September 02, 2015

Times’ Reporter Files Charges Against County Commissioners

court

A content producer for the Beaver County Times has filed summary charges against all three Beaver County Commissioners.

David Taube, who writes about politics and government for the Times, filed the charges against Commissioners Tony Amadio, Joe Spanik, and Dennis Nichols in Magistrial District Judge Tim Finn’s office yesterday.

Taube alleges the three Commissioners have violated provisions of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act by discussing matters in executive session which should have been discussed in public meetings, by failing to provide thorough enough notice to the public about the matters to be discussed in executive sessions, and by misleading the public by having discussions in executive sessions that are different than the ones which were announced.

Commissioners Amadio and Nichols are each facing 6 counts of violations of the Sunshine Act, Commissioner Spanik is facing 5 counts. The charges were not filed by a law enforcement agency, but were instead filed by Taube in the form of private complaints.

Violations of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act are Summary Offenses. The law provides that “Any member of any agency who participates in a meeting with the intent and purpose by that member of violating this chapter commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $100 plus costs of prosecution […] If the court finds that the legal challenge was of a frivolous nature or was brought with no substantial justification, the court shall award the prevailing party reasonable attorney fees and costs of litigation or an appropriate portion of the fees and costs.”

A summary trial has been scheduled for all three Commissioners in front of Magisterial District Judge Tim Finn on March 11th.

David Taube is being represented by attorney Patrick Yoest of Pittsburgh who will act as de facto prosecutor in the case.

“I can’t comment about the charges because I have yet to meet with my Commissioners to discuss these allegations in executive session,” Beaver County Solicitor Joseph Askar told the Beaver Countian.

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.

Reader Comments:


Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Things are heating up at the court house…

Guest
boom
1 year 6 months ago

Greatest quote of new year.

“Askar saying he will discuss situation in executive session with commissioners”

That’s classic, good attorney hopefully his board will listen to advice and not act as attorneys own their own. That place is looking worse by the moment as if no leadership exist.

Guest
News Junkie
1 year 6 months ago

Contrived news by a young reporter who has never been able to break any real stories *yawn*

Guest
straighttalk
1 year 6 months ago

Remind Mr Askar they(commissioners) belong to the county residents and a very good portion of the residents are not satisfied with them.  Maybe he should advise them elections are coming.  Do the county residents right.

Guest
roch
1 year 6 months ago

a publicity stunt for the times?

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

oooh a hundred dollar fine…gee that’s going to stop something from happening again isn’t it ? Are the charges enough to remove them from office since they are CRIMINAL charges ?

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Unfortunatly Tom they are summary offenses. Like a speeding ticket. Just another example of elected officials thinking they are above the law. They need to remember they work for us. As a child your parents taught you right from wrong. It’s not a hard thing to fathom. These same people knowingly do the wrong thing if it is in their best personal interest. The hell with the people they represent. The only official with decency seems to be Jim Christiana. Lets hope he keeps it up. Magistrate Finn is a good guy so maybe he can shake some decency out of the commissioners.

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Yea Byron but a CRIMINAL charge is a CRIMINAL charge is it fair to have officials in office with ANY kind of CRIMINAL charge they received by doing their job illegally ?

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

I mean a president of the united states got kicked out of office for getting a blow job and that’s not illegal..lol

Guest
Huh?
1 year 6 months ago

@Tom-Slick Dick Willie DID NOT get kicked out of office for a blow job. He finished 2 terms of President elect.

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

these are conspiracy committed criminal charges that they wasn’t even charged with conspiracy

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

plotted , executed , then got caught red handed

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

I agree with you. Wouldn’t be any of em left.

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

wouldn’t be any left would be a good thing..lol

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Maybe I’ll run for office. I wouldn’t lie about crap. Tell the people whats really happening and let the voters decide

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

I would vote for you.. I went to vote for president and there was no Charlie sheen button so I walked out and didn’t vote for anyone..the rest were all con men buying votes…lmao

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Whoever has the most $ wins

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

yep its bullshit

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Just saw the ex Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper just got 18 months jail time

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

lol yea I seen that also

Guest
HUB
1 year 6 months ago

@bryon breadmore I like your comments but one sticks out like a sore thumb

Christiana only good guy? He is epitome of sound bite politician that is yes vote for anything Corbett wants,

Went along with non excuse tax on Marcellus shell costing state hundreds of millions, where the only state that doesn’t

Accepts hundreds of thousands from charter school pac, that takes school districts and cause school taxes to keep rising

Didn’t believe in WAM money to help improve district, but GAVE 2 million to BETTERS for a dock, that’s not even in his district and hasn’t helped bring anything to county.

Rents apartment off of BETTERS and his district office is with who else BETTERS, private donations mostly come from Betters and relative sheriff George David family ten of thousands that’s just what’s reported you can look online

That’s just naming a few

Leadership let him co sponsor a bill for Penn watch for transparency, but he backs governor a tax give seats and accepts donations from the companies, no bid contracts in IT systems, privatizing to other country the lottery no bid again you could go on and on. It’s a joke, sadly the now republican party in the county is the old democrat party of decades ago sane money players behind scenes but mentalitythe sane and ego.. They just let a few spew religion and keep things quiet and say they are for business and less taxes. CLAP CLAP CLAP under 250k still gets banged

 

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