Beaver County has agreed to repay the federal government $430,000 to settle allegations involving conflicts of interest with a grant for the construction of subsidized public housing. The agreement comes after the county had previously refused an offer by the feds to repay just $12,500 to satisfy the alleged conflicts involving a county employee.

An investigation by the Beaver Countian shows that Beaver County Commissioners Sandie Egley, Dan Camp, and Tony Amadio signed a settlement contract with the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in March of this year, agreeing to repay $405,234.62 in federal pass-through funds it distributed to a local development company; the funds were earmarked for the renovation of a property in Rochester Borough for partial use as affordable housing under HUD’s HOME Program. Under terms of the settlement agreement, the Commissioners also agreed to pay an additional $25,000 administration fee to HUD.

Beaver County had awarded the grant to T. Rose Developers in 2011 for the renovation of a commercial structure located at 262 Connecticut Avenue in Rochester into 36 rental units — 6 of which would be designated as HUD HOME-assisted units. T. Rose Developers was a limited partnership entity consisting of Rosenberger Land Company, Inc. as the general partner, and Greenville Development, LLC. as the limited partner.

Attorney Albert Torrence was the President of Greenville Development. Torrence also works as a Solicitor for the Beaver County Controller’s Office and is a part-time prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office now serving as Chief Trial Counsel. T Rose Developers is owned by Anthony T. Rosenberger, one of Albert Torrence’s private law clients.

The controversy between Beaver County and HUD began in the weeks leading up to January of 2015, when an audit released by the federal Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined the county did not have adequate “invoices or other documentation” to justify that the costs related to the Connecticut Avenue project were reasonable and justified. Federal auditors also determined the project constituted an “apparent conflict of interest” because of attorney Albert Torrence’s work as an employee of the County Controller’s Office.

Following the report by the OIG, the county gathered further information about expenditures for the project from T. Rose Developers. The county also conducted an internal review of Albert Torrence’s involvement, and on December 16th of 2014 then-Chief County Solicitor Joseph Askar wrote a formal legal opinion determining no conflict of interest involving attorney Torrence existed, because the County Controller’s Office has no involvement in the awarding of grants and no access to inside information related to grant applications.

Beaver County submitted the additional documentation and legal findings to HUD and awaited its response.

The controversy became the subject of extensive reporting by the Beaver Countian in the spring of 2015, as attorney Albert Torrence was making a run for District Attorney. As part of its coverage, the Beaver Countian published a statement released on May 18th by Niki Edwards, Regional Public Affairs Officer for HUD, voicing her agency’s agreement with Beaver County’s conclusion that no conflict of interest existed involving Torrence.

“HUD’s position is that a conflict of interest did not exist because Mr. Torrance did not have a role in the decision-making process,” wrote Edwards on behalf of HUD at the time.

The documentation on spending for the project provided by the County and T. Rose Developers also appeared to satisfy HUD, with the exception of $12,500 that was paid to a contractor named Joe DeMuzio (who is Al Torrence’s cousin) for demolition work at the site. HUD contacted the county telling them if the $12,500 was repaid it would consider the matter settled.

The county ultimately failed to pay back those funds.

“HUD wanted [Albert] Torrence to repay that amount, and we tried to get him to and he wouldn’t do so,” Commissioner Tony Amadio told the Beaver Countian this week. “Our hands were basically tied.”

Albert Torrence disputed Commissioner Amadio’s version of events.

“I never received any formal request to repay the $12,500,” said Torrence. “In fact, what happened when that was being discussed is the decision was made to ask [HUD] for a hearing so we could figure out what they wanted and why. [Then-County Solicitor Andrea Cantelmi] requested a hearing, [HUD] got mad that a hearing was being requested, and as a result of her request it all went crazy.”

The Beaver Countian has obtained a copy of a letter dated September 30th, 2015 sent by then-Solicitor Andrea Cantelmi to HUD’s Office of General Counsel, formally rejecting the repayment offer of $12,500.

“The County respectfully disputes the conclusion that a conflict of interest as defined by the regulations existed, and thus objects to the requirement that it repay $12,500,” wrote Cantelmi. “Consequently, by this letter, the County seeks to appeal this decision and requests a hearing on the matter.”

By November of 2015, HUD told the county it could now be on the hook for about $900,000, which included the total value of the grant in addition to sanctions and fees in excess of that same amount. Despite HUD’s earlier public statement to the contrary, the agency then also affirmed the initial audit’s conclusion that Albert Torrence’s involvement in the project constituted a conflict of interest.

According to county officials, the new Republican-lead Board of Commissioners approached HUD in early 2016 offering to agree to the original $12,500 settlement they had proposed, but the agency now refused.

“We never got any kind of information as to why the prior Board did not get this settled,” Commissioner Dan Camp told the Beaver Countian. “When I was told about this HUD was prepared to sue the County for about $900,000 for the substance of what the audit found plus associated penalties and fines. That is why we decided to settle. If we would have went to court we would have had to hire legal representation that specializes in the matter, which probably would have been out of Harrisburg. That would have been just an additional expense […] I agreed to repay the money because I think we would have lost in court.”

Controller David Rossi told the Beaver Countian this week he agreed with HUD’s determination from 2015 that there were no conflicts of interest involving his solicitor, and said he has no idea why HUD changed its mind about the issue.

“My office has no say, no authority, and no control over these grant funds,” said Rossi. “[Albert Torrence] has been my solicitor and everyone knows it, it’s not like it was a secret. If this was a conflict how did it get passed by the housing agency, approved by the county’s law department, and ratified as a resolution by the Board of Commissioners? It makes no sense.”

The Beaver Countian spoke with HUD Public Affairs Officer Niki Edwards again last week, asking why the agency had changed its determination. After spending several days researching the matter, Edwards provided the Beaver Countian with the following statement:

“The final determination was that a conflict of interest existed, as the settlement agreement states. HUD’s initial evaluation was not the final decision. HOME program regulations (at 24 CFR 92.356) prohibit any person who is in a position to participate in a decision-making process (or gain inside information with regard to program activities) from obtaining a financial interest or benefit from a HOME-assisted activity or from having any interest in any contract, subcontract, or agreement during his or her tenure or for one year after.”

Commissioner Sandie Egley said the problems with the grant began before she came into office, and that by the time she was in a position to deal with the issue there were not many options left for her.

“The county missed the opportunity to settle this before I arrived for next to nothing,” said Egley. “I then acted on the advice of our solicitor at the time, Andrea [Cantelmi], who said settling for the full amount to avoid paying even greater penalties was the county’s most viable option. This could have been as simple as contacting HUD when they said they would settle for $12,500 and telling them the county would pay it back, we would have been done with it. Instead, the prior Board hemmed and hawed and caused a big old mess and now it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars we are repaying. It shouldn’t have been this way. It shouldn’t have landed on my desk, the prior Board should have dealt with it.”

Commissioner Camp said that although the settlement agreement the Board reached with HUD requires a total repayment of funds, the County was at least able to negotiate favorable payment terms.

“Instead of the money coming out of the General Fund, HUD agreed to withhold payments from future grant years,” said Commissioner Camp.

HUD will be withholding $135,078.21 per year for three consecutive years until the grant is repaid. The county has made a $25,000 payment in the form of a certified check from the General Fund to satisfy an “administrative fee” made payable to HUD under provisions of the agreement.

As part of the settlement agreement the county denied any liability and did not admit to any wrongdoing, but agreed to waive all rights to a hearing on the matter, agreed it would not seek termination or reconsideration of the agreement in the future, and waived any claims against HUD or any of its employees. HUD made a similar agreement with respect to the county, with one notable exception:

“HUD hereby releases and discharges [Beaver County], its former and current elected and appointed officials, officers, directors, employees, successors and assigns, except Albert A. Torrence from any and all claims by HUD [with respect to the grant].”

Attorney Torrence continues to insist he did nothing wrong and believes the county had a “knee-jerk reaction” to an “overzealous newly hired staff attorney at HUD” that is now needlessly costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I didn’t do anything wrong, there was never a conflict of interest, and every penny for that project went where it should have,” said Torrence. “All three of the County’s Solicitors formally concluded there was no conflict of interest, HUD formally concluded that. The county never even called me and asked me about what I thought before agreeing to settle, I heard about it after the fact. They shouldn’t have settled this.”

As the Beaver Countian first reported in May of 2015, the complaint against Albert Torrence’s involvement in the Rochester Borough property was originally filed by then-Aliquippa Finance Administrator Cheryl McFarland. McFarland wrote to the Beaver Countian at the time identifying herself as the “whistleblower,” saying she originally filed her complaint against Torrence with the FBI which then directed her to the HUD Office of Inspector General — she never explained how she originally became aware of Torrence’s involvement in the Rochester property. McFarland had made other complaints against Torrence as well, including ones involving his role as a landlord for the Beaver County Head Start program.

In turn, Torrence had previously accused Cheryl McFarland of retaliating against him in conjunction with former County Solicitor Myron Sainovich, who is Solicitor for the City of Aliquippa where McFarland worked. In his capacity as Solicitor for Controller Rossi, attorney Torrence had filed a high profile lawsuit against Sainovich for improperly billing taxpayers — a case Torrence fought all the way up to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court and won — ultimately recovering tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer monies which Sainovich had illegally billed the county.

Albert Torrence and Anthony Rosenberger made similar claims about false allegations and political retribution during a meeting arranged with Congressman Timothy Murphy in November of 2015, asking that he intervene on their behalf in his role as a Chairman of a Congressional Oversight and Investigations Committee. Following the meeting, Rosenberger sent Congressman Murphy a letter alleging that HUD had “allowed itself to be publicly utilized as a political tool in the area” and “allowed itself to be manipulated in a most disgraceful way.”

It is unclear what actions were taken within the federal government, if any, in response to the meeting. Rosenberger said in his letter that development of the Connecticut Avenue property had been completed and the building now houses tenants, although sources tell the Beaver Countian that the building did end up in receivership by the bank.

“I always said this is wrong, this makes no sense, let [HUD] file what they were going to file and we would deal with it,” said Torrence. “This is not a conflict of interest, everybody knows that, but somebody somewhere in some little room kept pushing it, and pushing it, and pushing it.”

Commissioner Egley told the Beaver Countian she will now be the one pushing the issue, and will be asking her fellow Commissioners to vote on taking action in an attempt to recoup the money from Torrence.

“I am in favor of considering options to recoup this money and those options could including filing legal action against the person who caused the county to have to pay back this money, which would be Al Torrence […] Now that I’m here I’m not going to ignore it, I’m going to face it. I’m going to deal with it, and if it means suing somebody that’s exactly what I’m going to do because the taxpayers don’t deserve paying for this mess.”

Commissioner Camp told the Beaver Countian that he is also in favor of litigation in an attempt to recoup the monies, although he wants to discuss the matter with the county’s law department before making a final determination on how to proceed.

Commissioner Amadio said he is also prepared to have that dialogue, “We haven’t discussed possible litigation yet as a Board, so I think we should at least have those discussions before I make my final decision.”

Commissioner Egley described controversies involving the HUD grant as just the latest in a series of issues she has faced which were left unresolved by the prior Board of Commissioners.

“This is yet another mess that I didn’t cause but am trying to clean up,” said Egley. “I am getting really tired of cleaning up these messes that cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in total all because of laziness and a lack of ambition to make county government better […] It is unbelievable the lack of responsibility these people feel, I just don’t know how they can walk around and show their faces and be OK with this. This kind of thing should never have happened, but with every major issue it’s the same thing over and over again and its the taxpayers who are left holding the bag, and I am one of them. It’s infuriating.”

75 COMMENTS

  1. Same names over and over and over again. “Every snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty…” Beyond belief. Great reporting.

     
  2. Commissioners hands are tied. Controllers Office has no say so. Who the hell is running that place? Torrence is a fucking bum. The only thing he seems to be good at is extracting money and getting fat off the backs of hard working citizens. What about that mess he created with collecting rent from the Head Start Program? Is that a conflict of interest? Throw that shit bag out of county government. Put him out on the street like the dog he is. That’s my fucking opinion!

     
    • They like Torrence so much at the courthouse, he not only works for Rossi in Controllers office, he also works for the DA!! How does that happen?

       
  3. The founding fathers are rolling in their graves over how these politicians have abused this so called government on all levels.

     
    • Oh, did I hurt somebody’s widdle fweelings??
      Wake up, people!
      Most involved in this are “goodfellas”!!!!

       
      • How many Beaver County commissioners have been of color? Oh, that’s right, NONE!
        Yeah, keep pulling that Democrat lever, it’s worked soooo well for Aliquippa!!

         
  4. No one is ever responsible I was left holding the bag its not my fault. Five year olds have a better attention span. Way to go you people really know how to take care of business.

     
  5. Good job reporting. Are you also investigating Torrence’s ties to other “non-profits”, like the Housing Authority, Supportive Services, Inc.,Beaver County Community Development Organization, Inc.
    Harbor Point Housing Inc., Changing the World, Inc. Reliable Housing and Apartments Inc. Lots of fingers in the HUD pie. His actions are not new to the HUD game. You should check out these “friends.” It’s absolutely sickening How they have milked, and continue to personally profit through the loopholes of HUD and non profit status. Better than any pension plan.

     
  6. For Pete’s sake. Why wouldn’t they just suck it up and pay the $12,500?? Frigging idiots… I guess it’s easy to run around having a huge ego issue when the money you’re gambling with isn’t yours.

     
    • This administration knew nothing about the outstanding audit or that the county was on the hook for the 500k. The past commissioners were asleep at the wheel and no one in the housing authority was going to tell the new administration that they got duped. When Sandy found out about this the 12k offer had already come and gone. She contacted HUD when she learned of this and that offer was no longer on the table and HUD wanted their 500k plus penalties and interest that made the bill just short of $ 1 mil. The county should file a civil suit to recoup their loss and the crime for fraud is a federal offense which you will note that HUD would not release Torrence from liability for his actions in this.

       
    • @Mary Ann Irwin…….to answer your question ” is this news?”
      Well first we would have to know what your definition of news is? Let us presuppose you mean news as in what you see on a nightly basis on your 35 in zenith console tv that has been sitting in the corner of yor 30 year old double wide! No offense to good honest hard working people who reside in such living arrangements.

      Now you ask is this news? Well to start with this is the first that Mungo has heard of this so yes it was NEW’s to him. Now not having looked at the nightly news for years Mungo can not attest to any news worthiness in that regard, so if an individual were to find themselves seeking out alternative news sources and happened to come across this excellent investigative write up, well then that by definition could be construed as ….newsworthy….

      However getting back to your zenith tv and the so called news you may watch on it….depending on if all of the tubes in back are operating in a fit and functional manner then yes at some point in time you may come across this news write up and conclusively say…..yes this is the news I was seeking! Or you may not be so inclined to get up and change the channel dial frequently enough to just happen a chance at being on the right channe at the right time!

      Furthermore Mungo would like to point out that having a current copy of a TV Guide sitting on the end table under the Keystone ice can also be a go to of sorts when asking the question…..” is this news? ”

      So in closing the answer is ……………Yes!

       
      • As a direct results of deceit and improprieties from Al Torrence, Beaver County Taxpayers just got fucked out of 430K in federal funding. So yes, I agree with Mr. Mungo. This is news!

         
  7. So what does this mean because once again the courthouse fucked up the taxpayers got a dish out the money to bury the money have we paid enough to these tourneys and lawyers and judges what the fuck is happening to beaver County yes I’m pissed off I am so sick of hearing about crack beaver County politicians I have had it with the courthouse

     
  8. Everyone talks about how crooked BC government is and John Paul keeps finding out all kinds of crooked and corrupt schemes, but no one seems to do anything about it! And yet the majority of people keep voting the same crooks in. Is there voter fraud also?

     
  9. Why haven’t Federal Bank Regulators brought the hammer down on Connie Javens, Vince LaValle and bank employees for the 6 Million they withdrew with only one signature? These crooked rat pricks are getting away clean.

     
  10. This was a feature on this evening’s KDKA news. My tarot cards states hold onto your wallets, another tax increase for 2018. I thought there was no money to pay for that security scanner, and now this. Wait until Friendship Ridge wins their case against the county.

     
  11. First and foremost, this was NOT the current Republican Commissioners fault. Maybe carry-over Commissioner Amadio can tell us what actually happened, instead of saying “Our hands were basically tied.” WTF does THAT mean? How many people were in that meeting? What happened to the money while everyone was passing the buck in this shell game? Who had clearance? No documentation? Geez, sounds like a Trump meeting.

    IN MY OPINION Ms. Egley made a wise command decision to cut our losses and bail out. And NO Danny, you don’t need “to discuss the matter with the county’s law department before making a final determination on how to proceed.” FIRE Torrence and SUE his ass off, it’s that simple, stupid.

    Note to Ms. Egley: You said “Now that I’m here I’m not going to ignore it, I’m going to face it. I’m going to deal with it, and if it means suing somebody that’s exactly what I’m going to do because the taxpayers don’t deserve paying for this mess.” Now that you’ve got your dander up and are contemplating litigation to accrue money, how about going after Javens & LaValle for the Missing Millions? Waiting for Davey Looser is a waste of time.

     
  12. Seems to me like Torrence has way too many fingers in way too many pots of taxpayer money. Perhaps the county government can’t do anything about him vis-a-vis HUD concerns, but they certainly should kick him out of the court house!

     
  13. “I always said this is wrong, this makes no sense, let [HUD] file what they were going to file and we would deal with it,” said Torrence.

    Well, deal with it. You owe the county $430k. Time to sue Al Torrence. There’s no choice, and Rossi’s involvement is worrisome. At a very minimum, he needs a written censure in his file. Time to build the case for firing him.

     
  14. When did it happen? Current news isn’t always the current administration. If it’s his personal liability hand his ass a pink slip with prejudice and a civil claim from the county.

     
  15. Amadio claims one thing but law department claims another thing, good article looks like torrence was in pot, but really didn’t doo wrong. They could off settled this for 12k, but wrote letter refusing?????

    Sandie worried about grant money 400 plus k, what about nearly 7 million in real money grandma took from secret account, single signature.

    Dan needs to grow a pair and do his fucking job, or he will be out like the rest

     
  16. Add Slick AL TORRANCE to the list of plunderers. Notice how the name ASKAR popped up again involving shady dealings? Same characters over and over but different methods of looting the taxpayers and the government they support. Slick Al obviously has some juice since he got the loot, still keeps working at the court house and still cruising HUD pages for more foundation “grants”. Notice how the sale still ended up in bankruptcy? Big Al got his cut still right? Everyone walks away clean, including ASSHOLE ASKAR leaving the taxpayers to cover their ineptitude and lack of ethics. Thanks to whoever it was that ratted them out, I think her name was Cheryl McFarland from Aliquippa or something. Finally, someone with some ethics that called out the thieves. now I’m sure they’ll go after her. Path of least resistance. She should get a bounty for blowing the whistle.

     
  17. I don’t think anyone can fire Slick AL but Stonewall Looser so you can forget about that. I think he has all eyes focused on someone trying to take a picture on the second floor instead. That’s where the real crime is. Smoke screen to cover for the ineptitude of the Comp/Ridge deal and all the other cases Stonewall can f-ck up. Corruption, ineptitude and fiduciary misconduct. Nothing to see here. Like little bees, all efforts are to support the Queen or the hive goes down.

     
  18. If the county could just get back 10% of what loot has been pilfered, plundered or improperly directed we could avoid a tax cut. We shall hold Sandie to her word to clean this shit up, Dan to grow a set of balls (except for ASSHOLE ASKAR) and Tony A to remember something. Anything? If you have dementia then get the hell out of the court house. Retire. You’ve caused as much damage as can be done. Have dignity and walk away for someone more equipped with morals and ethics to handle the job.

     
  19. Another day, another scandal. Christ, is there anyone in this county with a set of values, morals and ethics that can run for office? We have officially hit rock bottom in this county. File bankruptcy and start over with a clean slate. NO INCUMBENTS!

     
  20. It’s Amateur Hour once again in Beaver County. I would like to know how anyone could have determined this wasn’t a conflict of interest. So I’m to believe that his cousin was the lowest bidder for the job too!!?? It is typical Beaver County with their Boss Hogg style of politics. Make an example of him by suing and firing his ass!! As far as the $500000 owed, don’t worry, we will get that back from the Cracker plant’s tax money. Oh wait, that’s right, they aren’t paying taxes for at least 15 years. Another deal completed by the former County Commissioners. I wonder whose palms got greased with that deal. If there is anything to be learned from the past two years is that the lone holdover, Tony Amadio, is completely clueless or pretends to be and has no business running our affairs. He needs to be gone. Hopefully someone who is qualified and not connected runs against him.

     
  21. I’m convinced that Egley is the only elected official in county government that has integrity. She’s making a lot of enemies which means she’s doing something right, and the list keeps on growing.

    What worries me is that in about a year, the next batch of candidates is going to start to emerge and they are all going to have larger campaign bank accounts than Egley because she doesn’t have one. Those campaign funds translate directly into favors owed, which translates into not having the best interest of the taxpayers in mind. Can a candidate win without campaign contributions? I sure hope so, because we need her to be there.

     
  22. I believe Al claimed the same thing “no wrongdoing here on my part” when Head Start went belly up and only the properties that he leased to the original program managed to get their leases paid. The rest of the property owners got stiffed. Funny how he always seems to create shell corporations, limited partnerships, etc to develop his real estate portfolio – it makes it far less obvious who is pulling the marionette strings. If you’re not doing anything wrong, Al, then put your name on all of the contracts so that it’s perfectly clear that you are directly involved.

    My question to Tony is are the county’s hands also tied when it asks me to pay my property taxes and I don’t? Apparently you just ask people to pay things and then the county is incapable of doing anything except sitting back and waiting. Why does this approach seem to only apply to people like Al or the Unis family but doesn’t hold water for every other person who is indebted to the county?

    For what it’s going to cost the county in legal fees (which would be spit in the ocean) compared to what’s owed, they damn well better be filing suit against Al in order to recoup MY money as a taxpayer. Because of his position in the DA’s office, all of the Beaver County judges will have to recuse themselves so we might just have an an opportunity to have an impartial judge moderate the trial.

    The county commissioners need to immediately pass a resolution stating that “any attorney who is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar may engage in one and only one function pertaining to business relationships with the county. An attorney serving as a department solicitor may not serve in any other capacity nor may an attorney serving as an assistant DA or public defender serve in any other capacity. Additionally, attorneys compensated as full or part time county employees are forbidden from participating in any project either directly or indirectly that involves a bidding process for the allocation of federal, state or county dollars. Any attorney who violates these terms in addition to being terminated and ineligible to be hired by the county for a period of 5 years will bear the full burden of any costs incurred by the county resulting from any conflict of interest, regardless of whether that conflict is real or perceived.” THAT will put an end to the continual bullshit that the county seems to find itself in because of people like Al Torrence who try to wear multiple hats in order to keep sucking off of the taxpayer teat.

    Until Al reimburses the county all of his contracts with the county as legal counsel should be terminated……effective immediately. Someone also should be looking into how this project managed to end up in receivership – an attorney who files for personal bankruptcy is likely to be disbarred; this should also apply to an attorney who creates and owns business entities that fail to meet their fiduciary obligations.

     
  23. ““I always said this is wrong, this makes no sense, let [HUD] file what they were going to file and we would deal with it,” said Torrence. “This is not a conflict of interest, everybody knows that, but somebody somewhere in some little room kept pushing it, and pushing it, and pushing it.”

    I’m glad there are people in little rooms that keep pushing things, Al. That keeps thieves from getting away with getting rich at the taxpayers’ expense. I’m not sure who the ‘we’ is when you say we will deal with it. Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

     
  24. So, does this mean every low income family that loses housing options due to the lining of Mr. Torrence’s pockets should file a law suit?

     
  25. At least less HUD money will equate to less HUD housing. Maybe all the low-life sponges will move to Allegheny County, plenty of HUD housing there.

     
    • Low-life people? Are you referring to the wealthy who don’t want to be a part of the solution, instead create more problems in your county?

       
      • Maybe he meant like the wealthy Unis family that top this day continues to avoid paying taxes on multiple parcels of property in this county. Wouldn’t that be considered low-life too? Guess not if you pump enough cash into local churches and uphold an air of “well to do”. Hypocritical and fraudulent. Maybe the Queen is still handling that obstruction of fiduciary responsibility she swore for the taxpayers? Please I hope the new guy at the Assessment Office is on the up and up. Alas, I dream. Where the f-ck would you get that job without promises to stay the course and MYOB?

         
  26. Not only did Torrence pay his cousin Joe DiMuzio’s bills with HUD money after Joe did some of the demolition on this project, Torrence also paid his other cousin, Laura DiMuzio, (Joe’s sister). a fee as a “consultant”. To her, with no experience in building codes or design, but merely as a go between for Torrence and another non profit shyster, Jeff Huber, operating Supportive Services, and Harbor Point Housing, and Changing the World, and Reliable Housing and Apartments. This was one of the expenditures that HUD was questioning, too. The HUD Office of Inspector General also wanted to talk with her. Sandi needs to talk with the folks at Community Development and ask how Torrence got himself awarded the grant in the first place.
    The greed of all connected has now hindered all future projects in our county.

     
    • strange… Torrence also paid Joe DiMuzio Head Start money. OUR tax money. No bids, just pay Al, Al pays his cousin.

       
  27. The way I read the article, the Commissioners are taking a plea bargain and only paying $25,000.00 to HUD. The other $400+ thousand is being withheld from future grant payments. To me, the Commissioners got away pretty well, where as the people who could of got the most benefit from the grant monies are screwed.

     
  28. Maybe JP needs to contact Cheryl McFarland to see if she can enlighten us on some of BIG AL’s shady deals and scam operations.

     
  29. Ah Sandy, Sandy, Sandy… God loves you. And so do I. The Three Amigos never promised you a rose garden, did they? Nope, just thorns.

    Wolfman Jack, cue the Shirelles

    “Mama said there’ll be days like this
    There’ll be days like this, mama said
    (Mama said, mama said)”

    While the Mr. Whipples were squeezing the Charmin for 8 years, the neighborhood kids were sneaking behind the counter and stealing the jellybeans. Now, they don’t know how to open their fists to release the candy and move on. So, they are getting caught, one by one.

    Yep, Beaver County got taken to the cleaners while the Three Stooges were horsing around in the Courthouse. Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk. Now, we have to pay the Piper.

    That’s right. someone called around and said, “Nobody’s home!” And they were right, nobody was home.

    Sometimes, the ATMOSPHERE can be as damaging as the hail that falls. And the atmosphere of the previous administration must have been like living in Wonderland, where unicorns and rainbows were in plentiful supply. Everyone had a playdate with everyone else. The adults enjoyed the drop-off time and went home for matinees.

    Don’t fault these people too much. Apparently, they were just doing what came naturally in that Golden Age. People didn’t play around with the money from the Friendship Ridge deal upfront either. No, they had to bury it under the straw and wheel it out unnoticed in the donkey cart.

    What is not surprising is how closely knit all the perps who are mentioned here happen to be. Same names, same connections, same modus operandus. Can’t you people find some new friends?

    Nope, no surprises here. Different times, but same old con game.

    But, I have faith in you, Sandy. Knock this one down, then move on to the next one. And don’t worry about campaign funds or being re elected. You are a shoe-in.

     
    • equalizer13:

      I think the ultimate answer lies in “preemptive law enforcement.”

      Clearly, we have a weakness in the system of not identifying the perps before they screw up. AND IT IS A GIVEN THAT THEY WILL. Predictable, actually.

      It seems obvious to me that we have an easily-identifiable location and target perp population, the Courthouse and workers, who, undoubtedly, will be the screwups in the future. So, we enlist the aid of those who are masters of preemptive law enforcement, such as Psycho Cop, and turn them loose in those hallways.

      They will arrest, maim, taser, eat, knock down, humiliate, pull wedgies on and call the parents of anyone within those walls, BEFORE they do bad stuff. Simple. Lozier would not even have to imagine ways to stonewall future prosecutions.

      Over and done with. 100% effective. John Paul could write his articles before anything happens. We could creatively comment upon things that are bound to happen. Everyone wins.

      Then, we all take a vacation at the seashore.

       
  30. I have to make some fun of this, because it is so overwhelmingly bad. This stuff just keeps coming. And it comes in clumps, big pieces, chunks, just when we think it’s over.

    This excellent research and reporting is phenomenal. It is a shame that the subject has to be so despicable. Maybe someday we shall read articles about how wonderful the Courthouse family is looking out for all the needs of Beaver Countians. Until then, all we can do is research them, expose them. write about them, comment about them and maybe, just maybe, throw a few of the bastards in jail.

     
  31. It’s now July 25, and still not a peep about this in the Times.
    They should just call it the Daily Boscov’s and leave it at that.

     
      • When Andy Sheehan did the story about Torrence and Head Start, the Times immediately ran it’s own version, where Al and Brian Yaworski said they did nothing wrong, everything was approved by the feds

        All lies. All familiar statements from county officials- nothing wrong here. Like a broken record.
        Except the Dept of Health and Human Services issued rulings about the Head Start board and their attorney that stated otherwise.
        Maybe the Times doesn’t have a spin on this story that would enable them to cover up the fact that taxpayers are losing 430,000?

        Better to leave everyone ignorant of the facts and happy?

         

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