A fraudulent Facebook account user who trolled Ambridge Area parents and residents has been identified as the district’s contracted public relations consultant, according to school officials.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Patrick Thomas notified district officials that Shari L. Berg admitted to operating the “JC Devanti” account that targeted people on social media who criticized or expressed concerns about the district.
Berg worked under an agreement with The Communication Solutions Group Inc. signed by the district in October 2017. Welter had been appointed as superintendent in July of that year. The contract’s stated purpose was to provide “strategic and crisis communications services.” According to the district’s website, Berg was also responsible for escorting the press while on school property.
Ambridge Area invoices show the district paid approximately $36,000 to the company for Berg’s work through September 2019. Berg had previously worked under Welter at the Hampton Township School District.