Treasurer Connie T. Javens / campaign photo

A senior judge from Erie County has been assigned to preside over a lawsuit filed by elected Beaver County Treasurer Connie Javens and her adult daughter Renee Javens Zuk against six anonymous commenters on the Beaver Countian’s website.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court assigned Senior Judge John A. Bozza to preside over the litigation alleging defamation after Beaver County President John D. McBride recused the local bench from hearing the case.

Judge Bozza is not new to presiding over lawsuits involving officials in Beaver County, having been appointed twice before to oversee cases after local judges had recused themselves.

In 2013, Judge Bozza issued an injunction against then-Sheriff George David after he was sued by the Board of Commissioners following an investigative report by the Beaver Countian that revealed David had ordered his deputies to perform security services for private corporations and individuals — including local real estate tycoon CJ Betters — in violation of state law.

That same year, Judge Bozza ordered former Beaver County Solicitor Myron Sainovich to pay back tens-of-thousands of dollars he had illegally billed taxpayers above and beyond his $82,000 salary as the county’s attorney.

George David and Myron Sainovich both appealed their respective cases all the way up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where Judge Bozza’s rulings were both upheld.

Treasurer Javens’ Lawsuit Against The People

Treasurer Javens and her adult daughter filed the litigation alleging defamation in Beaver County Common Pleas Court on April 27th against the six “John Doe” defendants who anonymously posted negative comments about the women on the Beaver Countian’s website between December 4th, 2015 and March 20th, 2016.

Treasurer Connie Javens has been the topic of extensive investigative reporting by the Beaver Countian, and is currently the subject of a criminal investigation by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement officials.

Although not a named defendant in the case, the Beaver Countian was served with a subpoena on May 2nd by Treasurer Javens and her daughter seeking records maintained by this publication which could be used to reveal the true identities of the “John Doe” defendants so the women could proceed with their litigation. Beaver Countian founder John Paul refused to provided Javens and Zuke with any information about the anonymous commenters, formally invoking the Pennsylvania Journalist Shield Law. Attorneys for this publication filed a motion with the court seeking to quash the subpoena.

The Beaver Countian is being represented in the matter by Philadelphia attorneys Brian Collins and Mark Gottlieb with the law firm of Offit Kurman. The legal representation was arranged for by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the world’s leading digital civil rights organization.

Attorney Gerald Benyo, representing anonymous commenter “John Q. Taxpayer,” filed a 1,000 page motion on behalf of his client seeking to quash the subpoena and also asked the court to sanction Treasurer Javens in excess of $10,000 for her “vexatious conduct” in filing the “frivolous” lawsuit. Pittsburgh attorney James Tallman with the Pittsburgh law firm of Elliott & Davis filed a motion to quash the subpoena on behalf of the remaining five anonymous commenters aka “thebigdigger,” “THE EXECUTIONER,” “Slicer,” “Courthouseconvicts,” and “ConnieintheSlammer.”

On June 17th, Beaver County President Judge John D. McBride recused all of the county’s judges from the case and ordered the Court Administrator’s Office to seek appointment of an out-of-county judge to preside over the matter.

On July 22nd, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania assigned Senior Erie County Judge John Bozza to preside over the litigation. It is anticipated that Judge Bozza will file a scheduling order for the case in the near future.

About The Beaver Countian’s Legal Representation

attorneys

Founded in the 1980’s in Baltimore, Offit Kurman is now one of the fastest-growing full-service law firms in the region. The group has a keen understanding of the importance of the intersection of law and technology, having recently expanded their attorneys with technology focused practices including intellectual property, data and cybersecurity, and privacy issues. With 120 attorneys on staff, the firm offers a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category. Offit Kurman’s twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, and New York City metropolitan areas, and markets including Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia.

Legal representation for the Beaver Countian was arranged by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the world’s leading digital civil rights organization. The EFF was founded in 1990 to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows. The international nonprofit organization champions causes of user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. The EFF is currently leading federal litigation against the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program.

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.

62
Reader Comments

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
41 Comment threads
21 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
29 Comment authors
weezulgoespopGlorianaJohn Q TaxpayerRavenGerald Benyo Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest top voted
Notify of
Cuntie T Javens
Guest
Cuntie T Javens

HEY CONNIE I CANT WAIT TO WATCH JOHN PAUL QUESTION YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER UNDER OATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OU812
Guest
OU812

Holy Photoshop, Batman!! Note to photographer, when you photoshop someone’s face, don’t forget to do the neck.

Raven
Member
Raven

As with the Sheriff’s trial, it is the testimony, not the judgment, that could be the most damaging. The Javens’ lives will be opened up for all to see. Thin skins are a liability in politics — ask Trump — and to add even more insult to the imagined injuries could be devastating. The whole issue about being called “crooks” (thieves, etc.) seems to be driving it. George David had to admit to Special Education for a speech stammering when young — it had nothing to do with his threats, but the nature of his anger expression. So too here. The stuff dredged up would be extraneous, extensive and personal to vet the accusations.

I’ll say it again — Is it worth it? — especially since ignoring the whole thing would accomplish what is desired. And, it would be forgotten quickly.

The arrogance of power is sinking The Donald. Take a lesson from that.

John Q Taxpayer
Guest
John Q Taxpayer

Javens daughter was fired by county owned Friendship Ridge for not coming to work. Comp Health Care buys it from the county and the woman creates a company and lands a contract to do hair for FR. Come on people! You don’t have to be an FBI agent to figure out this was an unspoken term of the sale. All connected, all corrupt! I don’t care what happens, who says what, NOTHING CAN EVER CHANGE MY MIND! This was to brazen and obvious!

Brain Dead
Guest
Brain Dead

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mungo Jerry
Guest
Mungo Jerry

Oh man save Mungo a seat! He will be there with all of his glorious hair. Certainly not to be outdone with that crassy ass hair pictured above. Let me just say with or without an entourage Mungo will attempt to be present for every moment of these farcical proceedings. After a good belly laugh daily…of watching Connie the Con’s attempt to play such a poor, helpless, innocent victim of those hurtful, terrible commenters, Mungo will be dining on local fare i.e New Brighton hot dog shoppe. Yup!!! Beaver County at it’s finest on display! Thanks for the upcoming good times ole Con!