Former Beaver County Financial Administrator Ricardo Luckow / photo by John Paul

Former Beaver County Financial Administrator Ricardo Luckow is still agreeing to assist law enforcement in their investigations into county government despite being fired this week by Commissioners Tony Amadio and Dan Camp, according to multiple sources familiar with the ongoing probes.

Sources with knowledge of the matter tell the Beaver Countian that Ricardo Luckow had aided in preparing information that was provided to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year, and has agreed to assist the Pennsylvania State Police with their investigations into county government.

Ricardo Luckow, who is a Certified Public Accountant, repeatedly raised concerns publicly about possible improprieties involving the county’s finances during his prior role as an independent contractor for the County Controller’s Office and most recently in his capacity as County Financial Administrator.

Commissioner Tony Amadio had been publicly lambasting Luckow since he was appointed as Financial Administrator in 2016 following the forced resignation of Vince LaValle, a close confidant of Amadio who previously filled the role. Amadio publicly insisted that information about deficits in the county’s budgets released by Luckow was incorrect, despite receiving independent audits confirming the deficits and a state-funded study verifying the major financial problems still ahead. Treasurer Connie Javens had similarly been a vocal critic of Luckow, also publicly claiming that his analysis of the county’s finances was inaccurate. As with Amadio, Javens has enjoyed a close relationship with Vince LaValle through the years.

An opinion piece published last Sunday by the Editorial Board of the Beaver County Times, “The sky is falling — or not,” echoed many of the assertions Amadio and Javens had been making. The Beaver Countian published an editorial of its own on Monday, criticizing the Beaver County Times’ coverage of county government over recent years. Members of the Beaver County Times’ Editorial Board then showed up to the courthouse on Wednesday — accompanying their county government reporter — to attend a public work session of the Board of Commissioners. They sat together quietly during the meeting.

Luckow was fired by Commissioners Amadio and Camp the following day.

Several politicos the Beaver Countian spoke with are crediting the Times’ Sunday editorial with providing the political cover needed to oust Luckow.

Former County Financial Administrator Vince LaValle (left) with Commissioner Tony Amadio / file photo by John Paul

Commissioner Dan Camp said during Thursday’s public meeting he had been unaware that Commissioner Amadio was going to seek a reorganization of county government, although the Beaver Countian had known that Amadio was likely planning to make the motions the day before it happened, after being told by courthouse sources that the Law Department “floated a test balloon” with Camp for Amadio.

Thursday’s reorganization of county government was not added to the published agenda for the public meeting and citizens were not given an opportunity to comment on the official action before it took place, apparently violating provisions of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act. The county’s Law Department declined comment about the structure of the meeting.

Multiple sources tell the Beaver Countian that the Pennsylvania State Police debriefed Commissioner Sandie Egley immediately following the vote by Amadio and Camp.

Other county employees who have been fired after assisting law enforcement:

Former Sheriff’s Deputy Curtis Larrick had assisted the Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General’s Office in investigations into the Sheriff’s Office and testified in open court against George David, but was then fired in 2016 by incoming Sheriff Tony Guy. Guy kept on staff several Deputies who continue to be subjects of controversy and targets of investigation. The Beaver County Times reported the news at the time under a headline, “Beaver County’s new sheriff cleans house on first day in office.” The Times did not mention Larrick’s role in assisting state authorities in the report.

A lawsuit brought by Larrick against Guy alleging he was terminated for political reasons is still pending in federal court. In court documents filed in the case, Guy denied Larrick’s firing was politically motivated, insisting he terminated Larrick because he is an “untrustworthy” individual.

Former County Purchasing Director Mary Anne Ruskin was fired in 2013 after attempting to prevent some county officials from violating state procurement laws — she had similarly been assisting the Pennsylvania State Police in ongoing investigations and had provided testimony in front of a Statewide Investigating Grand Jury.

Commissioner Tony Amadio claimed at the time that Ruskin was fired as “phase 1” of a “reorganization plan,” although additional cuts never came and Ruskin’s former role was later filled. A whistleblower lawsuit filed by Ruskin against the Board of Commissioners was summarily dismissed by then-President Judge John McBride.

Former County Financial Administrator Ricardo Luckow / photo by John Paul

See Also:

District Attorney Lozier: State Police Conducted An “Unauthorized Investigation” Into County Corruption

FBI Among Agencies Conducting Years-long Investigations Into County Corruption

State Grand Jury Convening Next Week On Alleged Corruption In Beaver County

In-Depth: Beaver County Hid Massive Deficits – Wrote Millions In “Bad Checks” At The End Of Last Year

In-Depth: Beaver Countian Challenges Amadio On Statements About The Budget – Amadio Tells Egley To “Keep Smiling”

Former County Solicitor & “Friendship Ridge” Attorney Praises Commissioner Camp In Post To Egley’s Social Media Page

Camp Flips – County Will Release Another $300,000 To New Friendship Ridge Owners And Surrender Lawsuit

Investigative Report: Former Chief County Solicitor Represented New Friendship Ridge Owners While Still Employed By The County

Commissioner Egley Seeks Investigation Into Former County Solicitor Joe Askar By Supreme Court Disciplinary Board

Commissioner Amadio “No Comment” On If His Statement About Egley’s Complaint Against Former Solicitor Was Untrue

Former County Solicitor Joe Askar Hosting Big Money Campaign Fundraiser For Gov Wolf At “Friendship Ridge” Facility

Financial Administrator: County Officials Paid $300,000 Bonus To New Friendship Ridge Owners Without Justification

In-Depth: Officials Say New Friendship Ridge Owners Had “Money Problems” – County “Loaned” Them At Least $1.2 Million As Sale Was Being Completed

Former Financial Administrator’s Email “Explains” $1.2 Million “Loan” To Friendship Ridge

Bank Slips Show $3.4 Million Unilaterally Withdrawn By Financial Administrator LaValle & Treasurer Javens

The Minority Rules

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

36 COMMENTS

    • Shouldn’t he be looking for new Job? What’s with the fixation on Beaver county? He doesn’t even live here in our county! Move on

       
      • You’re pretty naïve, Nutter. There is an ongoing Grand Jury investigation into the workings in the county. Luckow would be very foolish to just walk away and let shit happen as an EX-county official UNTIL that investigation is completed. I wouldn’t want anyone speaking or speculating on my time at a job during an open inquiry like that with no chance to rebut or have input. He’s already under the bus. no need to crawl in front of the wheels, too.

         
    • No I get what Nutter means, are we going to spend thousands more of taxpayers money now chasing corruption??? This reminds me of Russia, Russia, Russia ! Stop tilting at windmills ( attacking imaginary enemies)

       
  1. Can you say RICO?!
    Lock them ALL up!
    Cannot wait for the “perp” walk!
    And….Once again…….WHAT ABOUT JOHN-JOE?!
    I just hope that this time, something…….anything……….will come out of all of this………PLEASE!!!!!

     
  2. Wonder if he would consider running for county commisioner? We need an honest person who cooperates with law enforcement instead of stonewalling and lying to the public.

     
  3. The BCTimes Editorial Board — who are they? Lisa Micco, Tom Bickert, Kristen Doerschner, Tom Davidson? Maybe J.D. Prose giving input from the Penalty Box? And showing up as a unit? Looks like the propaganda is more than just writing nice things about the local perps.

    Wow, JP! There are enough smoking guns here for Bruce Willis to make another “Die Hard” movie.

     
    • Add Kirsten Kennedy to that imaginary lineup. She brings her expertise in reading police reports to dig out the real, truthful accounting of things.

       
  4. What a rag of a newspaper to endorse these two chuckleheads for this vote. seems like they are covering something up. They ought to be ousted asap.

     
    • Omg…did you read the times editorial about this matter? I have no words. I would be happy to contribute to the billboard fund. There HAS to be way to get the truth out to people who depend on the Times for their news. Enough is enough!!!

       
  5. See why the Fake News Trump talks about is so readily believed?
    JP I am not your biggest fan but God bless you. You do provide a service with your “other side of the story” coverage.
    Bottom line is the County government has skipped payments (like the pension fund and bull shit refinancing) and claims a surplus when all it is is past due bills being hidden by the local news lack of vigor and intellectual honesty.
    SAD
    Shame on the Beaver County Times you have lost all journalistic crediability.

     
  6. Dan Camp is too new to be entangled in this mess which leads one to wonder why he would put himself smack in the middle of this drama?

     
      • SpeakTheTruthToo- to be blunt Dan is totally unqualified for his ELECTED position. Who’s to blame? Most of the blame should fall on those who gave Camp a standing Ovation at the recent Republican Committee of Beaver County Dinner, after partnering with DEMOCRATIC Commissioner Tiny Tony to oust Sandie Egley. What a sad display.
        Ricardo- I will never understand how someone is removed from their job without being given a reason during a public session, Go getem’ you are a stand up guy!

         
      • Back at the beginning of her term, Egley was approached to meet with some ‘good guys’ by someone that she trusted. She immediately recognized this for what it was and rejected the overture. That was the turning point for Egley with the Beaver County Republican Party. From then on, she was persona non grata. I’m sure Camp was approached in a very similar way, but judging by the lack of accusations against Camp, his meeting went in a very different direction. So I don’t believe for a split second that Camp is the master of his own destiny anymore. He sold himself very, very early.

         
  7. The war for the hearts & minds of the uneducated and uninvolved has begun. The BC Times is fighting for their existence as the voice of the county. More and more people are learning the truth about the times. Truth and justice are as foreign to them as morales and scruples. The billboards are the way to neutralize their vile propaganda. JP, if you desire to set up a sit for donations I am all in.

     
  8. Well, he better for his own sake. How much blame do you think would be dumped on Luckow as an absentee part of the courthouse in any investigation? Stay in front of the narrative, Ricky.

    As for The Times…..
    I like the Times, I like having a community paper. But….
    That editorial today on the new “bi-partisan” commissioner’s office, OMG, what nonsense. Egley on some crusade in pursuing back taxes and getting Friendship Ridge payments. Uh, YEAH! What the hell else are they working on? Since when are we so cavalier about collecting money due in our county? But…Just hit the RESET button and we’ll start fresh this Monday in a new spirit of cooperation! We ALL can just get along!

    Who will be surprised that within the next month we will be hearing about using that $4.7 million paper windfall that is the latest budget calculation to add 5-10 deputies because we have 30 deputies struggling to somehow do the work of 31 and Lozier needs a couple more on his staff to not pursue the legal work that they already aren’t doing? Brink back LaValle because “he’s familiar with the system. And catch up on those long overdue raises. Put that money to work for the citizens!

     
  9. Just like batman and robin….lone ranger and tonto……..we need the crime fighting duo of…….. Morales and scroopels…..lol…
    Just kidding equalizer!..:-)
    But what the courthouse really does need is like the Joker said…….it needs one big enema!

     
  10. It would be awesome if citizens would flood the next Commissioners meeting and force Camp and Amadio to explain why this reorganization was necessary? And, really push until you get an answer. Even if you never get an answer at least it will make them uncomfortable. This should happen every Commissioners meeting for the next two years.

     
  11. We shall have to be patient to discover who is really behind this coup. But eventually, we shall.

    “Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
    the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
    own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
    your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
    to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son
    may, but at the length truth will out.” (2.2.69-74)

    Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

     
    • Yep Raven, that was the first thing that came to my mind also, Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. You need to get out of the house.

       
  12. I would go toe to toe with you, but I don’t want to hear …. I’ll just have to give it a rest for awhile, your nobody likes me routine. Then the please come back Raven, we still love you. Merchant of Venice, give me a break.

     
    • Here is a challenge, Tomato. Tell me who wrote the “bipartisan” editorial in the Times. Does it matter who writes stuff? Damn right it does, and it is the key to who is running that show. Only one person there writes that “elegant” prose.

       
  13. The editorial in today’s Times (3/11/18) states they take exception to Egley’s claim of “wide scale corruption in the courthouse.” It would appear the Beaver County Times has replaced “The Bridge” as the mouthpiece for the courthouse.

     

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