The Pennsylvania State Police were conducting an “unauthorized investigation” when they agreed to meet with County Commissioners Sandie Egley and Dan Camp to discuss allegations of corruption in the courthouse, according to District Attorney David Lozier. The District Attorney tells the Beaver Countian that he has put an end to their investigation, and the State Police have now relinquished all of their investigative files to him.
As the Beaver Countian reported last week, Commissioners Egley and Camp separately sought out and met with investigators in the Pennsylvania State Police to report possible criminal conduct they discovered after taking office in January. Both Camp and Egley said they reached out to Corporal Joseph Olayer, who has experience investigating corruption in Beaver County, because they did not trust the County Detectives and did not think that District Attorney David Lozier should be investigating fellow elected officials in the courthouse.
Commissioners Camp and Egley provided investigators with evidence including taped interviews, digital files, and printed documents.
“The new Commissioners, not knowing the law, went to the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks and gave statements,” District Attorney Lozier told the Beaver Countian. “A trooper at the barracks improperly took the statements and started his own investigation without my authorization […] There were in effect some members of the Pennsylvania State Police who were conducting an unauthorized investigation.”
Along with the information provided by County Commissioners, Lozier also confirmed that other courthouse employees had sought out investigators with the State Police and turned over evidence of possible courthouse corruption as well.
Lozier said the State Police are required to get his approval before initiating an investigation into county corruption. “The Pennsylvania State Police are not allowed to investigate anything involving the courthouse without my written approval,” said Lozier. “I have not and will not be referring these matters to them.”
District Attorney Lozier said his predecessor, Tony Berosh, had referred several unrelated matters to the State Police for investigation and troopers may have been under the wrong impression that he would do the same. Lozier said his office will be handling all of the investigations into allegations of improprieties in the courthouse.
“The State Police command structure directed the Beaver Barracks to stop their investigation and turn over all materials to me,” said Lozier. “All of the evidence was formally handed over to me last week and the Pennsylvania State Police formally advised the Commissioners that the investigation was being done by my office. Steps were taken to make sure that everyone at the Beaver Barracks understands their responsibilities.”
Commissioners Egley and Camp both told the Beaver Countian they are displeased that the information they provided to investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police is now in the hands of County Detectives — something they had both intentionally tried to avoid have happen.