Here are the latest random happenings in county government taken from my reporter’s notebook:

Annnnd She Quit Already

Newly hired Deputy County Solicitor Jessica Sullivan is quitting. Sullivan gave notice to the county this week that she will be leaving to take a job in the private sector.

County Solicitor Andrea Cantelmi had left the position of Deputy Solicitor unfilled for months last year as she waited to hire Sullivan (who was pregnant at the time) for the position. As Cantelmi stalled hiring a Deputy to allow Sullivan time to have her baby and finish maternity leave, several row officials and department heads began complaining that work was not being completed by the law department in a timely manner and county business was getting bogged down as a result.

Cantelmi finally hired Sullivan on October 3rd of last year and has spent the past several months training her for the position (Sullivan had no prior municipal law experience).

Sullivan’s notice to the county comes at a time when Law Department Paralegal Stacey Householder is out for 3 months on a maternity leave of her own, which will leave no one but a part-time secretary to help Cantelmi deal with day-to-day legal work and the county’s many pending lawsuits and arbitrations.

Getting Friendly At The Friends Of NRA Dinner

The Beaver County Chapter of the Friends of the NRA held their annual fundraiser at the Monaca Turners last Saturday night. The event has traditionally been one of the largest “coming out parties” for political candidates each year and last weekend proved to be no exception.

Attorney Myron Sainovich brought petitions with him to the event and spent much of the evening collecting signatures to get on the ballot for Common Pleas Judge — Sainovich’s run for judge comes just months after his partners voted him out of his own law firm and as the attorney is reportedly once again attempting to sustain a new sobriety (more on that in coming articles).

Although Sainovich’s appearance at the NRA event was a topic of conversation in political circles, the big news from the dinner is proving to be judicial candidate Deborah DeCostro’s dining partners. Photos provided to me by several of the Beaver Countian’s secret squirrels show DeCostro was seated across from Common Pleas Judge Kim Tesla (who is up for retention this year) — and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder next to her was former Democratic County Commissioner Joe Spanik.

I’m told Joe Spanik has been making introductions for DeCostro in support of her candidacy.

Spanik, as you may remember, is currently the subject of an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission. The investigation into Spanik was spurred when an investigative report by the Beaver Countian first revealed a trove of campaign literature and records had been stored on a computer used by Spanik’s secretary. District Attorney David Lozier referred the matter to state investigators after announcing that Spanik’s secretary admitted to County Detectives he had instructed her to do campaign work on county time.

Some of the campaign materials found on the county computer were in support of Kim Tesla’s last run for Common Pleas Judge.

Several political operatives I have spoken to over the past week from both sides of the political aisle have raised concerns about a sitting judge and a judicial candidate hobnobbing in a political environment with the subject of a state ethics probe.

Highly Recommended – Recommended – and – What In The Hell Are You Thinking?

I’m hearing from members of the Beaver County Bar Association that the organization has decided to publish ratings for judicial candidates this year.

Politicos I’ve spoken with are highly skeptical that the “not recommended,” “recommended,” “highly recommended,” ratings will carry much weight with voters, but everyone’s waiting to see what the Bar will do with its rating for attorney Myron Sainovich, whose practice has been highlighted by highly questionable practices through the years.

“If the Bar Association has any balls, they’ll do what’s right and publish a rating that’s like the one the State Bar did of William Caye,” one Democratic Party official told me.

Don’t hold your breath.

Democrats Hope To Exercise Their Right To Remain Silent

Senior Democratic Party officials tell me their party is planning to abstain from making any endorsements for judicial candidates in the primary election. Once again, attorney Myron Sainovich seems to be the center of attention, as party officials are expressing concerns that Myron may be able to maneuver enough committee people to garner the endorsement.

Officials fear a Sainovich endorsement would rip the party apart in the same way the George David endorsement for Sheriff and Dirk Goodwald endorsement for District Attorney did back in 2015.

“The Party is trying to reinvent itself and do the right things now but a lot of the committee people are older and still stuck in the past,” said one senior Democratic Party official. “I think Myron could get the endorsement if we hold one and I know a lot of us would have to leave the party again if that happens like we did back when Georgie [David] got endorsed.”

Under the bylaws of the Democratic Party, it will ultimately be up to a vote by Committee members to decide whether or not to hold endorsements this year. Party operatives say this will be the first big test of newly elected Democratic Chairman Stephen Dupree.

“We’ll see if he can keep Committee people in line and spike the endorsements or not,” said one politico.

Moving On Up

Attorney Leo Bouwers is moving on up — upstairs that is. Bouwers is leaving his role as an Assistant Public Defender (with offices in the basement) to Assistant District Attorney (with offices on the second floor). Bouwers is well regarded in the legal community, and several attorneys I’ve spoken to say the move will be the PD’s loss and the DA’s gain.

Big Ambitions – or – A Tall Tale

Although Republican Sheriff Tony Guy has publicly denied any desire to become County Commissioner — and has specifically told Democratic Commissioner Tony Amadio that he won’t be running — reports from political operatives continue to stream in that Guy is already plotting behind the scenes to make a run.

There’s still a lot of time between now and the 2019 elections for Commissioner, but I have a feeling we’ll know what Guy’s true plans are sooner rather than later.

Speaking Of Tony Guy

Depositions are scheduled for next week in former Deputy Curt Larrick’s federal civil rights lawsuit against Sheriff Tony Guy. Larrick alleges that Guy fired him for political reasons when he took office as Sheriff last year.

Deputy Larrick’s 2014 testimony against then-Sheriff George David led to David being placed on house arrest for three months — According to reports by the County Human Resources Office, Larrick then faced systemic harassment by many of the same George David loyalists who Tony Guy subsequently surrounded himself with.

Expected to be deposed next Wednesday and Thursday are Sheriff Tony Guy, Chief Deputy Dean Michael, and Captain Jay Alstadt (who served as Chief Deputy under George David). Also expected to be deposed is former County Human Resources Director Rick Darbut, who investigated and documented many of the instances of harassment against Larrick.

57 COMMENTS

  1. Funny thing about Judge Kim Tesla and his name coming up in Joe Spaniks ethic probe into the use of taxpayer resources for Democrat campaign purposes is that at former Rep Mike Veon’s trial for the same thing years ago Kim Tesla’s campaign for judge was one of the prosecutor’s top concerns. That election season reeked of taxpayer resources. Mike Veon ultimately was convicted and sent to jail. Tesla survived unscathed by claiming he had no knowledge of the events and that his wife ran his campaign or some other such nonsense. JD Prose did a whole article on this back in 2010. Quite the coincidence that it is happening again.

     
  2. There’s only one reason to hold the Deputy Solicitor job open for that long. Sullivan is either a friend or family. Bullshit never ends in this county. I’ll bet that job was never advertised.

    Isn’t Insainovich the former solicitor that was made to pay back Beaver County about 15K for something or other?

     
  3. Tony Guy was seen hanging around with former Republican candidate for Sheriff Sam Piccinini at the same NRA event. Perhaps a promise was made to support Sam’s run for Sheriff in the next election if he throws his support in for Guy for Commissioner? Just speculating. The two seemed to be polar opposites in their view of Sheriff. Sam was all about following the Constitution and doing only what the office is suppose to do. Tony, not so much. I hope Sam doesn’t sell his soul for another crack at the office. That would be very ironic that Commissioner Tony Guy would get the benefit of a Sheriff that doesn’t want to spend money the county doesn’t have. Maybe they need to take a polygraph test to find out their intentions.

     
  4. I truly think you deserve a Pulitzer for your reporting JP! You’re writing has exposed the true corruption within Beaver County. Bravo and be safe. When it comes to money and power…people will do anything to keep it!

     
  5. Who in their right mind would vote Guy for anything. He’s done nothing but mimic David from day one. When you sleep with the devil, you get what you deserve, one and done. He doesn’t stand a chance at sheriff and thinking he has a chance at commish is drop dead funny. Piccinini aka I shot my neighbors car and lied about it, really?? I’ve run into Kress and seen him at many functions throughout the county and building support. He hasn’t stopped from the last election and from what I’m hearing he’s not only building support on all fronts but building a strong team behind him. He’s the only one with no baggage and willing to do what’s right. Everything he’s talked about hit home with the sheriffs department. Wake up BC!!

     
    • I agree with you on everything, but please don’t underestimate those “in their right mind” who WOULD vote Teeny Tony for Commissioner, because it would NOT be funny if they did. The words “Commissioner” and “Guy” in the same sentence make me wanna barf. But, don’t be so sure it won’t happen.

      Read JP’s stories concerning Guy compared to corresponding BC Times articles. With JP you get the unvarnished truth. The BC Times articles gloss over the truth or do NOT report the entire story. WE can see the difference, but not enough people read the BeaverCountain and get their “news” from the BC Times. That Rag will do everything in their power to get Teeny Tony elected, unless WE the people SAY PUBLICLY “No Way!”, everywhere and anywhere we can to stop it. And Piccinini for Sheriff???

      VOTE WAYNE KRESS FOR BEAVER COUNTY SHERIFF.
      VOTE SANDIE EGLEY FOR BEAVER COUNTY COMMISSIONER (OR STATE REP).
      VOTE GERALD BENYO FOR BEAVER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY (OR JUDGE).

       
  6. In a related story, here’s the report of actual county work done at the courthouse to date in 2017…

    Reporting period Jan. 1, 2017 – February 28, 2017

    Filed report showing that NOTHING was done during the reporting period.

    THE END

     
  7. JP does do awesome work. He reports actual facts, and exposes the dirty little secrets. I love keeping up on his articles, it helps me decide who to vote for (or who NOT to vote for really). Thank you for looking out for us JP! We appreciate your honest reporting

     
  8. Folks, we all know if Mr. Guy runs for commissioner he will win…name recognition, we are talking about Beaver County voters who always vote either 1) straight ticket, or 2) name recognition.

     
  9. Tesla is the worst and certainly ridiculous. Take a look at many of the things he has written… I actually have my doubts of not only his sanity, but I wonder about his reading/writing skills. The law quite eludes him.

     
  10. First off: Who is this Jessica Sullivan? Where did she come from? It’s clear from the article that she lacked the qualifications and had to be trained. Why wasn’t the position advertised? Did Cantelmi have exclusive authority to hire her? Or did the Commissioners have to hire her? If the Commissioners did hire her, why did they violate the pledge of advertising positions?

    Second, is it not a violation of ethics rules governing members of the judiciary for judges to appear at political events? Why would Kim Tesla appear at an event that was even remotely political, i.e. a fundraiser for one of the most politically active organizations in the United States? Will there be a campaign to defeat Tessa’s retention, as there was with Debbie Kunselman?

     
  11. Betters & others have their hand in this and their money. CJ will fund Tony Guy and he will accept with all the conditions that are attached just like Christina did. In their own little world, they think it’s a good idea.
    Call me crazy…but what about a bi-partisan team? @Jaybird, you might be on to something. Sandie-Wayne and Gerry. Heck let’s get Leydig back too! They may say it’ll never work…..yeah and Sandie didn’t have a chance, yet she beat Camp. Anything is possible.

     
    • Yeah, you’re right WeThePeople…. Forgive me for the omission.

      VOTE TOM LEYDIG FOR BEAVER COUNTY TREASURER.

       
  12. People like Myron keep popping up on the political scene, like the rocks that “grow” in farm fields, always there, always needing to be gathered and piled by the children before the new growing season. The same players, year after year, the same rocks making it to the surface after decades of tilling. The losers are the fingers that have to remove them, only to have more surface and appear again with the first rains.

    I shall say it again — vote non-Catholic, non-Italian, and you will clear the field of most of the “rocks”, for that is where the “rocks” grow. Sure, you might throw away some good potatoes in the process, but it would be worth it.

    I love rocks. They make strong walls and houses. But just not in the middle of my field.

     
    • Your analogy was better than mine Raven. I would have used herpes. People like Myron keep popping up on the political scene like a bad case of herpes, always there, always lurking, lying dormant, making you think they’ve gone away, until one day BAM! There they are again.

      Forget about draining swamps. Let’s just find some new faces and names.

       
    • Approximately 40% of Beaver County residents are Catholic. Approximately 17% are of Italian heritage (2000 and 2010 Census), and who are predominantly Catholic. You can infer what you wish from that. But, given the current number of political people in elected government, with those backgrounds, especially in the Courthouse, it appears that we are being represented by a Catholic-based, Italian minority, longstanding and self-replicating.

       
      • @Raven
        Jews make up 1.5 to 2.5 percent of American population but they number 3 on the United States Supreme Court….by that ratio there should be about 110 million American Jews being represented by a third of the court, and yet they number roughly 5 to 8 million of our population! So what your point??

         
      • @ Mungo. I think you made Raven’s point for him. It’s called “Elitism”. In Beaver County it’s sort of a reverse Elitism, I’m not sure what you’d call it or if it even has a name. “Tribalism” comes to mind, but doesn’t seem dirty enough for what goes on here.

         
  13. Hold on one sec Raven. I’ve held your opinions with the highest regard and have felt that you’re an unbiased intelligent guy with a great detailed knowledge of what’s happening here in Beaver County. Over the past months I’ve read your references to the religious and heritage backgrounds of some of our county’s leaders and for the MOST part I agree.

    However, your latest comment may go just a little too far. Your statement that “we are being represented by a Catholic-based, Italian minority, longstanding and self-replicating” coupled with the statistics you gave plus your previous comments about the courthouse crowd, lead one to believe that your underlying implication (dogwhistle?) is that ALL Italian Catholics are Crooks. And THAT is a no-no. Plus, the Pope isn’t vying for County Commissioner either.

    In fact, I’m not sure most of the elected officials (Egley, Camp, Enslen, Gabauer, Lozier, Blythe, Grimes, Beall, Patton, Guy, Javens, Amadio, Rossi, Gabauer, Golletti, Werme) are Italian, based on their last names. Besides, what difference does it make?

    So, forgive me, but you say “You can infer what you wish from that”. I think you’se got some splaining to do. Now here, have some spaghetti before we break your thumbs.

     
    • I agree with you Jaybird.

      Raven is clearly well educated and intelligent and I’ve always looked for his comments on articles because he usually has good insights. But I think this road he’s trying to lead people down when it comes to prejudging people based on their heritage or religious traditions is extremely misguided and reeks of Donald Trumpism.

      Raven I think you need to take a step back and rethinking your stance because it comes across as bigoted which I’m sure is not your intention.

       
    • You do realize that most of the corrupt politicians have been Lebanese, right? Fuck off with your catholic, Italian bullshit. Want to fix, throw your name in the hat

       
      • There will be no “names” thrown in the ring on this site. Only nameless commentators here. Now we have previously common sense commentator exhibiting racist, anti religious comments directed at the Italian American population of beaver county and the Catholic faith in general. Sooner or later a person’s true nature shines through. Whats next , Irish Catholics? After all when you denegrate a whole religion you might as well not stop at the Italians. I didn’t know that jobs were to be decided on proportions based on religion and ethnic background.

         
  14. Raven is spot on. Italians are bad news. They’re more suited for Elwood City or New Castle. It’d be nice to see a Methodist Hungarian in office!

     
  15. According to Raven’s viewpoint, it would be best to change one’s last name to fit his WASP observation. Lucky for me I am Ango-Saxon with a hyphenated last name.

     
  16. Racist? No. Just objective. If they were Tibetan monks Bridgewater or all Caucasian in Pittsburgh’s Hill Distrct, I would point out the same thing. Don’t turn it into some tawdry ethnic thing. It isn’t. It’s a number and population thing. And those numbers in office and government in local government causing the problems are predominantly Italian. This unstated revelation has been sitting on the back burner of these articles as a sacred cow for a long time, and it is time to recognize that population as an operant part of it. Most are very fine people, but to disregard the cultural input is one of denial.

     
  17. And for crissake, stop using simplistic syllogisms to represent my thinking.

    I.e.,

    All Italians are bad.
    Tommy is an Italian.
    Therefore Tommy is bad.

    Disagree with me and even get pissed off, but give me a little credit too.

     
    • WOW!! Mungo feels like the late Rodney Dangerfield pulling at his collar. Free speech! Free speech! Just don’t say anything about Italians, Greeks, Blacks, Jews, etc. Come on now folks we can have civil discussion of relative issues without any necessarily preconceived notions of ones potential prejudices. I mean where does anyone get off saying there must be hate, malice or disdain in ones heart while simply making a comment that is potentially cemented by the heritage, race or religion of the involved participants? Free speech, thoughts and ideas will only weaken in their vast importance if shackled by those who would immediately cry racism everytime a connection is made regarding trigger words that seem to offend so many.

       
      • The prejudice is not “potential ” when it is offered as written opinion, it is potential realised. Raven is free to say it and I am free to interpret it as the words of a racist.

         
    • What does this picture imply? Is George Catholic?

      Catholic, Italian, Lebanese- none of it matters.

      How do you have this picture?

      Raven is John Paul or someone very close to John Paul

       
  18. Wow Raven is a racist! Sad. Sounds like your about 80+ years old with that line of thinking. Totally disrespect you now.

     
  19. Obviously, I have not made my point very well. The reference to the K. of C. Blue Mass shows the allegiance many of the law enforcement people have to the Catholic church, at all levels. And, they are binding organizations, for good or bad. Google it and you can get the same picture, or others, if you wish, and read about it. I chose this picture, because there is a bit of irony in the man seeming so pious.

    No, I’m not a racist. If it seems that way by how I have delivered this, that is my fault. No, I’m not John Paul, and I am not close to him. And, I’m not 70, 80 or even 90. I have reached an age at which I can say as I think and not give a shit about opinions, though.

    I’m dropping this now. although I could go on at length to make my point. Perhaps I’ll go back to it in future articles, if it is appropriate. To me, it is obvious. To others maybe not so. But I’m not going to try and force the issue.

     
  20. Ms. Ophelia, sorry to disappoint you but the answer is no, I am not the person you listed and obviously admire.

     
    • WiseOwl- It was meant to be a joke due to your claim to a hyphenated last name. Admiration? Sorry about your condition, there is medication for thin skin.

       

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  21. At times, the superficial and the anti-intellectualism that run through these threads is insufferable. Consider, my friends, that sometimes the only difference between the alarmists and conspiracy seekers and the ones who comment for the common good is that some of us paid attention to the teachers in high school, did our homework and were not class clowns or behavior problems. Now, we do much the same. If you are looking for something else, it doesn’t exist.

    That’s it. Fort Pitt.

     
      • No attorney would spend so much time commenting, googling and stalking.
        People have a stake in a particular story but most do not comment on every story, let alone research and post so many comments.

        Unless you have a stake in the success of the Beaver Countian

         
    • Can’t get past the anti catholic rant . Everything else gibberish. Glad you can proclaim to us all you are not a racist , I guess that permits you to say whatever you want, that and your age. We will all pretend that you never said not to vote for Catholics and Italians .

       
      • You said “Glad you can proclaim to us all you are not a racist.” Then follow up with “We will all pretend that you never said not to vote for Catholics and Italians.” Since when is Catholic and Italian a race? Accusing someone of being racist over something that clearly does not involve race at all drives me absolutely insane.

         
    • “That’s it. Fort Pitt.” Haven’t heard that in a long time. I’m surprised anyone remembers that.

       
  22. Give me some other descriptors that are common to and representative of the majority of the people involved in corruption, and power, in Beaver County, and I shall change all the references to religion, heritage, culture or whatever. The are the ones that stand out for me, and I don’t give a damn if they are all from the back side of the moon, that’s the way I call it.

    But don’t tell me that an identifiable subgroup does not exist. THAT IS THE REAL POINT. And when you start identifying the corruption within that “X” group, you will have a clearer understanding of the dynamics underlying the problems, the common causes that drive them and the reasons for their existence.

    Otherwise, keep reading about the INDIVIDUALS involved, and keep believing that they have nothing in common. They are just ships passing in the night, bumping into one another by chance. That will get you nowhere. But identify the group, and you a real strategy for addressing it and planning change.

    And get over the low brow, small town attitude that an ordinary citizen is some kind of aberration, and can string some words together, just because he/she takes some extra time to vet information in the news. Just because you fucked up in high school or want to shoot from the here with bullshit does not mean that everyone else did, does or should.

    That low brow approach is exactly what feeds these corrupt people, when they do stuff and the public is too damn uninformed, stupid and/or silent to figure it out. The corrupt are doing it ON YOUR WATCH. And they could not do it if you were a little wiser. The ignorance of some people in Beaver County is the petri dish of nourishment that feeds these cancerous cells.

    Raven could leave these pages as quickly as he came, and it would cause him/her no loss of sleep. But when someone else doesn’t fill in to fill in the same blanks, my guess is that you will. Trying to identify a commenter here is pathetic. Spend the time on vetting the people making the news. Then I can comment about who you are.

     
  23. Raven is a thinker! Got to give him that. Consider the analogy of social clubs of the past. The Italian club, the Serbian club, WBU, Moose etc. Those people, whatever their background, ‘stick together’. Introduce others for jobs, business, church etc. Generally, for the noblest of intentions. Raven has a point.

     

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