Beaver County sheriff has bond terms changed
A judge Wednesday said Beaver County Sheriff George David can't hold news conferences on county property, but he's permitted to hunt on his property, or elsewhere with permission, while he awaits trial on charges that he threatened a reporter and campaign volunteer and intimidated other witnesses.
David, 66, of Hopewell, voluntarily reduced the time he works at the courthouse following the state attorney general's May 20 motion to revoke or change David's $50,000 unsecured bond, a move that could have sent him to jail.
Prosecutors accused David of violating the conditions of his bond but refused to describe the violations after a private meeting with his defense attorney Wednesday.
David “held unofficial press conferences in his office, appeared in casual dress at the courthouse at non-official functions, ostracized the two cooperating deputies and referenced one of the alleged victims in a public meeting,” according to a news release from the state Attorney General's Office.
Conditions of his bond, set in March, included that he could be in the courthouse only for official business, couldn't carry a gun and couldn't contact witnesses or alleged victims.
State police said David threatened John Paul Vranesevich, the operator of the Beaver Countian news website, with his service revolver during an interview on April 16, 2012.
Police said David kept two deputies “from truthfully reporting David's wrongdoing” to them and to a state investigating grand jury. He also is accused on Nov. 5, 2011, of threatening to cut off and eat the hands of campaign worker Daniel Fleishman.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter declined to comment. She and defense attorney Lee Rothman met privately with Mercer County Senior Judge Francis J. Fornelli for nearly 45 minutes before Fornelli modified the bond. David and state police, who filed the charges, weren't in the meeting.
Since the May 20 motion, according to the news release and Rothman, David spends about four hours a day at the courthouse and sends Chief Deputy Jay Alstadt to represent him at official functions.
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.
- Deputy testifies he lied to supervisors, investigators about Beaver County sheriff profane rant
- Donations keep Western Pa. communities’ fireworks shows alive