A criminal defendant represented by a Solicitor for the Sheriff’s Office was granted special treatment during his appearance in court this week. Ohioville Police Chief Ronald Lutton managed to evade news crews on Thursday, after being ushered in and out of a courtroom through restricted entrances and secured hallways by a Sheriff’s Deputy.

Ronald Lutton appeared in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing on allegations he bilked Ohioville taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars by forging documents and falsifying time sheets. The Beaver Countian and a camera crew from WTAE waited for Lutton to appear in front of Courtroom 3, where his case was scheduled for 9am. Lutton was never seen entering the courtroom, but court dockets were updated to show he had waived his preliminary hearing.

Sources who were in the courtroom for other cases say Ronald Lutton was escorted in through a secured door in the back of the courtroom by Sheriff’s Deputy Captain James McGeehan, and was quickly escorted back through that same door after making his brief appearance before the Magisterial District Judge.

Chief Lutton is represented by Attorney Myron Sainovich, who also serves as the Sheriff’s Office Solicitor.

Since Lutton was not in custody, the special accommodations saw the criminal defendant being walked past judges’ private chambers without being in handcuffs and shackles as is part of the standard security protocol. Defendants not in custody are normally made to sit in a public waiting room that has a glass front, and then enter Courtroom 3 through a set of double doors in the public hallway. Officials in the Court Administrator’s Office say they were unaware of the arrangements made for Lutton, and several defense attorneys characterized the accommodations as being “unprecedented.”

Ronald Lutton has tentatively agreed to a plea deal in the case which is said to include a long period of probation, restitution to the taxpayers of Ohioville, and a lifetime ban from law enforcement. A status conference in the case is scheduled for September 18th.

Chief Ronald Lutton and several other officials for Ohioville Borough are currently being sued by Ohioville Patrolman Nevin Beatty, who alleges he was retaliated against after exposing the apparent wrongdoings.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter is a named victim in criminal charges filed against Sheriff George David by the Pennsylvania State Police.

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.

Reader Comments

Photo and Image Files
Audio and Video Files
Other File Types
15 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
Nikki P.Seen It AllHarbingerwhy the truthMore BS Recent comment authors
newest oldest top voted
Notify of
Nikki Whitfield
Nikki Whitfield

It can’t be true, the Beaver County court system would NEVER grant anyone special favors! <–(scarcasm abound, just in case you missed it…)
It's all about who you know, and what strings you can pull when you fuck up royally, just like Lutton did. If it was just an everyday person like you or I, who essentially stole tens of thousands of dollars, I HIGHLY doubt that we would be recieving special treatment. Most of us probably wouldn't even be able to afford the bond they would set for us, let alone be treated specially by not having to deal with the public, and getting to use restricted entrances and secured hallways.
But then again, if I had stolen that kind of money from the taxpayers in the town that I served, I'd probably want to use those special accommodations. That is alot of pissed off people.

Marsha moore
Marsha moore

It seems to me this chief got into trouble by not following the rules. But, in my opinion, there is a sense of entitlement from all lawbreakers in the first place. They generally think they are smarter, therefore better, than we average, law-abiding folks!


Not only are underhanded events going on on the first floor of the courthouse, now it’s starting to filter upstairs into the court system. What is going on in that place? Man, everyday it’s something else there. What ticks me off is that our tax dollars are paying for all this corruption. Thank heavens for JP to find this stuff out. You mean to tell me that no one in the Court Admin’s office knew this was going to happen…Come on. What about Mrs. Bowers, who’s always walking around. Isn’t she the one in charge of the hearings in front of the Magistrates? Just asking. You mean no one told her this was going to happen or did she, infact, know and allowed it. Bad, bad. I understand the hallways leading to the Judges chambers are of sacred ground. Guess not. And who gave that order for this man to be taken in and out that way. And who was the Magistrate that also allowed this? :thumbsdown:


As a police officer, I find it strange, I’am not allowed access to these restricted areas, but a law breaker, who appears to have had a change of heart and is pleading guilty, is allowed to hide behind a wall with his buddy Jimmy. I know Jimmy and Lutton are boys, but Jimmy, you have to choose either us “brothers” or your law breaking buddy. What’s next, John Joe is allowed to stay at home when ever he has to do the prep walk! Hopefully Lutton gets help for all his problems along with his horn dog son. :omg:

excuse me
excuse me

@bacon. You are no brother. Keep it quotes.