The Aliquippa police chief and Beaver County District Attorney have both claimed that external investigations into possible city police corruption have been closed. They have also said that state police are actively involved in a team investigation into the Mother’s Day murder of a city resident.
But their statements conflict with what Rachael DelTondo’s mother said she was told by state investigators following her daughter’s murder May 13; with assertions being made by witnesses in the corruption investigations; as well as with a statement provided to the Beaver Countian today by the station commander of the Pennsylvania State Police Beaver Barracks in Brighton Township.
Station Commander Sgt. Amanda C. Selden would not go into detail, but did give the Beaver Countian a definitive and carefully worded answer when specifically asked about state corruption probes into the Aliquippa Police Department.
“We can not comment on active, ongoing investigations,” she said.
When questioned afterward about the contradictions, Lozier became noticeably agitated. “I can’t talk about any of that,” he said. “I am not going to comment to any of that. I am not going to go there. I am not going to say anymore because I am going to get angry.”
Lozier has repeatedly said Aliquippa police corruption investigations are closed and distinct from ones involving city government, and that state police are “working hand-in-hand” with city police and his county detectives on the murder case.
On Friday, he told KDKA’s Andy Sheehan on video, “I have no questions as to the ability of the Aliquippa Police Department detectives to conduct this investigation fairly. They’re working with my detectives, the Beaver County Detective Bureau, the Pennsylvania State Police, as a team. They would not be part of this team if there were any question as to their capacity or their integrity.”
Aliquippa Police Chief Donald Couch and Mayor Dwan Walker could not be reached by phone for comment.
In a series of conversations with the Beaver Countian last week, Rachael DelTondo’s mother, Lisa, talked about the emotional crime scene where she said she angrily “called out” the city’s police.
Lisa DelTondo said city police there told her that any external investigation into their department was over, including one involving the leak of sensitive information about her daughter.
But she said a state police official later sought to reassure her the investigations into the department remain ongoing.
Confidential local official and municipal law enforcement sources also refuted the claims made by Lozier that the state police are actively involved as part of a team investigating the DelTondo homicide.
“(The Pennsylvania State Police) showed up and then they were gone,” said one official. “They have not been in meetings.”
Photographs taken by the Daily Mail — reporting in conjunction with the Beaver Countian — show Aliquippa police and Beaver County Detectives together executed a search warrant in the case at an address in Aliquippa on May 17, investigators with state police could not be seen on scene.
On Sunday, a municipal police officer who can not be named because of his ongoing involvement in the state investigation spoke out.
“State police contacted me (on Friday), they want to meet again to go over more things about the Aliquippa police,” the officer said Sunday night. “They told me the investigation into the Aliquippa Police Department is still ongoing.”
Lozier has had previous conflicts with the state police.
In March 2016, Lozier accused state police of conducting an “unauthorized investigation” into potential corruption in the Beaver County Courthouse. He said his office had taken control of information provided to state investigators related to the sale of the publicly owned nursing home then known as Friendship Ridge.
Lozier concluded his co-opted investigation without filing charges in the matter.
In October 2017, the Beaver Countian published an interview with then state police Lt. Eric Hermick who accused Lozier of publicly making “false” claims about an active shooter incident involving police. Hermick said that Lozier had made false statements about state police response times as part of an effort to justify his own office’s budget.