The former Beaver County Purchasing Director filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the county today, alleging she was terminated because she came forward with reports of wrongdoing by Sheriff George David.

Mary Anne Ruskin was terminated on May 16th by County Commissioners, after they voted to eliminate her position. Ruskin alleges the termination was a direct result of her speaking out against what she believed to be corruption within the Sheriff’s Office.

“As Director of the Purchasing Department, Ruskin was responsible for obtaining bids for the uniforms for the Sheriff’s Department every two years,” reads the lawsuit. “In January 2012, [Beaver County’s] Sheriff, George J. David, wanted Ruskin to give the bid for the uniforms to a company whose owner was known to be a friend of Sheriff David. The uniform company at issue was not the lowest bidder. Ruskin refused to do so and fought to accept the lowest bid of M&M Uniforms, Inc.”

Ruskin’s lawsuit goes on to describe subsequent abusive behavior by Sheriff David.

“During a work session on February 22, 2012, Sheriff David verbally attacked Plaintiff in connection with her decision to award the uniforms to the lowest bidder. After Sheriff David’s display of outbursts during the February 22, 2012 meeting, Plaintiff made several complaints to Human Resources and the County Law Department regarding Sheriff David’s actions.”

An investigation by the Beaver Countian into Ruskin’s complaints about bid fixing led to Sheriff George David pulling out his service revolver while threatening to murder this reporter and several other individuals. Sheriff David repeatedly mentioned Ruskin during the preceding tirade, mimicking and mocking her while referring to her as a “whore.” The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office filed criminal charges against David stemming from that incident, after a Statewide Investigating Grand Jury issued a presentment against him back in April of this year. David’s trial on those charges is scheduled for February 24th, 2014.

“Ruskin made a good faith report to [the County] and was requested by the Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General’s Office to participate in an ongoing investigation of Sheriff David,” continued the lawsuit. “Ruskin was terminated following her reports of wrongdoing and her testimony before the grand jury in connection with Sheriff David’s wrongdoing. [Beaver County] was aware of Ruskin’s complaints and her testimony before the grand jury was a substantial or motivating factor in [the County’s] decision to terminate her. [Beaver County] terminated Ruskin in violation of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower law.”

Commissioner Dennis Nichols said at the time that Ruskin’s termination was “the beginning of an effort by Commissioners to reorganize county government, which will be an ongoing process that will evolve over time.”

Commissioner Tony Amadio claimed that Ruskin’s termination was just “phase 1” of that “reorganization plan”, which was devised by long-time Sheriff David political ally and confidant Vince LaValle, and said additional county director positions would be cut in the near future as part of the “cost saving measure”.

Those cuts never came.

The two part-time supervisors of the Micrographics Department who were cut along with Ruskin were almost immediately replaced by an outside contracted employee, Barb Lipinski, who now oversees workers in that office. Sources inside of county government tell the Beaver Countian that Commissioners have been in negotiations to bring Lipinski on as a full-time employee of the county.

County Commissioners Amadio, Spanik, and Nichols have all repeatedly refused to speak out publicly against Sheriff David’s well documented, abusive and erratic behavior — and have so far taken no actions to mitigate complaints from a growing number of county employees who have come forward claiming they are routinely tormented by the man.

Mary Anne Ruskin is seeking reinstatement to her position or comparable position, back pay, her seniority rights, and attorney fees. Ruskin is being represented by the Pittsburgh firm of Rothman Gordon.

Beaver County Solicitor Joseph Askar and Assistant Solicitor Bernie Rabik both said they had not yet seen the complaint, and would be unable to comment on pending litigation. Mary Anne Ruskin said she would not be commenting about the lawsuit under the advisement of her attorney.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter is a named victim in criminal charges filed against Sheriff George David by the Pennsylvania State Police.

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.


  1. And these baboons called commissioners listen to a Lavalle and the minority commissioner are you kidding me, listen to your fucking lawyers she is and was a whistle blower you down size ummmmmmmm this government nit private sector….

    You think those girls in sheriff office going to get some cash wait till this lady cleans up.

    beaver county divided by its blunders and United by its idiots.

  2. Good for you Mary Ann, I do’t blame you…Now Stephanie and the rest need to follow your foot steps, no one ever did a thing to help her either or the other girls in the office, the commissioners hid there heads in the sand. They are afraid of Georgie and every one knows it. I give you credit your one TUFF WOMAN……………Seems like the woman abuser messed with the wrong woman this time. This is what happens commissioners when you let him treat woman like this, I hope you all get your asses SUED OFF. :upset: :upset: :upset:

  3. The three stooges really don’t know what they are doing. Where are their lawyers?

    We have already lost CCIS and Head Start to other counties, and they sold Friendship Ridge. And don’t most people cut full time employees and replace them with part time employees, not the other way around. WTF??

    It would have made more sense to contract out the three stooges’ jobs. Surely some other county could do a better job than these idiots. No other county could be this fucked up. We ARE number one in the fuck up category.

    • I have lived in several counties in this state over the last 30 years and do not reside in beaver county now. I have never seen or read of such tyranny, from Ambridge to Ohioville. I can’t imagine the good sheriff of my county calling anyone a whore or posing for a photo with his finger on the trigger of a gun. My mayor’s nickname may be ‘Snake’, but he is as good as they come. The FR silence would never be tolerated elsewhere. The straight-ticket vote is the core of the problem there. Good luck going forward to those who demand change. February can’t come soon enough.

      • True, Marsha. I, too, have lived in other counties, and what you say puts the local corruption in perspective. Corruption occurs elsewhere, but not to this extent and frequency. It’s out of control.

  4. For the love of God, make it stop these guys have fucked up more things than imaginable

    when will chairmen of the board actually be a chairman.

  5. This case will never go to trial. If they know what is good for them, the county will settle out of court.

  6. continued

    when I say the chairman be a chairman it’s for the purpose of don’t let the prick commissioner Nichols dictate tempo, it’s 2 to 1 for a reason

    testicular fortitude is needed..

  7. I was raised to believe a man should not permit another man to mistreat a woman in his presence. I guess I am old fashioned now it seems it has become a form of entertainment.

  8. If you loose your job, Blame Georgie. Wife cheats on you, Blame Georgie. The Government is shutdown, Blame Georgie. Global warming, You guessed it, Blame Georgie!

    Did anybody else read this & think, “Did the commissioners REALLY fire this lady because she didn’t do what Georgie wanted her to do.” hmmmm



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