February 28, 2015

Sheriff Reaches Agreement With Commissioners To Avoid Further Contempt Of Court Hearings

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Beaver County Sheriff George David has reached an agreement with the Board of Commissioners that will likely put an end to further contempt of court proceedings against him.

Sheriff David had been facing the possibility of being found in contempt after the Board of Commissioners alleged he violated a preliminary injunction issued by Senior Erie County Judge John Bozza forbidding the Sheriff’s Office from performing security services for private individuals and corporations.

Senior Erie County Judge John Bozza issued the preliminary injunction in January of last year after ruling David had likely violated provisions of state law forbidding Sheriffs from providing private security services. An appeal of that ruling by Sheriff David and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association was denied by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The State Supreme Court declined in June to hear any further appeals.

The Commissioners had alleged that Sheriff David continued to have his men patrol properties owned by local real estate tycoon CJ Betters (who has been involved in multi-million dollar business ventures with Sheriff David’s brother Morry) in direct violation of the judge’s order.

Assistant Beaver County Solicitor Bernie Rabik had threatened to subpoena both Sheriff David and CJ Betters for sworn depositions in the matter after David denied his deputies were doing security patrols of the developer’s properties. Rabik insisted the county had proof the security work was occurring.

The Sheriff’s agreement with Commissioners will save both David and developer CJ Betters from having to testify in sworn depositions or hearings. Sheriff David had pleaded his Fifth Amendment Right against self incrimination and refused to answer any questions at a hearing held last year about private security services being performed by his office.

As part of the consent order, Sheriff David agreed to have the county’s law department review vehicle operations logs from the Sheriff’s Office every 60 days to help ensure his compliance with provisions of state law prohibiting the private security work.

David also agreed to seek approval from the Board of Commissioners before performing any outside security services for so-called “quasi governmental institutions,” which has been interpreted to include high school sporting events. Beaver County Solicitor Joseph Askar told the Beaver Countian that Commissioners have not yet approved any security agreements for games.

“I think this is a great victory for the taxpayers and the county,” said Assistant Solicitor Bernie Rabik, who negotiated the agreement on behalf of the Commissioners. “The Board is happy with this consent order which should put an end to some of the problems we’ve been facing.”

An audit conducted by County Controller David Rossi’s Office showed Sheriff George David had been underbilling for private security services, costing taxpayers nearly $100,000 in the form of de facto subsidies to private corporations like Walmart and Cinemark.

The consent agreement still needs final approval by Senior Erie County Judge John Bozza.

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About The Author

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John Paul is a Beaver County native and the founder of BeaverCountian.com He reports full-time for the Beaver Countian, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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33 Comments

  1. Nobama

    WAIT…………WHAT?????????? This does NOTHING to stop any of this. All his deputies have to do is LIE on their logs. We already know that they LIE as often as they can. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! What a freaking JOKE.

     
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    1. Nobama

      Considering in 5 days Geogie and some of his deputies will be killing as many of them as they can. Daily and field limits? That’s for the OTHER guys. You know, the HONEST hunters.

       
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  2. Profile photo of eddiemerchant
    eddiemerchant

    It is appalling and completely unacceptable that a sitting sheriff, or for that matter any elected official being questioned about their actions related to the performance of their duties, would exercise Fifth amendment rights in a court proceeding. Certainly appreciate the certainty of the Bill of Rights, though it seems to me our elected officials ought to be held to a higher standard of accountability. Our government ought to be transparent and answerable to us, and ought to welcome the opportunity to explain their actions. That the county commissioners would seek a resolution with the sheriff speaks to their lack of integrity as well.

    They all need to go. Every Row Officer, Commissioner, Judge, and political appointee. EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM!

     
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  3. Profile photo of Raven
    Raven

    There is absolutely NOTHING political about these reported actions. The problems are based in the INDIVIDUALS who are incompetent for the demands of the jobs. They would do the same if they were Republican, Democratic, Progressive, Libertarian, Communist, Independent or even Anarchistic. To suggest that a political philosophy drives their actions is completely false. It does not exist in their minds and actions as they do their jobs. They sign up to get a job and get their tickets for the ride through the ticket booth of elections, where they are supported by friends, family, business leaders, a naive public that “chooses” between two forced alternatives, organizational affiliations, job cohorts and financial backers — not people who espouse some political philosophy. Ask the “average” person on the street, or even one of these elected officials, to describe the basic beliefs of his chosen party and how they relate to the daily job, and he cannot tell you beyond some glib popular mantra. The courthouse people covered here are the worst people in some of the most demanding jobs in public life — a huge discrepancy and hence the term “kakistocracy”. The party labels are easy and convenient, but they do not represent the day-to-day behaviors of these people who are employed by default and act ONLY for their own personal whims and needs.

     
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    1. Profile photo of eddiemerchant
      eddiemerchant

      @raven, what you said. Learned a new word today. KAKISTOCRACY. Absolutely completely apt. By and large these are people who are unemployable in any other venue than government, and get their ‘tickets punched’ every four years in popularity contests called elections. These people couldn’t tell you their political parties platform if you handed it to them and asked them to read it. Elections in Beaver County aren’t much more sophisticated than student government elections in the local high schools.

      Here’s the real issue though Raven. It’s our fault. You, me, and the rest astute enough to realize what’s going on and allow it to continue. We must do something about this next year. They all need to go. EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM!

       
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  4. Profile photo of Raven
    Raven

    @eddiemerchant: It IS high school level politicking and electing. Rarely does one of these candidates have more than a high school education or even some work beyond high school, with the exception of classes/courses/workshops required for entry level into their jobs. That is NOT ENOUGH in today’s complex society. And the people who elect them are basically those with a high school education, or even less, that expect no more from them. This is not elitism from those with a college education. It is just a recognition that some jobs require more than the basics of a public high school education, and most political jobs demand it. Go above the local level to the state and national levels and it is hard, or even impossible, to run for office with only a high school education. If one looks at the people who support these incumbents, there is little question about the levels of competence that are expected in the various local jobs. Sure, it is possible to gain elected office locally with a high school education, but just look at the compromised output and the problems that are encountered by people who do not have the skills required. Whether it is it budgeting or understanding the laws that guide the political “professions”, just getting by with a minimal education just doesn’t cut it, and we are reaping the “benefits” of that right now. Busting heads in Aliquippa might have been enough to make it way back when, but it is woefully inadequate, and even damaging and dangerous, now.

     
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  5. Profile photo of sd1120
    sd1120

    Brilliant move by a brilliant politician. Keep you friends close, and your enemies closer. Beaver County is fortunate to have the best damn county sheriff in th country. Remember, on November 3rd 2015 a vote for George David is a vote for Beaver County.

     
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    1. Profile photo of cracker
      cracker

      Fool, using the word “Brilliant” and George David in the same sentence is the same as saying the 0bama administration is the most transparent administration ever. Anyone that has two brain cells to rub together knows how transparent mud is.
      Second, just how many Sheriffs are there in Beaver County? By your statement there MUST be more than one. Remember tard, In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.
      And finally, according to you, Beaver County deserves another term with this malcontent 6th grade politician. I call him a politician because he sure as hell isn’t a Sheriff material. You see when the swear in a Sheriff they swear under oath to follow and enforce ALL of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Not pick and choose which laws are convenient for them to enforce and which to ignore, no, it says ALL of them. This tool thumbs his nose at the law every chance he gets, making his own rules as he goes along.

       
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      1. Nobama

        @cracker-I could not agree with you more. Sounds just like our current AG Kathleen Kane. She picks and chooses which laws she will enforce, and which laws she will not enforce. So don’t expect much help from her on this matter. Birds of a feather, fu*k all of us together.
        @sd1120-The best damn Sheriff in the country is Joe Arpaio. NOT George “Cuz Cuz” David. Get your head out of his ass already.

         
  6. Profile photo of John Paul
    John Paul

    I received a couple of emails today about this article so I will note my response here:

    The Beaver County Times has a piece today about this court filing that differs greatly from my reporting for this article.

    I reread the filing, spoke with Assistant Beaver County Solicitor Bernie Rabik again today, and had the filing reviewed by a third-party attorney. All are in agreement and I remain confident the reporting in my article is accurate.

    The entire premise of the Beaver County Times article about a permanent injunction is completely erroneous, this filing deals solely with the affidavit of contempt as I reported.

    I will also note that Beaver County Solicitor Joseph Askar has told me a final security agreement with the Blackhawk School District has not been reached because they have not yet accepted all of the county’s terms.

     
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  7. 76wita95

    @eddie merchant
    @ raven

    I feel both of your frustrations I truly do and agree to a point on some issues.

    Raven you actually educate me on some things truly you do and I wished you freelance some work… like to this site….

    I’m a republican but vote for best candidate…..

    It’s background that makes me vote in county elections…not academic education…. case point Tony Amadio has a master’s in education thirty years ago,lol means nothing guys twenty years as township supervisor is his background.

    Spanik maybe has highschool education and after numerous attempts unions finally got him in, I am not a fan but will say after 12 years if serving he is the brightest and hardest worker if them all and it was serving that gained him that.

    Nichols background is like Columbia gas engineering and only had about 15 minutes of public service prior, he had no resume to county.

    Jan Beall is a good row official that camefrom title search and realestate background, has the background and no real education.

    Dave Rossi came from private sector banking and pension world , young educated and served locally before running against incumbent, if anyone reads the news he’s called out democrats and republicans for wrong doing.

    Nancy Werme limited education but has legal office experience was qualified just she is all union all day.

    Connie Javens was a receptionist for a dentist. Now is treasurer, and every family member got major county contract or job, and just recent we see she overlooked 700k in taxes to the UNIS family.

    Judy Enslen was a republican then switched to DEMOCRAT had experienceinoffice , no education, but had Mike Veon back her.

    Carol firucci worked at courthouse fir years before being registrar of will, no education, but really what’s needed got that job it’s filing and making appearances in orphans court.

    Terri Tatalovich is educated in funeral business and runs one while being the coroner either of you two can run for that it’s a date and time of death reporting rest done by hospital.

    Tony Berosh obviously educated and was more than experienced for job, but is selective in his prosecution of people, ummm deputy that lied in sworn statement. Just one of a few

    Currently JimMarshall no education and worked at recycling center, he was right place right time and not named veon

    Christiana young educated and served council prior for few years, but really was just a car salesman that didn’t even pay property taxes before being elected and still doesn’t he rents his district office Betters and his apartment, also in bed with the same players veon was

    Vogel has maybe high school vo tech education and was dairy farmer, we made him senator and he does more than the rest.

    It’s a popularity contest with who has enough money and a little campaign pizzazz

    Myself in law enforcement administration for over a decade first hand can say, the absolute crime is George David being sheriff.. And not one state rep has aided in his removal or his crooked lawyer who was caught stealing. Just like javens and the wink wink taxes it’s our money you as private citizen can file ethics complaint, and turn people into judicial conduct board or file charges as a county taxpayer your the victim

     
    Reply
    1. Profile photo of eddiemerchant
      eddiemerchant

      @76wita95: Thank you. That’s probably as good an assessment office by office of the current politicos as I’ve seen. There are a handful of these guys that I’ve voted for or supported previously, but pledge right now that none of them will get my vote or support going forward. As you’ve pointed out, the DA has refused to prosecute, our State Representatives have failed to act, and the county commissioners have sought to appease a situation in the sheriffs office that ought to embarrass every Beaver Countian. As for the other row officers and judges, they’ve sat by while this has played out, either afraid or impotent, and are guilty by association and their failure to lead and to act.

      They all need to go. EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM!

       
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  8. Profile photo of Raven
    Raven

    @eddiemerchant: Wow! Good stuff. Thanks much for the background information. Very, very helpful. And you have quite valid points about the background vs. education thing.

    I have also decided to get off my ass and actively help in the campaign of the most qualified candidate for Sheriff — money and door-to-door — regardless of party, and obviously not the incumbent. Perhaps some others will too. Only a few hundred votes determine the election, and it is possible that it could do some real good. Bitching about these people here helps, but it is only words.

     
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  9. Profile photo of Raven
    Raven

    Your point is well taken, John Paul. The BCT article by Kristin Doerschner misses the mark, perhaps even intentionally. It is a circumlocution around the main issue, very typical for Times coverage, possibly at the behest of Fitzgerald, and the emphasis is placed upon the Commissioners as being the primary agents and bad guys in the action, when it should be that the private security by the Deputies is against the law, and it continued even when this was known. But, that point is not made until the middle of the article, almost as a side issue. Other points made also are either irrelevant, incomplete (Blackhawk) or of no importance. Once again, the history of the matter is not referenced in the Times, and that is critical to fully understanding the reason for the private security concerns. With the new Shell plant on the horizon, and Chucky Betters in the middle of those negotiations, as well as huge opportunities for expansion of security services, it is little wonder that private security by the Sheriff’s department would be a closely guarded option. This is not about securing children at high school football games against very unlikely peril, it is about money and favoritism — during the job, after the job and in spite of the job — and the taxpayer is left holding the bag.

     
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  10. GOTV

    @ 76wita95 , your spot on and I agree, most of the row offices are irrelevant, yes they serve purpose but need not to elected status, but the voters had option years back to eliminate those positions and choose not when Rossi asked for it to be on the ballot. I personally thought it was great idea, but lack of effort from politicos shut it down.

    @raven @eddie merchant
    Be careful of what you wish for, already candidates are lining up to run with SHERIFF David, but they won’t be change for good, they will be hand picked puppets and they have already made overtures to certain republicans to hedge bets with candidate’s on that side, in short it will cause chaos and water down support with voters confused and all incumbents winning. That would mean sheriff gets re-elected.. Just saying they want to hear run run more candidates more confusion and splintered support.

    A target of few seats is the play, the due diligence of research can answer who the targets should be, if one or two incumbent row seats lose and a change of a commissioner seat would be victory of change.

    Some incumbents never really been challenged and have no money, others have war chest and support.

     
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    1. Profile photo of Raven
      Raven

      @GOTV: You have very good points there about the many possible election candidates diluting and spreading the votes, and it is an important assumption that demands attention. I would like to crunch the numbers, based upon the last election, and see where the votes might fall, even if it has to wait awhile until they all declare candidacy. It’s my guess that some of the potential candidates have already done some initial crunching themselves. If it were very obvious which way the votes might go, some would not even try.

       
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  11. liljoemama

    I normally do not have much to say on the county government but the person I want removed from office is enslen who thinks laws do not apply to her office and she makes it up as she goes along ,nasty piece of work in my opinion

     
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  12. Profile photo of cracker
    cracker

    I think you all are forgetting one BIG player in all this, old Chuck Betters. Me thinks Chuckles caught wind of him possibly being forced to testify under oath his involvement with George and the Sheriffs Office. Chuckles pulled strings ordering the puppet George to make nice and to make all of this go away. There is no way Chuck is going to lie under oath for George. You don’t have to go far to follow the money in this one.

     
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  13. accordingtome

    What is written into this agreement if a week from now George goes back to his bad habits? I certainly hope that since they are bragging how great this is for taxpayers that they protected us by including a clause that if he violates the agreement he will accept personal responsibility for reimbursing the county and will pay it from his own pocket, in full, within 30 days of the date of the violation. Without consequences tied into the agreement it is nothing but a waste of paper. Gentleman’s agreements require gentlemen….sadly we aren’t dealing with one.

     
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