John Paul being interviewed by a CBS News correspondent about his coverage of a story for the Beaver Countian / photo by Bill Waddell

As 2018 enters the history books, it’s time to reflect back over the past year. Here’s a look at just some of the work done by BeaverCountian.com in 2018 to help keep you informed.


State And Federal Investigations Into County Corruption

Acting Police Chief Joe Perciavalle / photo by Bill Waddell for the Beaver Countian

One of BeaverCountian.com’s first stories of 2018, published on January 5, revealed that state and federal authorities were conducting far-reaching investigations into allegations of public corruption in Beaver County.

While the article was originally met with skepticism by county officials and other news outlets, events throughout the year demonstrated the reliability of our sources and accuracy of our reporting.

Investigations by FBI, State Police, and the PA Attorney General’s Office remain ongoing; work by the Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury continues and 2019 could be the year the public finally starts seeing what results those efforts bring.

FBI Among Agencies Conducting Years-long Investigations Into County Corruption

Pennsylvania State Police Execute Search Warrant At Aliquippa City Building

GRAND JURY ACTION! Subpoenas Served In County Corruption Probes – Aliquippa On The Hot Seat!

Investigative Report: Aliquippa Officer Claims DA Lozier’s Office Retaliated After He Provided Evidence Of Corruption

Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker Refusing To Cooperate With State Police Investigators

Aliquippa Police Chief Placed On Administrative Leave – Target Of State Police Investigation

Beaver County Chief Assessor Interviewed By Pennsylvania State Police

EXCLUSIVE: Former Aliquippa Patrolman Was Investigating Possible Departmental Ties To Drug Rings When Fired

In-Depth: Attorney Says She Went To State Police About Ambridge’s Chief And Solicitor

Ambridge Police Chief Arrested By State Police On Multiple Felony Charges

DA Lozier Denied Having Secret Meeting Inside Republican Headquarters With Aliquippa Assistant Police Chief

Hundreds Of Illegal Gambling Machines Seized In Massive Raid By State Police


The Murder Of DelTondo

Rachael DelTondo’s grave / photo taken by John Paul during a visit to the cemetery with Rachael’s mother, Lisa

In the early morning hours of May 14, BeaverCountian.com became aware that one of its confidential sources, Rachael DelTondo, was murdered at the bottom of her parents’ driveway in Aliquippa.

Her story rapidly gained international attention, and BeaverCountian.com has since published dozens of investigative reports — nearly 50 articles in total — into Rachael’s death and other disturbing events taking place in her hometown of Aliquippa.

BeaverCountian.com’s reporting repeatedly exposed false or misleading statements made by District Attorney David Lozier to other news outlets in the region.

Along with its own efforts, BeaverCountian.com teamed with other news organizations, including The Daily Mail and CBS News out of New York City, to report on the ongoing investigation.

Now nearly 8 months later, Beaver County Detectives have still failed to arrest Rachael’s killer.

BeaverCountian.com continues its work with CBS News in the production of a primetime episode of 48 Hours exploring her murder.

Follow our ongoing coverage here:

Timeline: The Murder Of Rachael DelTondo


Democratic Candidates For State Office Drop Out Of Their Races

An investigative report by BeaverCountian.com into petitions submitted by two Democratic candidates running for Pennsylvania state representative led to Alex Andres and Joe McGurk dropping out of their races.

Prothonotary Violated Procedures When Notarizing Several Petitions For State Rep Candidates

Two Dem Candidates For State Rep Withdrawing Petitions Following Beaver Countian Report


Republican Party Officials Resign

Photo via Facebook

An investigative report by BeaverCountian.com first exposed racist posts made to Facebook by an official in the Beaver County Republican Committee. Carla Maloney referred to African American athletes as “baboons,” suggested they should go back to Africa, and urged “white people” to “stop paying their salaries.”

Additional reporting by BeaverCountian.com showed Republican Party Chairman Chip Kohser had been aware of her posts.

The story made national news and both Maloney and Kohser resigned over the controversy.

“Overpaid Baboons” – Racially Charged Posts About NFL Players Attributed To County Republican Party Official

Republican Party Secretary Resigns Following Investigative Report By The Beaver Countian

Commissioners Camp And Egley Call For Republican Chairman To Resign On Revelation He Knew Of Racist Posts

Republican Party Chairman Resigns In Wake Of Controversy That Took Down Committee Secretary


Judges Remove Dedication To Former Court Administrator

Beaver County’s judges dedicated a portion of the courthouse to former Court Administrator Richard DeFilippi, whose tenure had been plagued by controversy.

As BeaverCountian.com continued its reporting by questioning county commissioners about the dedication during a public meeting, the judiciary quickly reversed course and removed a large brass memorial plaque they had installed on a wall outside of the juror’s lounge.

County Dedicates Part Of Courthouse In Memory Of Late Court Administrator

Camp & Amadio Silent About Memorial – County Unsure If Public Dedications Need To Be Publicly Voted On

Judges Remove Courthouse Memorial To Former Court Administrator


A Reader Takes Action

Promotional image © Friendship Ridge

BeaverCountian.com had published dozens of investigative reports over the past several years about the county’s sale of the Friendship Ridge nursing home to a private corporation.

After District Attorney David Lozier announced his office would not be prosecuting any county official for any of the issues brought to light, a BeaverCountian.com reader began taking matters into his own hands.

The reader, who identified himself as previously being assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Defense Investigative Service, submitted multiple Open Records Requests to the county, eventually compiling his own 180-page dossier about the sale.

In March 2018, the man distributed his final report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office among others.

County Resident Sends Investigators A 180-Page Dossier On Sale Of Friendship Ridge


Beaver School District Superintendent Comes Out

Beaver Area School District Superintendent Dr. Carrie Rowe

The Beaver County Times published unsubstantiated claims by Beaver County Young Republicans President Luke Berardelli that the Beaver Area School District was retaliating against its high school principal because of his religious affiliations.

BeaverCountian.com began reporting to find out what was actually happening.

Our investigative work turned the story on its head, and showed the district’s superintendent may have been the real one facing discrimination by some in the district because of her sexual orientation.

Superintended Carry Rowe later came out as gay during a public meeting and Berardelli backed down from his claims. Principal Steven Wellendorf later resigned his position and issued a joint statement with the district acknowledging his suspension had nothing to do with religious affiliations.

In-Depth: Beaver Area School District Facing Controversies And Protests Involving “Young Life” Group

Republican Party Joins Call For Protest Against Beaver School District – Counter-Protests Planned

WATCH: Beaver Superintendent Comes Out As Gay – Promises All Students “You Have A Safe Space Here.”

WATCH: Berardelli Backed Down – No Claims Of Religious Persecution – No Calls For Superintendent’s Ouster

Beaver High School Principal Resigns – Admits His Suspension Had Nothing To Do With Religious Affiliations


State Gaming Commission Launches Investigation

A vehicle belonging to Mount Airy Casino parked in Commissioner Dan Camp’s reserved space outside of the courthouse / submitted photo

Commissioners Tony Amadio and Dan Camp, along with Chief County Solicitor Garen Fedeles, signed non-disclosure agreements and then held secret meetings about the possibility of a casino coming to Beaver County.

Among those they met with included former county solicitor Joseph Askar, Askar’s father-in-law developer Pat Nardelli, former state representative and convict-cum-lobbyist Mike Veon, along with the executives from Mount Airy Casino.

The non-disclosure agreement wasn’t enough to stop BeaverCountian.com from learning about the meetings.

We published an investigative report first detailing the Commissioners’ activities, and also revealed the involvement of Louis DeNaples — a man who was specifically barred by the state from any casino business activities because of controversies involving alleged mob-links.

Mount Airy later announced its decision to construct a casino in Big Beaver, but the Pennsylvania State Gaming Commission also announced they were conducting a still-ongoing investigation into Louis DeNaples’ involvement.

Investigative Report: Camp & Amadio Signed Nondisclosure Agreements – Met Privately With Veon & DeNaples About Casino Project

In-Depth: Beaver County Officials Remain Mum On Casino Meetings – Butler Officials Refused To Sign Nondisclosure Agreements

In-Depth: Veon Attends Private Meeting About Possible Beaver County Casino – Faces Deposition About A Prior Failed Casino Venture

Mount Airy Announces It Is Building A Casino In Beaver County

PA Gaming Control Board Investigating Mount Airy Founder – Proposed Beaver County Casino Still Needs State Approval


Lies From Baden

Baden Councilman Ted Kotula (front), Councilwoman Judi Montell (rear left), Mayor Sam Gagliardi, Councilman John Shelkons / capture from Baden Borough surveillance video

BeaverCountian.com regularly works on behalf of the public to expose violations of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, a key law that guarantees transparency in official actions taken by governmental agencies.

When officials in Baden Borough began stalling the release of public records, BeaverCountian.com began publishing investigative reports based on information provided by its network of confidential sources.

Surveillance video eventually showed elected officials in Baden had been lying in their statements to the public.

Baden Borough Stalling Release Of Public Records – Sources Allege Council Hired Police In Secret Vote

Baden’s Mayor And Council President Give Conflicting Accounts Of Private Meeting

Baden Councilwoman Says She Was Confused By Vote – Excluded From Council’s Prior Phone Votes

Baden Borough Stalls Release Of Additional Public Records So It Can “Assess The Cost Of The Request”

Baden Councilman Says He Objected To A Private Phone Vote To Hire Police

Baden Surveillance Video & Emails Confirm Private Meeting & Secret Vote To Hire Police


Federal Lawsuits Settled

Screenshot from a dash cam video / photo via official court motions in the case

BeaverCountian.com provided in-depth coverage of two separate incidents that involved federal lawsuits alleging civil rights violations in Beaver County.

Former sheriff’s deputy Curtis Larrick settled his case against the county in August 2018 after being fired by Tony Guy when he came into office in January 2016.

James Cicco settled his federal lawsuit against Beaver Borough in January 2018 after dash cam video showed him being mauled by a police k-9 while he was secured in handcuffs in August 2016.

BeaverCountian.com published dozens of articles following each story over the span of more than two years.

County Negotiates $85,000 Settlement With Former Deputy Who Alleged Political Retaliation By Sheriff Guy
Court Filings Allege Sheriff Tony Guy Ignored Warnings By State Police About Deputies Who Supported His Election

Man Settles Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Beaver Borough Over Police K-9 Bite
Beaver Countian’s Complete Archived Coverage Of The Arrest Of James Edward Cicco (Warning Graphic)


The Political Marriage Of Commissioners Camp And Amadio

Commissioners Tony Amadio and Dan Camp / photo by John Paul

BeaverCountian.com had been reporting for months about Republican Commissioner Dan Camp and Democratic Commissioner Tony Amadio becoming political compadres; the public got to see it for themselves in February when the two voted to oust Republican Commissioner Sandie Egley as Chairman and to fire Financial Administrator Ricardo Luckow.

Egley had previously announced she would not be seeking reelection, and would be dedicating the remainder of her term to combating alleged public corruption in the county.

Since that time, Camp and Amadio have been voting in lockstep. Egley has repeatedly complained that the two have been plotting county business secretly behind her back instead of during public work sessions of the Board.

Commissioner Egley Won’t Seek Re-election – Dedicating Herself To Tackling Corruption

Amadio & Camp Remove Egley As Chair & Fire Financial Admin Luckow

Former Financial Admin Still Assisting Law Enforcement Despite Being Fired

Commissioners Camp And Amadio Decide Against Hiring A Chief Of Staff

Former County Solicitor & “Friendship Ridge” Attorney Joe Askar Praises Commissioner Camp In Post To Egley’s Social Media Page

Camp Flips – County Will Release Another $300,000 To New Friendship Ridge Owners And Surrender Lawsuit

Commissioners Consider Hiring Attorney Joseph Askar As Solicitor For Beaver County Children And Youth Services

LISTEN: Beaver Countian Pushes For Transparency In Commissioners’ Contracting Of Solicitor For Children & Youth Services

Amadio: “I Am Up To My Boiling Point” – BeaverCountian.com Again Seeks Transparency In Process To Replace CYS Solicitor

CYS Director Recommended Kwidis And Alsko For Solicitorships – Commissioners Scheduled To Vote

Amadio And Camp Contract Askar As CYS Solicitor – Kwidis Number Two

Commissioner Egley’s Complaint Against Former County Solicitor Askar Dismissed By Disciplinary Board

Not On The Agenda! $10 Million In Pension Funds Moved To Hong Kong-Based Firm By Camp – Javens – Amadio

Investigative Report: Camp & Amadio Signed Nondisclosure Agreements – Met Privately With Veon & DeNaples About Casino Project

Commissioner Amadio Is Telling The Public False Things About County Finances Again

State Funded Study Issues Dire Warnings – Debunks Claims By Amadio And Camp About County’s Finances

Commissioners Shorting CCBC $1 Million – Will Ignore Experts’ Warnings And Pass Structurally Imbalanced Budget


See Also: An Editorial By John Paul

Editorial: History Will Judge The Beaver County Times Harshly


Staff Reports
Reported and written by the team at BeaverCountian.com

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John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

“When people can get away with crimes just because they are wealthy or have the right connections, the scales are tipped against fairness and equality. The weight of corruption then becomes so heavy that it creates a dent that forces the world to become slanted, so much so — that justice just slips off.”
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

Ricimer
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Ricimer

Happy New Year BeaverCountian. And thanks….

FUBAR
Guest
FUBAR

All. For. Not.
It is business as usual in the Beaver County Shit House.
It is business as usual in all the shit hole towns in Beaver County.
It is still FUBAR!

John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

Oh, I’d love to be an Oscar Mayer wiener.
That is what I’d truly like to be.
‘Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener,
Everyone would be in love with me.

Oh, I’m glad I’m not an Oscar Mayer wiener.
That is what I’d never want to be.
Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener.
There would soon be nothing left of me!

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