Beaver County Domestic Relations Director Joseph Signore was directed to leave the courthouse yesterday after three employees filed complaints about a bizarre department-wide meeting he forced them to attend, according to county officials.
Multiple sources within the Domestic Relations Office say Joseph Signore called a department meeting with the approximately 30 members of his staff Friday morning to rant about an article published by the Beaver Countian on his impending retirement.
Signore told his staff that the person who provided information to the Beaver Countian put people’s physical safety in danger by disclosing the location of his retirement party to be held at a popular sports bar — the drinking establishment was going to be open to the public during his celebration.
According to multiple people who attended the meeting, Signore told his staff he is aware of who the “rats” are in his office that speak to the Beaver Countian’s John Paul and then accused one of his office supervisors of being the source for the article — staring at him intently and raising his voice while repeating he knew who was responsible for the reporting.
The supervisor repeatedly denied being the Beaver Countian’s source, Signore persisted, referring to the man as “big boy” and telling his staff that the supervisor and another courthouse employee he identified by name were members of “a secret society.”
Following the mandatory office meeting about the Beaver Countian, Signore sent out an email to his entire department, again reiterating his assertion that individuals’ safety was placed in jeopardy by the release of information about his party.
County officials say they are not aware of any threats made against Signore or anyone in his office.
Also included in Signore’s email to his department were references to bible verses.
“Ephesians 6:10 states that we don’t battle the flesh and blood but rather the demonic spirits of the evil one,” wrote Signore to his employees. “Spirits of jealousy, hatred, arrogance, immorality, gossip, revenge, selfishness etc. I pray against these in the name of Jesus the Christ.”
Employees of his office have previously complained about Signore “pushing prayer” in ways that made them feel uncomfortable.
County officials say the supervisor from Domestic Relations subsequently filed a complaint with the courts and the county about Director Signore’s conduct. Two female employees of Domestic Relations also filed complaints with Human Resources about being forced to endure a hostile working environment created by Signore.
The County Commissioners, Human Resources, and the county’s Law Department were all involved in responding to the incident along with the Court Administrator’s Office.
County officials say they were told President Judge Richard Mancini sent Joseph Signore from the building and gave the supervisor the remainder of the day off. Commissioners then sought and received confirmation that Signore was no longer in the courthouse.
Judge Mancini told officials he would be personally conducting an investigation into the incident.
Several female employees of the courts have previously described their working environment as at times being like a “frat house” where the “good ol’ boys club” protects one another.
Signore’s last day with the county before retirement is scheduled for next Friday, February 9th.
Court personnel spoke to the Beaver Countian for this report on condition they not be quoted by name because they fear potential retaliation. County officials spoke on condition they not be named while discussing personnel matters.
Joseph Signore could not be reached by the Beaver Countian for comment and did not return a detailed voicemail message left on his cellphone.