Beaver County First Deputy Jay Alstadt is distancing himself from previous remarks he made about Sheriff George David. Alstadt had formerly expressed grave concerns about Sheriff David’s mental health, but has now begun defending the Sheriff following his acquittal at trial and return from house arrest.
Jay Alstadt told clerks, deputies, controllers, commissioners, law department personnel, and employees elsewhere in county government that Sheriff George David was “insane,” “paranoid,” “irrational,” was “an impossible person to deal with,” and “mentally unstable.” Alstadt told county employees that David frequently explodes, expressing his belief he may be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness. Several county employees say Alstadt was near tears at times when talking about the frustrations of working for David.
At one point last month Alstadt told county officials he couldn’t handle the stress of working for George David any longer, saying he hated to see how people were being treated by the man. Alstadt went to county officials to get a quote for his pension.
Jay Alstadt had a nearly half hour long phone conversation with the Beaver Countian from his office last month, confirming reports this publication had been receiving from multiple sources about his various statements concerning Sheriff David (6/12/14 2:19pm). Alstadt spoke to this publication freely, believing at the time David’s conviction at trial was likely.
Alstadt told the Beaver Countian he decided to stay in the Sheriff’s Office after several Deputies begged him not to go, fearing who David may appoint to replace him. He insisted he was doing his best to act as a buffer between Sheriff David and the employees of his office, but the stress of being a human firewall was starting to wear him down. At one point he asked county officials for a raise, saying his work to keep the Sheriff’s Office together under David was worthy of a higher salary.
The Beaver Countian agreed to not publish a report about his remarks to various county employees and officials until after the Sheriff’s criminal case was resolved.
Despite his concerns about George David’s mental health, Alstadt repeatedly stonewalled investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police during the course of their investigation into David. He said he feared for his reputation as a law enforcement officer if he got dragged into the case, and originally feared for his job like so many others who work in the Sheriff’s Office.
In the end, Jay Alstadt worried not so much about losing his own job as much as he expressed concerns about his daughter losing hers. Alstadt had convinced Sheriff David to hire his daughter (a single mother) as a full-time employee of the Sheriff’s Office (working as Warrants Secretary in Central Booking at the Beaver County Jail) not long after she pleaded to a DUI. The woman had become significantly behind on her ARD payments.
Now with George David being acquitted of the charges filed against him, Alstadt has announced he believes those who have been critical of Sheriff David’s behavior in office are simply “being political” or are “on a witch hunt.”
Jay Alstadt has once again begun working on behalf of George David to expand the authorities and powers of the Sheriff’s Office, and some county employees say he has already started to turn his head away from those he once promised to help.