The Beaver County Sheriff’s Office says it is unable to recruit qualified new applicants to become Deputies because of reporting by the Beaver Countian. The stunning claim was one of many contained within a lengthy email sent this week by Chief Deputy Dean Michael to the Board of Commissioners and Salary Board.
Chief Deputy Michael sent county officials the three page letter ahead of a voting meeting of the Salary Board this week, asking them to reconsider their publicly stated support for eliminating several full-time positions from the Sheriff’s Office. The Salary Board was ultimately unmoved by Michael’s lengthy rant, voting to approve a motion removing the unfilled positions.
The Beaver Countian was provided with a copy of the email — which declares itself “not for public dissemination” — by multiple county officials who characterized the document as manipulative propaganda. This publication is in the process of having Chief Michael’s entire email analyzed by a group of current and former sheriff’s deputies and law enforcement professionals for a potential future report.
Along with claiming the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office is inadequately staffed to deal with “a large scale or coordinated assault on the Beaver County Courthouse,” Michael also provided officials with an ominous warning about the “courthouse blogger,” one of Sheriff Tony Guy’s nicknames for Beaver Countian founder John Paul.
“Attempts to hire and recruit good quality personnel have been seriously hampered by the continued attempts to dismantle this office,” wrote Chief Deputy Michael. “At the present time, no one with necessary experience wants to subject themselves to the visceral attacks that are routinely levied by the courthouse blogger. These attacks serve no legitimate purpose and are nothing more than a disruption of County government. Nothing good will ever come of this if the negative influence is allowed to continue.”
Chief Michael did not specify in his email how the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office proposed to stop the Beaver Countian’s reporting. The previous Sheriff, George David, attempted to intimidate the Beaver Countian into ceasing its coverage by brandishing a firearm and threatening murder — a tactic which proved unsuccessful and problematic for the official.
Among the articles published by the Beaver Countian about the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office in recent months included a piece detailing an investigation conducted by the county’s law department which concluded Chief Deputy Michael violated the employee sexual harassment policy.
Just a few of the other articles published about the Sheriff’s Office over the last year by the Beaver Countian which purportedly served “no legitimate purpose” include: