District Attorney:  Detectives Investigating “Major Security Concern” At Courthouse

District Attorney: Detectives Investigating “Major Security Concern” At Courthouse

Beaver County Courthouse / photo by John Paul
Beaver County Courthouse / photo by John Paul

Beaver County Detectives are investigating what is being described by District Attorney Tony Berosh as a “major security concern” at the courthouse.

District Attorney Berosh tells the Beaver Countian that an incident occurred last week involving an employee of his office. This publication is not identifying any of the individuals involved by name as the incident addresses matters of personal safety.

An employee of the District Attorney’s Office, who carries a concealed weapon to and from work for personal protection, arrived at the courthouse last week and stowed their weapon in one of several gun lockers located inside of the front entrance to the building.

“My employees are not allowed to bring their weapons into the building,” explained District Attorney Berosh. “So they have to rely on these gun boxes to keep their weapons secure when they arrive to the courthouse.”

The employee locked the gun locker, took the key, and went about their day. Each locker has its own individual key.

Only uniformed officers and county detectives are permitted to carry weapons inside of the courthouse. Off-duty officers and courthouse personnel are required to store their handguns in the lockers, which can also be used by the general public. The lockers are provided in accordance with state law, which mandates they be made available at public courthouses. “Each county shall make available at or within the building containing a court facility … lockers or similar facilities at no charge or cost for the temporary checking of firearms by persons carrying firearms” reads the relevant statute. “Any individual checking a firearm … at a court facility must be issued a receipt.”

The county considers the locker key given to individuals as a “receipt” for purposes of the statute.

District Attorney Berosh said it was when the employee went to retrieve their weapon at the end of the day that they noticed it was missing from the locker. Sources say the employee “became frantic” and reported the gun was gone. County Detectives entered the weapon into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system as missing or stolen.

The Sheriff’s Department, who oversees the gun lockers and security at the doors to the courthouse, assured County Detectives there were no duplicate keys or any “master keys” to the gun lockers.

The next day, an employee of a county judge arrived at the courthouse carrying a concealed weapon. When they opened up their gun locker they discovered the other employee’s missing handgun inside.

“After it was discovered that my employee’s weapon was in their box, the County Detectives investigated further,” said Berosh. “What they discovered was that this one key was able to open five boxes in total, my employee’s box, the other employee’s box, and three other boxes.”

District Attorney Berosh said investigators haven’t been able to determine if his employee’s weapon was stolen and later returned or was simply placed in the wrong locker. “We really have no idea for sure yet, but I do know my employee insists they put their weapon in the right box that day.”

“We really are fortunate that we were the ones who discovered this,” said Berosh. “Imagine if a member of the public came in with a weapon that later turned up missing. How would the county explain that these keys fit multiple boxes? […] When a key can open multiple boxes obviously that’s a serious problem.”

Along with the general public and county employees, sources inside of the Sheriff’s Office say the gun lockers are also used by some of the county’s judges who carry concealed weapons to the courthouse for their personal protection.

“Absolutely there is no question that we have a major security concern here,” said District Attorney Berosh, “that’s why I passed a letter to the Commissioners, it is ultimately their responsibility to secure this courthouse.”

As a member of the County Prison Board, District Attorney Berosh also contacted Warden Bill Schouppe. “The situation at the jail is a little bit different, because members of the public are not allowed to bring weapons to the doors and have them stored there,” said Berosh. “But there are gun lockers available for police officers. I have a little bit more authority over those boxes because of my position on the Prison Board. I called the Warden and had him check his boxes, and there was one match down there as well, there was one key that opened up another box. He had a lock smith come and fix that problem the next day.”

Beaver County Commissioner Joe Spanik said he received the letter from District Attorney Tony Berosh notifying him about the incident at the courthouse. All three Commissioners are currently in Lancaster attending the annual conference of the County Commissioners Association.

“I want to know how did this happen. I want to know why did this happen. I want to know how we are going to make sure something like this doesn’t ever happen again,” Commissioner Spanik told the Beaver Countian. “We try to make sure we’re protecting our employees and citizens who come to the courthouse, this is something very serious that we need to address.”

Commissioner Spanik said it will now be up to Commissioner Tony Amadio to begin taking action. “As the Chairman, Commissioner Tony Amadio sets the agenda, so I would hope now that he has been made aware there are serious security problems at the courthouse he will schedule meetings for us to discuss them […] I believe we all need to sit down with District Attorney Berosh face to face and hear his suggestions on how we can fix this and some of the other problems we’ve had.”

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About The Author

Profile photo of John Paul

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


  1. Profile photo of Nikki

    Aside from the cute quips about Georgie boy, I was led to believe that there are cameras at the doors? Am I incorrect in this? If there ARE cameras, how hard could it be to look at the footage and see which locker the employee put their handgun in? And watch the rest of the footage from that day, to determine if anyone had gone in that locker, or if the employee was mistaken. But yes, for once I will agree, this is an issue, that should have never occurred. Same with at the jail….

    1. Nobama

      Nikki, that would entail using common sense. Something that seems to be lacking in Beaver County politics. Maybe someone with half a brain left in the court house will read your comment and a light bulb will click on.

  2. Mungo Jerry

    Since Mr. David has over 700 guns. He should surely have some insight into how to keep these items locked up securely! This certainly doesn’t make Mungo feel any safer when he needs to visit the courthouse!

  3. 76wita95

    1 no police officer on our off duty should relinquish his weapon, while attending any official duty in our out of uniform, commissioners passed that years ago. It’s absurd that a detective from a town or state police in pain clothes on duty takes duty weapon off while on official business and being paid to be on duty let alone have a hearing.

    2. If hot potato is played with this issue, sub contract out thus PROTECTION of doors. Why pay someone 60k and another part timer 17/18 an hour to assit.

    3. Sheriff department just RECENTLY lead a strategic planning and purchase of new cameras , I ask why would the lockers nit be with in view of new cameras hmmm.

    4. Commisioners are responsible for SECURITY purchases? Because sheriff’s department is responsible for protection. And through 7 years in office nobody in his braas circle caught this?

    5. Very lucky someone didn’t come in, remove gun commit crime with weapon and then return it.
    ” Llllllllll

  4. tomdish


  5. Profile photo of eddiemerchant

    I’m as quick as anyone to point out conflicts, conspiracies, and incompetence at the courthouse. This I think really not much of an issue. Doesn’t surprise me that keys would work in multiple lockers, and that it would take someone putting their valuables in the wrong locker for this to be discovered. It’s a simple fix.

    This only conspiracy I see here is the District Attorney making a big deal out of this. It looks much like the County Commissioners spending their time and our money on religious symbols. They (elected officials) are creating diversions to keep us from looking hard at the mess that county government has become.

    They all need to go. Democrats, Repuplicans, all of them. Every commissioner, row officer, and political appointee. ALL OF THEM!!!

    1. Profile photo of eddiemerchant

      Republicans, darn it. I need to write these comments into a word processing program first, and then paste them into the comments.

      Also would include the county judges in my housecleaning rant., they all need to go.

  6. Michelle Martin-Adkins

    Umm jus an easy fix tho…change the locks on the ones that the same key can be used on…don’t think its really necessary to wast tax dollar’s on a “meeting”. Jus get it fixed and get a camera on those lockers!!!


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