My phone rings off the hook, here are some random things from my journalist’s notebook!
The Beaver County Republican Committee awarded Beaver resident Luke Berardelli with its Committeeman of the Year award during the party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner held at The Fez on Friday.
Republican politicos tell me Berardelli received the award by a unanimous vote of the party’s executive committee.
Berardelli is president of the Beaver County Young Republicans and is credited by the committee with helping to expand and re-energize the group’s membership (the group recently unveiled a redesigned logo intended to give the organization a fresh and modern image).
Berardelli made headlines last year after he organized a protest rally at the Beaver High School, making unsubstantiated allegations that the district superintendent was retaliating against the school’s principal because of his associations with a religious organization that proselytizes to youth.
Superintended Carry Rowe later came out as gay during a public meeting, alleging that she was the one who was actually being targeted because of her sexuality. Berardelli backed down from his claims of religious persecution and principal Steven Wellendorf eventually resigned his position, issuing a joint statement with the district acknowledging his suspension had nothing to do with his religious affiliations.
Berardelli is expected to run for Beaver school board this year.
The Georgie & John Joe Show
Former Beaver County Sheriff and multi-time criminal defendant George David has been circulating petitions to appear on the Democratic ballot in May’s primary election for sheriff.
BeaverCountian.com has written extensively about George David through the years and has previously published a detailed timeline of the controversies that have plagued his career:
David is being assisted in his signature gathering efforts by former sheriff’s deputy John Joe Fratangelli, who has also been a repeated subject of public controversy:
Them Dems & Kress Shut Out of Midland
Democratic sheriff candidate Wayne Kress was shut out of a petition signing event last week.
Democratic Committeeman Raymond Presutti refused to invite Kress to the Midland Democratic petition signing because of his personal support of George David’s candidacy.
I’m hearing that county Dems intend to forego endorsements this year in favor of an open primary, and that George David is one of the big reasons why (I’m told Republican-cum-Democrat Dennis Nichols is reason #2).
The Democratic Committee is hoping to prevent a repeat of 2015, when the party fractured over issues involving David and then sat dormant throughout the entire county election cycle.
About 80 people showed up to Sandie Egley’s petition signing event at the Chippewa Hotdog Shoppe last week, garnering 65 new signatures on her petitions for treasurer.
Egley began scheduling her own petition drives after Republican Party officials started to rally behind Cebran Netherland’s candidacy for treasurer.
Egley has said she is going to be self-funding her own campaign. If Netherland can get some help with fundraising from party officials, this could be a primary race to watch!
Aliquippa Assistant Police Chief Joseph Perciavalle isn’t holding anything back. For the past couple of weeks he has been making his feelings widely known with posts to his Facebook page.
Perciavalle is currently suspended from duty with pay and is awaiting trial on charges filed against him by county detectives. He claims he is being retaliated against because of assistance he provided to the FBI and State Police as part of their investigations into alleged county corruption.
Police Chief Donald Couch is also currently on a paid administrative leave with Councilman Matt Mottes announcing publicly he had first-hand information Couch was a subject of investigation by state police.
A grand jury investigation remains ongoing with no presentments being issued to date.