picnic. How is that aligning himself with some of the most corrupt people in Beaver County? I guess I probably should never have started commenting on here because now it seems like I’m trapped, lol. I just don’t get the logic and if I am wrong, I apologize and will shamefully retract all of my comments.

     
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    1. SoTrue

      No need to retract your statement, your assessment is spot on. Understand one thing, this publication will be long gone before the Sheriff. You don’t get to his position of influence, however it was attained, to let one person knock him off. The only reason it escalated to this point was his underestimating of JP’s ability to gather info and recruit moles. Test assured it won’t happen again. Why, because if this Mafia level of corruption does in fact exist, it doesn’t begin and end with the Sheriff. Like all government, there are endless spokes in the wheel. Which brings me to my next point. Georgie has been a figure head in this county for over 50 years, people know him, are friends with him. Not everyone who smiles at him is aligning themselves for any reason. And if we are on the topic of one aligning themselves, note the anonymous posters that work at the court house or in the Sheriff’s office, they don’t hide their identity because of fear of losing their jobs, if and when Georgie comes out in top from this obsessed attempt at his dismissal, they want the ability to realign themselves with him. And I don’t care who I piss off with this comment, it’s the truth. Georgie already knows who his adversaries are. Don’t think for one seconds he doesn’t. But it pays to have a little plausible deniability. I take no position for our against anyone, but I’m a realist. Here is why no change is going to occur. Because the people in the court house and Sheriff’s office who are making these complaints and accusations “anonymously” don’t have the balls to do what’s needed to be done. Posting on a blog under a clever screen name had not worked in the past and certainly won’t work now. But you won’t hear that from JP, not as long as you are lining his pockets. He’ll keep leading his followers to believe that his David Koresh movement against the Sheriff will someday pay dividends. Well it will to him, but the rest of you will be staying there holding your, well you get the idea. And I’m not blaming JP, this is his job. How he makes his money is clever and it works. But don’t believe for one second that he is going bring the house down, that’s like suggesting that pharmaceutical company’s really want a cure for cancer, because we all know that there is no money in a cure. No if you want change you have to go make it happen. And again I’m not taking sides in stating the obvious.

       
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  20. OhBrother

    He went to the “Victory Party”. Didn’t stay, but definitely was there. Making a appearance speaks volumes. That alone aligns him with questionable people.

     
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  21. sd

    Yes, DiBenedetto is a very educated man but it breaks my heart to see him sucking that assholes sheriff’s ass. How low can a person go to ask this arrogant piece of shit for anything ?

     
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  22. James F. DiBenedetto

    Oh ! I love the summer. Another picnic today. They even invited my dog. “Black Jack”.

     
    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Nikki
      Nikki

      Publicly digging your own grave. Is this a new fad? Are all the cool kids doing it?

      If you had any brains between your ears, you’d just stop talking, stop posting, and go about your day.

       
      Reply
      1. SoTrue

        Why. . He has every right to defend himself. What has he done. How is he in any way involved.

         
      2. SoTrue

        And I’m not trying to start a fight… What has he done. Forget what is insinuated on this blog. What do you know he has done. I’m curious. I’m sure I’ll get speculation from other commenter’s. I’m curious as to why you would have an opinion. Because if you have never had a run in with this judge then your speculations are based solely on what this editor writes. Then that becomes generic. And you are falling in With the rest of the media sheep. And what I mean by that is basing your opinion on someone else thoughts.

         

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