Beaver County deputy accused of lying to police in George David investigation
State police charged a Beaver County sheriff's deputy on Wednesday with lying to them about whether his boss threatened the operator of a news website.
State police said Lt. Thomas R. Ochs, 44, of Economy changed his story several times when questioned about whether Sheriff George David threatened John Paul Vranesevich with a blackjack and a gun during an April 16, 2012, interview in David's office in the Beaver County Courthouse.
Jury selection for David's trial on charges of intimidation, simple assault, harassment, making terroristic threats and reckless endangerment is scheduled for June 30. He remains on house arrest. State police said Ochs and Sgt. Mike Tibolet were present during the April 16 meeting.
Police charged Ochs with unsworn falsification to authorities, false swearing, obstruction of justice and hindering apprehension.
He remained free on $2,500 unsecured bond set by District Judge Tim Finn, who said Ochs cannot have any contact with David or witnesses in David's trial unless it is related to work. Ochs remains on duty.
“Mr. Ochs is very upset that throughout the course of this investigation, to the best of his ability, he's been cooperative,” said attorney Steven C. Townsend, whose Downtown law firm is representing Ochs. “It's difficult for a person in his position to remember every single detail or every single meeting he had.”
Ochs's version of the interaction between David and Vranesevich differed during interviews with investigators, during David's preliminary hearing and during grand jury testimony, according to a criminal complaint. Sometimes, he said David pointed a gun; other times, he said David didn't. During David's preliminary hearing, Ochs testified he didn't tell anyone that David pulled his weapon because he didn't want to get David in trouble, the complaint stated.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police identify driver in North Side crash that killed pregnant woman
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Turkey Trot runners turn out to burn calories despite chilly Pittsburgh temps
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches 800 career points
- Apartment development outlined for former Schenley High School in Pittsburgh
- Pitt plays best game of the season in rout of Kansas State
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- Queen of crime writing P.D. James dies at 94
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby