Beaver County sheriff accused of gun permit favoritism
Beaver County Sheriff George David undercharged hundreds of people for gun permits, and his office owes the county thousands of dollars, according to a draft audit that county Controller David A. Rossi released this week.
David's solicitor, Myron Sainovich, maintained that David approved less than a couple dozen permits for reduced or waived fees. He added that David lowered fees for some police officers and constables, and other sheriffs have done so.
“This is clearly an attack on the sheriff,” Sainovich said. “Every time he turns around, someone is giving him a kick.”
Rossi could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
David, 66, of Hopewell is awaiting trial in February on charges that he threatened an online journalist with a gun. County commissioners on Dec. 7 filed paperwork asking a judge to declare David and deputies in contempt of court, saying they continue to provide private security for private companies even though a judge ordered a halt to the practice.
Under state law, the state gets $1 for each concealed-carry permit, and the county where it was issued receives $19. There's a $5 application fee, and if the permit is approved, and the permit costs $15 more.
Sainovich said there's nothing in the state law that prohibits a sheriff from waiving or reducing the fee and does not provide penalties if someone doesn't collect the fee.
According to Rossi's draft, David's office issued 47 gun permits at no charge, and 370 recipients didn't pay the full cost between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2012. The county lost $6,621, according to the audit. And 178 applicants denied permits didn't get their $5 fee back.
In 2008 and 2009, the county lost $6,512 because 30 permits were issued for free, and 396 received a discount, the audit found.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621.
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.