The Governor’s Office is delaying a response to a records request made by the Beaver Countian for information about attorneys who are seeking appointment to fill judicial vacancies in Beaver County.

Governor Tom Wolf issued an announcement earlier this year that he was seeking applicants interested in being appointed to fill several judicial vacancies throughout the state, including two positions in Beaver County. The county currently has an open seat for Magisterial District Judge in Ambridge due to the resignation of Andrew Hladio last November, and a position for Common Pleas Judge that became vacant after Deborah Kunselman began serving on the Superior Court in January.

Attorneys interested in a judicial appointment were required to submit completed questionnaires to the Governor’s Office by February 16th. The Beaver Countian subsequently filed an open records request seeking information about those who were actively seeking the positions.

The Pennsylvania Office of General Counsel’s Open Records Officer Marc Eisenstein notified the Beaver Countian this week he was invoking a 30-day extension on its Right-to-Know request due to the “extent of [the] request.” Eisenstein wrote the agency will now respond by March 29th.

It is unclear when Governor Wolf may appoint individuals to fill the judicial vacancies, which then have to be approved by the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Politicos told the Beaver Countian that several attorneys had expressed preliminary interest in the open position for Common Pleas Judge, including former Chief County Solicitor and “Friendship Ridge” attorney Joseph Askar. Other attorneys said to have expressed interest included Albert Torrence (currently serving as Chief Trial Counsel for the District Attorney’s Office and Solicitor to the County Controller), Laura Tocci (with the law firm of McMillen, Urick, Tocci, & Jones), and Bill Braslawsce (who campaigned for judge in last year’s elections).

Attorney Joe Askar held a fundraiser for Governor Wolf at “Friendship Ridge” last May, co-hosted by Commissioner Tony Amadio as the county had an ongoing dispute with the facility’s new corporate owners about payments from the sale (Democratic Commissioner Amadio and Republican Dan Camp later voted to surrender a lawsuit filed against the company by the county over the objection of Republican Commissioner Sandie Egley).

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. Tom Wolfe, I can’t even bring myself to call him Governor. He’s a shithole! What has he done for out state? Someone, please tell me. VOTE WAGNER!

  2. Askar as a magistrate? Delay delay then Asskar or some other deranged SOB can be slipped in under the peoples noses. No wonder Beaver County is what it is.

    • What about Frank Martocci? He would make a fine magistrate. Heres an Idea Appt. Asskar to the Supreme Court and make Frank Martocci a county Judge. Sorry Frank seniority u know.

  3. If Tom Wolf had just gotten off of his ass and appointed Askar to the position in time, Camp and Amadio wouldn’t have had to cut a deal with Comprehensive. They could have let it go to trial with Askar presiding where he could have also been a witness for the defense! Since he already believes that being employed by the County and Comprehensive at the same time isn’t a conflict of interest, why not sit on the bench for the case too? He could have ruled in favor of Comprehensive and awarded them $4M to be paid by the county, then taken his contractual collection fee! Missed opportunity.

  4. Sooooo……Beaver County corruption goes all the way up to the Governor’s office??………Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

  5. I’m much more interested in the 4.7 million dollar surplus the county is claiming to have this year…..

    • Nothing more than “fuzzy math”.
      Nothing more than “smoke and mirrors”.
      It’s BS and everyone knows it. Except “Little Boy” Danny and “Fog Head” Amadio.
      Lying SOB’s.

      • Is it though? It sure would be great to have a look at what they think they’re seeing, right?

  6. Wasn’t Al the one who cost the county big bucks recently? Is he planning to continue all of his outside conflicts of interest while on the bench?

    Askar? What is the status of the request made by Sandy for an ethics investigation? I don’t believe the governor is stupid enough to make this particular appointment if there is a current ethics investigation pending…but that would certainly be a good way to limit him to a single term.

    Which one of the “candidates” has recently done a favor for Mancini and is waiting for their quid pro quo?

    With options like these two it really makes Hladio not look so bad in retrospect. A pervert isn’t the ideal judge but it certainly beats an unethical attorney who continually finds loopholes to put taxpayer dollars into their personal pockets.

  7. yeah at least hes trying to help democrats by ending the Gerrymandering i know all you snotgoblins are pissed about that because republicans will actually have to win their positions now instead of using a rigged system like they have been doing in pa

  8. Askar is apparently an historic scoundrel. But focus on Marc Eisenstein this time. What could be the reason for stonewalling an open records request? That ties into his other jobs and allegiances. Now we have local and state ties to chicanery.

    The plot thickens.

  9. Will those questionnaires provide deep, dark secrets into the hidden, inner lives of the judge candidates? Unlikely. And if they lied on them? So what? Lying is popular today, even expected. Nope, I think this is a teaser to reveal the dubious relationships among local and state officials. Not new, not illegal, but essential to grease the skids of corruption.

    • What’s missing here is the daisy chain of hand jobs that link these people. Eisenstein is a relatively “new” player, to us of the comment section. But, I should not be surprised to see it unfold, one story and one chicken at a time, choking the others.

  10. Asker made Wolf a big party at FR in the same building taxpayers got fucked on. Torrence ripped the taxpayers off with that Head Start scam. They are the cream of the crop as far as of questionable taste and morality. The shady characters get all the luck.

  11. @the wolf pack no assclown thats what im saying its NOT ok for republicans to gerrymander the state

  12. try reading facts dipshit democrats are not gerrymandering the state republicans are democrats are trying to fix it
    and yep all politicians are corrupt



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