Heroin in a commish's home? Come again!
RANTS that the weirder three weeks ago just got so additionally weirder.
RANTS that state police photos of heroin stamp bags from a different crime scene are said to have been mistakenly included
in investigative crime scene photos taken five months ago, inside the home of Fayette County Commission Chairman Vince
Vicites, after his wife reportedly shot him.
Unconsciously driven human error is, bottom line, unfortunate, but still understandable. There's more to this, though.
Today Vicites and the district attorney said that Vicites' wife incarcerated awaiting trial and her attorney received medical
record test results two months ago showing that the commissioner had no opiods in his system after being transported for a
gunshot wound. So why did the defense attorney for Mrs. Vicites request to obtain a record of a drug test one month after he
received it and release pictures of heroin stamp bags to the media from a different crime scene?
RAVES of hope that the commissioner, district attorney and all of the state troopers, who might one day have to testify that no
stamp bags of heroin were found at the Vicites' crime scene, are being truthful. Readers here recall that the district attorney
terminated the defense attorney earlier in 2016 from his county assistant district attorney position. Or could this drama over
testing and pictures popped up driven by supporters of an all-new industrial prison to remove a commissioner for a quick vote
to get the industrial prison built?
Unless the defense attorney for the jailed Mrs. Vicites is sitting on sworn statements from hospital crews that drug tests on the
commissioner were fudged or a contradictory statement from a crime investigator that the photos of the heroin stamp bags
really were taken five months ago in the Vicites' home, the more it appears that the district attorney acted wisely in early 2016
to can the assistant. (30 Dec 16)
"One Of Most Pathetic Local Quotes Of The Day, The Week, The Month...
and possibly year," certainly meant with no disrespect whatsoever for the speaker
"We're off by $100,000 on assumed costs and assumed sales... There's not much to it. We just overestimated what our profits
will be and sales will be. We're making a really bad guess at how much fuel cost will be."
John Cofchin, county Airport Authority member, to his fellow authority buds, at yesterday's meeting, as quoted above in
The Daily Courier's "Airport Authority delays 2017 budget," stating why the 2017 airport operating budget proposed in
November cannot be passed now and must wait till mid-January to be passed;
Cofchin, causing the rest of us to wonder how often such miscalculations or shoddy math errors in the budgeting of the
small municipal airport that gets some public money may have occurred uncaught previously, and why those preparing a
budget could have received the nonsense misinformation about fuel profits in the first place (22 Dec 16)
Heroin in a commish's home?
RANTS that the weird keeps getting weirder.
RANTS reading today's paper* and hearing that empty and filled packets of heroin reportedly were found in the home of
Fayette County Commission Chairman Vince Vicites on the July night his wife reportedly shot him.
Can this be true? If so, why haven't drug possession or distribution charges been filed against someone? A quick check of rap
sheets shows that others are still being charged with possession of heroin when found with it. A quick re-read of the story
confirms that, yes, photographs which the writer seems to have seen, were included in the request to obtain the county
commissioner's drug test results when he was taken by emergency transport following being shot.
RANTS if double standard judgements are being made outside of the courts and preferential treatment is shown with any, or
more specifically, high profile cases. (10 Dec 16)
*from heraldstandard.com, "Drug test results requested on Fayette commissioner Vicites"
Hep C on rise, hand in hand with drug epidemic
RANTS reading today's Trib piece, "Hepatitis C cases in Southwestern Pennsylvania skyrocket over 10 years," which notes
that Hep C, "increased by more than eight-fold in the 10-county Southwestern Pennsylvania region."
Climbing from 335 cases in 2003 to 2,818 in 2014, the spike in intravenous drug use and shared needles helped the blood-
borne disease spread rapidly.
RANTS reading the chilling news from an area drug rehabilitation center specialist, quoted in the referenced Trib article as
saying that his youngest addicted Hep C patients are three ninth graders using intravenous heroin. (30 Nov 16)
Highlands Hospital gets $1 Million grant
RAVES to Highlands Hospital in Connellsville for becoming the recipient of a $1 million dollar grant to convert an old school
building into a multi-purpose community health facility.
RAVES that the Connellsville hospital's plan for the former Zach Connell Elementary School site include a new womens'
services center, a multi-speciality physical behavioral center and a new home for the hospital's Autism Center or school.
Readers here recall that Highlands Hospital four months ago was named by the governor as one of 25 new Centers Of
Excellence in the commonwealth to treat opioid addictions. Highlands Hospital and the other 24 newly named facilities join 20
other facilities outside Fayette County previously announced months ago to treat opioid addictions. Some 120 hospitals across
the state applied to receive funding for the initial 20 facilities to receive state funds last year.
RAVES that the administration and board of the local hospital continue efforts to provide specialized services to county and out
of county residents. RAVES of hope that the little hospital down the road will always be there providing all kinds of physical
and behavioral health services. (28 Nov 16)
Will P-CoRP opt to litigate the chief clerk's case?
RANTS if the county and its liability insurance provider, P-CoRP, opt to settle out of court and not litigate the chief clerk's civil
case headed for mediation in mid-January.
That said, RANTS since it seems unlikely, however, that P-CoRP will want to litigate. If any case goes to litigation and any
dollar amount is awarded, the county would be required to pay the other side's legal fees.
That said, the best the county may hope for is another small out of court settlement against it that may or may not even cover
the other side's legal expenses, or much else. (22 Nov 16)
The wonderful aroma of Thanksgiving pies
RAVES to the wonderful aroma of Thanksgiving pies baking -- even the ones made with Splenda -- and the equally wonderful
way the smell lingers in the house through the night. Not that good pies can't be bought, mind you.
But the ambiance and enjoyment of the holiday here seems to start with the baking of the pies. (22 Nov 16)
RTK answer: On the edge of dangerous
RANTS that the post office has bad days which delayed a RTK appeal answer from the county. Readers here know that a
RTK request to receive any written memos, emails or correspondences concerning the decision six months ago to lock a back
access hallway to the county commissioners' offices was denied, then appealed to the state.
The state Office of Open Records then granted the appeal and required the county to turn over what was said to be three
emails our way.
The RTK answer consists of four relatively brief emails, actually, which were exchanged over two days from commissioners. In
one email, Commissioner Dave Lohr said that a person "a short time ago" came to his office who "was on the edge of
The decision to lock that wooden downstairs door the day before and require all visiting staff and visitors to stop and first
check in at the front desk was sent in email from the county chairman to five known county staff and a lawyer, whose role in
being copied in email is unknown. Fellow commissioners were not copied on the May 12 email.
The other three emails in the RTK appeal answer were dated 24 hours later, starting with the one referenced above from Lohr.
One can only imagine what drama might have been going on in the meantime with his statement "this needs to be put to rest."
(23 Nov 16)
"Quote Of The Day"
"Is Dan Quale typing up county prison board meeting minutes these days?"
Pete, asking tonight at the diner
Union rally: really, why?
RANTS that the union continues to bring in a large crowd of out of county union employees to protest and get in quite the tizzy
over county jail working conditions and alleged safety hazards at the jail. RANTS for two reasons.
RANTS that the current board of commissioners are moving in the right direction with the jail, but draw protests or union rally
for not building a new jail and making county jail staff work in what are supposed to be inhumane conditions. The county
commissioners are acquiring land with a building across town, fixing the roof of the current jail and getting things taken care of
inside the jail.
That's why it seemed such a waste of time and public resources that the union complained formally to the Feds to order the
county to do what it already has been in the process of doing for some time now.
Well, that and the following.
When the union gathers on Main Street about county jail staff working conditions, those union leaders need to ask why the jail
warden participates in monthly prison board meetings and expresses little or no same concerns that the union goes on in
public protest about -- i.e., poor or clogged plumbing, infestations, leaking roof, poor electrical system, etc.
From county prison board meeting minutes two months ago: "...the Warden and maintenance officer said they have no reports
of sewer gnats and that there are 4 toilets and 4 urinals with one urinal not working. He also said they purchased a no flush
urinal and checking it out for a few months before deciding on replacing all of them. He said inmates flush items such as
potatoe chip bags. Also they are looking at white stainless steel instead."
Then, the previous month, from August's county prison board meeting minutes, the warden wasn't complaining, either, about
jail conditions that the union chanted about at the pep rally for a new jail: "Update on Maintenance Repair: The Warden did
not have the monthly log to distribute. He said the roof bids were awarded and computers were down but fixed and other
than that nothing out of the ordinary. Commissioner Lohr asked about the beam saying he met with the engineer who said
special equipment is needed. Commissioner Vicites said it was initially repair wrong. The Warden said he would follow up
and advise the status of the repair. Commissioner Lohr said the Deputy Warden for Security Mike Zavada did a good job in
handling the recent lock repair issue at the annex. The Warden confirmed that the AA meetings for the male inmates has
Life at the jail seems to be going pretty well, as per what the warden reports to the prison board at these monthly business
If life at the jail is as bad as the union claims, then why is the warden not going on formal record, at every public meeting
possible, for example, that outside contractors, plumbers, electricians are needed because county maintenance cannot keep
up with backed up sewage, water leaks, pipe leaks, etc?
If life at the jail is as bad the union claims, why aren't the commissioners closing down the jail and farming out all inmates to
other jails? (20 Nov 16)
Prison studies: dime a dozen?
While Fayette County Commissioners decide to have another prison study or not, Allegheny County produced another study --
"Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Improving Incarceration Policies and Practices in Allegheny County," from the University
of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics -- that concludes the nearby county is putting too many people in jail.
The new study states that crime rates have fallen in two decades but the Allegheny County Jail's population increased some
70 percent, typically from "a tendency in the county to jail people who haven't yet been convicted and who may be driven by
problems other than criminal intent." That county lock up holds some 60 percent of inmates who are not yet processed through
the courts or serving actual sentences.
The new study shows that $12 million annually could be saved without posing a threat to the community if those non violent
indigents or others covered under specialty courts (veterans, mental health, etc) did not enter the jail system at all. District
judges, the study states, make key decisions on whether to jail, release or place bond on defendants pretrial but follow court
recommended measures to divert incarcerations only 63 percent of the times and usually still impose bond that some inmates
The new Allegheny report, additionally, found that people jailed for four to seven days were 50 percent more likely to commit
future crimes than were those who were free while awaiting trial.
Prison studies are a dime a dozen and sometimes driven by developers with primary interest in construction and building.
Fayette has paid a small fortune to date for prison studies. In recent years, the county paid for a study from a former county
contractor, Crabtree and Associates, that provided incorrect information throughout. At town meetings a few years ago,
Crabtree personally assured citizens that specialized courts and a day reporting center would have no impact on diverting
incarcerations. Meanwhile, Fayette's prison population has dropped significantly since Crabtree predicted only an incorrect
and steady rise in the number who would need jailed.
RANTS if, at this late point in 2016, Fayette leaders still feel a need for outsiders to assess current jail populations. At this
point in time -- and with one year on the job for two newer commissioners -- Fayette leaders should not need to pay for another
study of any kind. Department heads should have the only information Fayette needs today to make an informed decision
about the county jail. (17 Nov 16)
Afraid to donate to a Fayette political campaign?
RANTS to hear a political newcomer such as Republican Matt Dowling, who won last week's general election over PA 51 State
Rep Tim Mahoney for that state house seat, say that he had supporters who were afraid to contribute to his campaign
The victorious Dowling told the Herald Standard* this week that he had people afraid to contribute to his political campaign
committee and that "we need to clean up any corruption that exists out there."
What Dowling didn't say -- and what nobody at the paper seemed to ask him -- was whether those who expressed fear over
donating to his political campaign feared retaliation, and whether that fear was from bad vibes from supporters of his Democrat
opponent or from bad vibes from within a newly formed county Republican political party committee, whose one founding
member contributed in recent months to Dowling's Democrat opponent.
Who in the world else would care who contributed to Dowling?
Apologies to Dowling are extended if he did say more that was not mentioned in the paper. We wish the area's newest
politician well as he starts his new gig in Harrisburg in a few weeks, and sincerely hope that he knows that corruption won't
magically disappear until people such as him also help expose it. (16 Nov 16)
*"Republican newcomer Dowling reflects on political race"
"Quote Of The Day" on why 2 DAs ignore a Grand Jury
"Grand jury secrecy laws are in place to elicit testimony and to shield witnesses from threats; grand jury secrecy laws are not
in place to shield district attorneys and judges from public scrutiny and accountability.
It's high time the public received some answers on why the 5th Presentment has remained sealed for 23 months and when it
will be unsealed.
After 23 months, it's time for Fayette County Grand Jury Presiding Judge Steve P. Leskinen and Fayette County District
Attorney Richard E. Bower to be held accountable to the public which paid for the grand jury and which has every right to know
what is being done/what will be done with the sealed 5th Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2."
Fayette Searchlight, as in today's published blog, "Sealed 5th Presentment reaches 23 months," stating that Fayette
County Grand Jury No.2 issued a presentment, by law, that was also approved by Presiding Judge Steve Leskinen, that
presentments are not issued haphazardly and evidence must exist that points to a crime
Canonsburg loses good cop in shocking ambush
RAVES, respectable RAVES with a lump in the throat, to the recovering addict in Canonsburg, who spoke to the media, in
shock over the ambush slaying of a local police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call there today. The woman
speaking to the media credited the lost officer and his partner, also shot in the ambush, as being good, caring souls who got
her to stop using heroin last year.
The ambush murder of the beloved Canonsburg cop and the injury of his partner while responding to a domestic disturbance
brought the small town to a standstill and in disbelief. The officer was slain by a man, who also shot and mortally wounded his
estranged wife and their unborn child, while held up in her home, before shooting himself.
RAVES of hope, too, that the woman grieving and speaking so kindly of the slain officer continues to stay off heroin and drugs
for herself and to stay drug-free to honor his memory. (11 Nov 16)
Editor's Note: Thanks to a reader from the legal world who passed along a link to additional information about the civil
lawsuit case against the county, city police and former personal care home providers discussed in "Sansone was once a
respected up and coming lawyer."
From pennlive.com's "With 'Making a Murderer' parallels, Pa. man sues after years in jail for crime he says never happened,"
there is a link to the text of the man's filed lawsuit.
Of high interest was the statement in the suit that the man suing for being charged and incarcerated was at a county
sponsored or contacted mental health drop in center/activities program when the personal care home peer fell from
the personal care home porch.
The man, reportedly, arrived home after the peer fell, as per the suit, but was still charged initially with aggravated assault,
then homicide after the peer died.
If this is true, RANTS that there is no mention of advocates from community mental health services trying to intervene to help
the man early on take measures to defend himself. (9 Nov 16)
"Quote Of The Day"
"I'm not sorry I lost, but I'm not happy."
Tim Mahoney, PA Rep from the 51st District, as quoted in heraldstandard.com's "Dowling unofficially edges Mahoney out
in the 51st District race," after the polls closed and votes were totaled, showing that the incumbent Democrat lost his state
house seat to Republican challenger Matt Dowling.
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a link to click on to read, "Sansone was once a respected, up and coming lawyer."
"Quotes Of The Day" about Timmy's good work for his political campaign
contributor whose staff stays long-term in Pittsburgh hotels and buys homes in West Virginia, while under serving
the downtrodden of Fayette County and nicely sustaining corporate welfare, in seeming violation of the commonwealth's
"Evidently, to Rep. Tim Mahoney, that Oath of Office means about as much as the oath on his altered and falsely sworn
Affidavits of Circulator."
* "Mahoney announces $1.5 million for Boeing," published online at the state's house of representatives website
More HSBS served up with morning coffee
RANTS that in the wordy commentary covering nearly half of a newspaper page today, a Uniontown resident takes aim at the
Fayette County Commissioners for repairing the county jail and not magically producing plans to build a brand new one to his
liking. Thus, the cheerleaders for an all-new jail return to the scene, citing the jail union's appeal two months ago to the scary
US Department of Justice to mandate that an all-new facility be built.
RANTS that today's half-page of copy blindly fails to mention that the county this year has progressed to the point of acquiring
another building for jail purposes on Rt. 21 and fixing the current jail's roof and interior maintenance problems. Just why are the
cheerleaders for an all-new jail dusting off their pom poms for a new pep rally to try to derail those plans in progress?
Today's "County commissioners need to do something" ed piece in heraldstandard.com offers scare tactic commentary and
speculation about what would happen if the DOJ knocks on the door and mandates the county abandon the Rt. 21 plans and
build an all-new facility whereever the DOJ may mandate.
What the scare tactic ed piece, however, proves is that the "we care about the quality of life of inmates" attitude does not hold
water here. Why not? Not one word in that wordy piece today focused on internal problems that an all-new jail cannot fix.
Missing was any reference to the facts that a Grand Jury one year ago had to be convened to hear testimony from guards who
witnessed an inmate being beaten -- punched in the stomach while handcuffed -- in order to get jail administration to reprimand
or fire one of the goon squad beaters.
Also not mentioned in today's ed piece focused on the humane treatment of inmates is the undisputed fact that a corner's jury
recommended six months ago that the feds investigate internal jail problems that led to an inmate's death because jail
administration failed to post emergency medical phone numbers.
RANTS because the cheerleaders for an all-new jail still don't realize that the current board is making progress with the site
and can be faulted only because they have not fired key administrative staff for not doing their jobs properly. (25 Oct 16)
Greene County Prison inmate work groups accepted by staff,
appreciated by community
RAVES to the kind hearts in Greene County for donating food and baked goods to the county jail inmates there who perform
supervised community work projects.
While today's heraldstandard.com* writes that Greene's warden instead recommends that baked and cooked goods be
replaced with items such as gloves, socks, underwear and winter hats to help keep indigent inmates warm while performing
community work, RAVES that the Greene County Prison staff provides adequate supervision for the program to be run
smoothly and be so widely accepted by its staff and community.
RANTS, meanwhile, that Fayette's overwhelmed warden and prison board still have not implemented a similar work program
for our county inmates.
As readers here are too well aware, Fayette's overwhelmed warden and prison board have had a shameful litany of reasons --
from the past administration through the current board -- for not implementing a supervised community work program here.
The sheer stupidity soon must end. (23 Oct 16)
*"Greene County Prison Board approves warden's recommendation"
Political hire: what's on their minds?
RANTS to the Fayette County commissioners for yesterday's political hire. Is there any other logical way to perceive this
action, even to the open minded? Or could it be just another testament to the failing Obamacare health insurance mandate?
Debra Evans Rhodes, a psychologist/former college professor/former agency director/self-employed consultant and wife of a
former county GOP chairman/local AM talk radio announcer, who earlier this year with County Commissioner Dave Lohr and a
few others formed a second Republican county committee, the Fayette Reagan Republican committee, was hired as a $14 and
change hourly assistant in the county commission office and Lohr's assistant. No kidding!
RANTS that one cannot help but wonder if the next 2-1 vote will be an ambrosiniesque style whopping pay raise down the
road for her. (21 Oct 16)
8,400 hits of missing Methadone still a mystery
RANTS that authorities are still unable to state with certainty what happened to some 8,400 unaccounted for dosages of
methadone last year at a now closed Uniontown clinic.
RANTS, too, that this far into the court process of bringing former clinic owners, staff and physician to justice for hundreds of
counts of the unlawful distribution of Suboxone, Methadone and Xanax and Medicaid fraud, that authorities cannot identify
unauthorized staff and possibly non-employees who signed for and accepted 130 drug deliveries to the clinic.
Given that new Methadone clinics are popping up more quickly than Walmarts once did in the region, and given that so many
emergency workers are reviving more and more and the same repeat addicts with Narcan, lets sincerely hope that the new
and still operating existing other clinics that dot Fayette's maps will operate on the up and up and not draw a Grand Jury
investigation, indictments, FBI raid and shameful arrests as the former Route 51 clinic did last year.
Just where is all of the Suboxone and Methadone for cheap sell and purchase on the streets coming from, we ask? Insiders
working at other Methadone clinics with good record keeping habits do not believe that the bulk of their recovering addicts are
parting with, sharing or selling their one or two-day supplies of take home drugs for days the clinics are closed. (20 Oct 16)
"Quote Of The Day" on contradictory statements & withheld RTK emails nobody woulda known about or
thought twice about, had the chief county clerk's sensational civil suit not been plastered on the front page of the local paper
"It (Fayette County) offered only general references to various exemptions under the RTKL. In fact, it provided contradictory
statements -- in its August 31, 2016 submission to the OOR (Office of Open Records), the County states that it withheld
records because they relate to discipline of office personnel, but in the same submission indicated that no employees were
disciplined; then, the County's supplemental submission to the OOR states that the e-mails are exempt for security and
personnel reasons...Accordingly, the County did not meet its burden of proving that the records sought in the Request are
exempt from disclosure... The County is required to provide the three e-mails to the Requester (Toye/Rants&Raves) within
RAVES for public candidate forums that allow citizens to hear from and ask questions of political candidates. This evening's 6
PM candidate forum at Penn State Fayette Campus will feature those running for the 51st and 52nd district seats in the state
House of Representatives.
Scheduled to appear this evening at Swimmer Hall are incumbents PA 51 Rep Tim Mahoney and PA Rep 52 Ryan Warner and
challengers for those seats, Matthew Dowling and James Mari of Uniontown.
RANTS, yes, because some written questions likely will be edited or ignored, but, just the same, please try to attend and ask
the tough questions. (14 Oct 16)
RAVES, once again, to Selena Zito, former Trib political columnist, for giving a shout out to Uniontown in her latest New York
Post piece, "The Americans the media doesn't really see," published online last night.
While her observations of two Uniontown neighbors with front yard political signs of opposing presidential candidates showed
neighbors bonded by other common community interests treating one another respectfully, this column sincerely hopes that
Zito returns when it's time for uglier political races here -- i.e., for instance, the next county commissioners' race -- when
anonymous blogs and mailers, no doubt, will return to target anyone with conscience who opposes political corruption or might
rock the mighty corruption boat known as Fayette.
In the meantime, RAVES again to Zito for continuing to write after the Trib went down the drain and for mentioning Uniontown
in the NY Post. (7 Oct 16)
Fayette still has no inmate work program but...
Greene County inmates come to Fayette to clean up illegal trash dump
RANTS that Fayette County Prison still has no county inmate work program, but inmates from Greene County were brought
without incident across county lines into Fayette to clean up garbage in Dunbar Township recently.
As featured on KDKA television news today, a group of inmates from Greene County spent a few days cleaning up discarded
furniture, building supplies and other trash illegally dumped along Baron Road in West Leisenring.
RANTS that the Fayette Prison Board and jail administration are dragging their feet getting the inmate work program up and
running here out of fear of inmates bringing back contraband into the jail.
Stories such as this one on Baron Road only quickly drive home the pressing need for the Prison Board to get tough and
mandate that the work program be implemented pronto here in Fayette. (5 Oct 16)
City cops apprehend escaped county jail inmate
RAVES to the Uniontown city police for apprehending a county jail inmate on the run last evening. RANTS that city police had
to intervene to capture the inmate some 30 minutes after he slipped out of his obviously ill fitting or wrongly applied wrist cuffs
and escaped from jail staff.
RAVES, again, to the city cops for the relatively quick save. Lets hope that county jail staff today are trained to properly cuff
inmates to prevent another such escape and that those in charge feel the heat for an incident which could have had a far
different or potentially horrible outcome.
More to come -- that is, if it's not all just quietly swept under the rug. (4 Oct 16)
Former Trib writer scores big
RAVES to former Trib political columnist Salena Zito for having the most popular or most read New York Post article this week.
Published 2 days ago. Zito's "How Trump won over a bar full of undecideds and Democrats," is still the publication's most read
story today. For her story, she chose to watch the presidential debate at the Tin Lizzy, a Westmoreland tavern, with a largely
Zito published her final Sunday Trib column two weeks ago. RAVES to her for so quickly finding another media outlet for her
writing. (28 Sept 16)
Please note: a clarification was added to "Is it Editorial OCD?"
HSBS: sad case of EOCD?
RANTS that Editorial Obsessive Compulsion Disorder can such be a cruel affliction that impairs ones reality to sad levels and
leaves an editor unable to see clearly through the bias. Please read "Is it Editorial OCD?" (25 Sept 16)
PUC and Sears OK with it, though!
PA DOT says no to $45K deal with Fay City
As per Kristen Sims, CPA, Audit Manager, PA Department of Transportation, the Act 13 money that is distributed by PennDOT
to Fayette County each summer is restricted in use.
"The funds may only be used on structurally deficient bridges which are on the TIP. The allocation of these funds to a
municipality to purchase a plow truck would not be an allowable expense for this funding source," Sims said in writing to a
county commissioner four days ago.
Sims was asked for clarification on the approval given by County Commission Chairman Vince Vicites and Commissioner Dave
Lohr to purchase a plow truck for Fayette City from restricted Act 13 funds. Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink opposed the
motion and purchase last week from the funds targeted previously for other purposes.
Please click here to read emails last week between the two women concerning the approval given for the expense. (20 Sept
"Quotes Of The Day"
"Again, the written confirmation is from PA DOT which is the governing body. Lohr and Purcell are confusing the Act 13
accounts. Both are wrong. Lohr and Vicites said staff said it was okay. Staff is wrong. Vicites said the money can be taken from
the restricted account. Vicites is wrong. Unfortunately, Fayette City will not be receiving the $45,000. Had this been an open
discussion perhaps other commissioner ideas could have helped this municipality."
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, in online reader comments tagged to heraldstandard.com's story, "County allocates Act
13 funds to Fayette City for truck purchase," indicating that the other two county commissioners and solicitor are wrong
and that she will attempt to rescind the votes from the other two county commissioners to approve the $45,000 allocation
from a restricted county bridge Act 13 highway fund for a new plow for Fayette City.
"The PUC (PA Utility Commissioner) told us that other counties had made similar allocations from their (bridge accounts)... We
are in compliance."
Commissioner Dave Lohr, commenting in the same above mentioned story, getting his technical advice perhaps from the
wrong entity, the PUC, instead of PA DOT.
RANTS that another giant in the newspaper business, Trib Total Media, took a real beating in the massive job buy out
campaign, job streamlining and cut back movement there.
RANTS that there are no more Randy Bish political cartoons, no more Harrisburg stories from Brad Bumsted, no more Bish
cartoons, no more Saturday essays from the newsboy, no more Bish cartoons and no editorial page again put together quite
Agree today, disagree tomorrow, sure, but RANTS that there's one less paper out there already. RAVES of hope that all those
talented people will find jobs they loved as much elsewhere. (19 Sept 16)
"Quote Of The Day" upping the ante that computers were hacked
"There were three emails on May 12 and 13, 2016 sent between the Commissioners that are responsive to the request. We
extend the position set forth in our initial response on August 31st that these three emails are exempt for personnel reasons
and for security reasons and do not relate to any financial or legislative action or other governmental function, only office
Sheryl Heid, county second solicitor, in an email today to the state's Office of Open Records, talking about the Right To
Know appeal filed to obtain written communications from commissioners to one another about why the commission
chairman thought it wise to lock a rear access door to the county offices.
While confidential courthouse sources claim at least one county computer was hacked, it is unknown since
commissioners have not confirmed or denied this statement, whether the alleged hacking had anything to do with the
locking of the door to everyone but commissioners. Of interest, however, is the timing of the alleged hacking.
Nine months ago, when former commissioners decided to eliminate the county's Informational Technology department
and contract for five years with a privately owned IT business, owned by one of those former commissioners' campaign
contributors, those executives declared publicly at a county meeting, that a 15-year-old could hack into county computers
and that the county needed their professional IT system in place for security reasons.
Ironically, as per the confidential sources, the alleged hacking occurred in 2016, or after the IT management contract with
the professionals started running and monitoring the county computer systems. (7 Sept 16)
Were county offices entered? Computers hacked? Lunch money swiped?
Eighteen days ago, Fayette County Commissioners were asked to clarify whether the locking of the rear access door to their
offices resulted because county offices were entered without permission, whether computers were hacked, or if the decision to
block that access door was made for any specific reason, other than a general concern for safety.
No commissioner has answered even one of those questions. How odd that seems, given that two commissioners rather
quickly replied when they were asked if the chief clerk asked them if they had any written communications to include in a Right
To Know answer, or if they were aware that a county solicitor was handling the RTK for the chief clerk/county RTK officer.
The Right To Know request to obtain any written communications among county commissioners (part 1) concerning the
decision to lock that access door and any written communications between them and the chief county clerk (part 2) was
denied. Then appealed.
As previously stated here, nobody was holding her breath to get meltdown email copy of surreal interaction -- i.e., you know,
as that was easily imagined, considering that the clerk and her lawyer took her civil case against the county in such dramatic
fashion to the media, stating incorrectly in the suit that the back entrance to the county offices was locked just to tick off the
clerk at the direction of one specific commissioner.
Any emails to or from the clerk would have likely made for surreal reading, though, again, nobody here seriously expects to get
employee and boss meltdown emails, when what the clerk and her lawyer said in the paper, the locking of the door somehow
was involved in or was linked to some vague disciplinary action.
If the door were locked entirely for non-specific but general security reasons, don't you think there would be at least one
written communication among the three commissioners or email from the commission chairman to the other 2 saying he wanted
the door to be locked? Don't you think there should have been at least one simple email to satisfy the RTK answer before the
email or written communications involved anyone but commissioners or an implied meltdown or disciplinary action?
That not one commissioner replied to put an end to speculation that offices might have been entered improperly, that
computers may have been hacked, or that someone's lunch money may have been swiped seemed odd 18 days ago. Still
does. (6 Sept 16).
Office of Open Records sends an email about denied RTK
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE. but a mention that an attorney for the state's Office of Open Records was in touch today over a
denied Right To Know request.
RAVES for it, too, because no other contact was made since the 11 Aug 16 RTK request was denied and appealed 15 days
ago, to obtain copies of written correspondences between county commissioners and the chief clerk in regard to the locking of
the infamous back entry to the commissioners' offices.
Readers here know that the chief county clerk never asked county commissioners if they had written information for the RTK
answer and took the matter directly to Solicitor Sheryl Heid who informed commissioners by snail mail that the RTK was
denied. Heid denied the RTK and the denial was appealed on 22 Aug 16.
The attorney for the state's Office of Open Records today asks that any applicable information be forwarded to her by 14 Sept
16. (6 Sept 16)
Fay jail warden knows his limitations
RAVES to the warden of the Fayette County Prison for saying again that he is hesitant to implement a work program in the
community for incarcerated inmates. No, seriously, please stay with us here. These RAVES are genuinely deserved.
Though work programs are said to decrease inmate recidivism rates, build self-esteem and inmate morale, RAVES to the
warden for having legitimate concerns that supervised inmates leaving the jail under supervision to work during periods of
continuous supervision will smuggle contraband -- more specifically, fatal doses of heroin -- back into the jail.
At one point in the past, it was said that an inmate work program should be on hold until a sally port and new industrial jail
were built. No exact reason for that reasoning was ever given, however, leading us to imagine that the cheerleaders for a new
industrial prison surely planned on a sally port being an ideal spot for strip searches or pat downs for contraband upon
returning from closely supervised work outings.
That all said, RAVES of the most sincere kind to the warden for knowing his true limitations as a leader in the area of
contraband. Some six months ago, even with 10 or so extra full-time staff than he had the previous year, the warden appeared
in the local paper with pictured confiscated contraband galore that inmates, somehow, while fully supervised by jail staff, got
smuggled into the jail or had ample free time, during full supervision, to craft contraband tools or handmade weapons
undetected until a sweep of the cells was made.
RAVES to the warden for sensing that it's too much of a task for him to take on, to coordinate supervised work groups to go
into the community with staff, who will adequately and effectively supervise inmates working, so that nobody brings back fatal
heroin into the jail.
RANTS to any prison board who allows the insufficient, incapable incompetents to rule. (31 Aug 16)
More on the flooding
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a link to a very short video that explains just how all of the nearby homes, vehicles, roads and
bridges were destroyed in Sunday night's sudden storm. Filmed by this county's EMS chief, the video in this blue link is the first
we've seen here showing the actual flooding as it happened a few steps away here in Bullskin.
While Connellsville's Dutch Hollow section of town and Bullskin Township's Breakneck area start to clean up and rebuild,
many emails have come in here from outlying areas and regions, from those in shock, wondering how in the world this kind of
destruction that they see on Pittsburgh television stations or in news wire stories, happened so quickly. Here's how and why.
Please note the street sign in the video on the corner of Breakneck Road and Johnson Lane and the chilling sound of the
raging and racing water that ordinarily is a mere quiet, lovely, little stream where our kids fish or wade on a hot, summer day.
But, no, not Sunday night.
Please donate money or your time to help families who have lost everything. Please don't also forget to thank the emergency
rescue workers and volunteer firemen from Bullskin and Connellsville when you get a chance. So many of those whose homes
were destroyed simply cannot believe the kindness of strangers who showed up to help them clean up the mess or opened
their homes to those who suddenly had lost theirs. Please see the link on the right to learn how to help our neighbors who
need help now.
RAVES that nobody was seriously injured or killed Sunday night and that in the aftermath, a community has joined together to
help those affected. May that never change. (31 Aug 16)
Highlands Hospital: named new COE to treat opioid addictions
RAVES to Connellsville's Highlands Hospital for just being named by the governor as one of 25 new Centers Of Excellence in
the commonwealth to treat opioid addictions. Highlands Hospital and the other 24 newly named facilities join 20 other facilities
outside Fayette County previously announced months ago to treat opioid addictions. Some 120 hospitals across the state
applied to receive funding for the initial 20 facilities to receive state funds last year.
Highlands Hospital, along with 4 COEs in Allegheny County, 1 in Westmoreland County, 1 previously named in Washington
County, and the other 38 state-wide facilities, will receive a total of $25.4 million dollars in program funding over three years to
coordinate comprehensive treatment plans for those in need.
Some of the other regional COE centers include Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh
Physicians Medical Center.
RAVES and more RAVES to Highlands Hospital for continuing to offer new programs to meet the needs of a community, and,
more importantly, for having such a good, strong reputation in the state's eyes for providing quality care to have been selected
to operate a new COE program, over 100 others that were not. (30 Aug 16)
Highlands: From the state's perspective
$55 million didn't cover better french drains, garage doors?
RANTS that a $55 million Crabtree-Rohrbaugh design for the addition and renovation project at Connellville High School four
years ago did not include a much better storm water drainage plan, as six feet of rain water crumbled the basement garage
doors and filled the school's basement two days ago.
With $12 million in state reimbursements, the high school construction project cost the district $48,032,898 to fund, and now,
following Sunday's flooding, will cost the district additional amounts yet to be determined.
Stored in the basement of the high school were a brand new $20,000 lawn mowing machine, janitorial equipment and supplies,
furniture, computers, and other educational supplies.
Other school district buildings sustained only minor damages in comparison. The district's vocational training school,
elementary and junior high schools are located on the same campus with the high school building.
RANTS that the high school flooding and damages are so extensive, given that $55 million dollars was spent just four years
ago on improvements and expansion with the Crabtree-Rohrbaugh design. (30 Aug 16)
Fay's emergency workers to the rescue
RAVES to the every single member of the Fayette Emergency Management Agency and all the volunteer rescuers still out
there working into the wee hours, as an intense storm with 5-6 inches of rain pounded Bullskin Township and Connellsville
RANTS to watching helplessly and ever so fearfully, as neighbors' parked cars simply floated away in intense flash flooding in
areas that never flooded before. RANTS that a mobile home a football field away is no longer on its foundation after floating
away and onto a roadway and that water rescue was needed in some areas so nearby for families inside their homes and
drivers and passengers in submerged vehicles.
RAVES to the land and water emergency workers tonight, as they demonstrated in awesome form that they are prepared for
the worst and then some. (28 Aug 16)
Methadone at Laurel Mall?
Fay Penn: talking about Methadone out of both sides of its mouth?
Today's testimony heard before the county's Zoning Hearing Board included an attorney representing Fay Penn Economical
Development Council and Fay Penn's executive director himself, opposed to the proposed methadone clinic at the former
Prologic site, as shown pictured on the right, in Fay Penn's Industrial Park next to Penn State Fayette Campus, the state police
barracks and Fay Penn's own headquarter office building.
To date, the gents told the Zoning Hearing Board that $7.3 million has been invested in the largely undeveloped industrial park
which, in their opinion, would suffer if the clinic is given zoning approval and opens. Zoning approval was sought by a newbie
company in the Methadone field, Fayette Treatment Center, to operate in the former Prologic building.
Fay Penn, however, came prepared with a long list of alternate sites, not only for the Fayette Treatment Center, but for Polaris,
a different Methadone provider, which filed and withdrew its request to obtain zoning approval across the street on Rt. 119
from the new Speedway gas station.
Ironically, one of the buildings on the Fay Penn list for a Methadone Clinic is the Laurel Mall building, which borders Fay
Penn's neighboring Dunbar Industrial Park by the county fairgrounds. Last month, local dignitaries gathered to celebrate
completion of the first of three development phases for that park.
Next door to Laurel Mall, Fay-Penn invested $3.5 million toward Phase I, while the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital
Program provided a $1 million grant and the federal Appalachian Regional Commission provided some $300,000 in grant
funding for the 11 industrial park pads ready for businesses to buy and set up shop.
The Zoning Hearing Board is to make a ruling in 45 days.
RANTS because it seems patients would benefit more from a Methadone clinic in close proximity to the cluster of social
services providers on or nearby Rt. 40 in Uniontown -- i.e., community mental health, drug and alcohol program, Career Link
and the county transportation transfer center. (24 Aug 16)
"Quotes Of The Day" on how some can screw up a simple two-car funeral
"As a follow up to your (Aug 18) email and my (Aug 19) response, please be informed that yesterday, Aug 23rd, I received a
letter dated Aug 17th from assistant county solicitor (Sheryl) Heid. Her letter enclosed a copy of your RTK request along with
a copy of her letter to you dated Aug 17th.
I send this to you now because my Aug 19th email to you said that I had not seen your RTK request. Atty Heid has since
forwarded it to me for my receipt on Aug 23. Thanks."
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, today, in email sent here concerning the recent RTK which the chief county clerk did
not bring to the commissioners' attention as per protocol before taking it to the assistant county solicitor. The RTK
appeal was filed yesterday with the state, as a result of it being denied and not at least partially answered.
Please scroll down to 18 Aug "Why didn't chief clerk seek emails, info for RTK answer?" and to 20 Aug to read "Did Heid
spill the beans" for more previously published information. (23 Aug 16)
"Other quotes on how some can screw up even a one-car funeral"
"It was wrong to vote on the solicitor matter before allowing Public Comment. Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with Lohr, Heid
and Vicites on this one. First, the agenda item was voted on as it was Tabled. When Lohr wanted to introduce a New Item (and
it was new as it was to hire at a different rate) he should have made a Motion to Amend the Agenda and Vicites should have
asked for Public Comment on the new item. Then it should have been a vote. Heid is incorrect when she said it was okay to do
it because the meeting had not adjourned. This can be confirmed with PA public meeting attorney.
Lohr was incorrect when he said Heid could not handle the zoning issue because she is the attorney for the planning office.
Heid cannot handle the zoning issue because she has a conflict of interest as she represented one of the parties. This is not
It is incorrect that the planning commission and or the planning office is involved in the reported zoning issue. It was very
clearly stated at the meeting by the citizen, by the attorney and by the zoning office director that this was a Zoning Hearing
Board matter in which they held a hearing & made a ruling. The ZHB is a quasi judicial board and commissioners are to stay
out of it. The zoning director confirmed at this meeting that former commissioners Zapotosky and Ambrosini interfered directing
staff to disregard the ZHB Resolution."
Zimmerlink, in an online comment to heraldstandard.com's story today, "Purcell to replace Cupp as Fayette County chief
solicitor" (23 Aug 16)
Fayette City man, but not woman, charged with child porn
RANTS to twisted adults who use children for sexual gratification. RANTS to the Fayette City woman who paid for sex with a
man by giving him many pictures of her young child sleeping, including one bottomless photo of the child with her pants down.
RANTS, too, to the seemingly twisted authorities who are not charging the woman for sending the man the photos through her
Facebook account as payment for having sex with her. RANTS that any horny mother could do something so despicable to
her child and not be charged as well. (22 Aug 16)
Jail roof repair contracts awarded
RAVES as contractors submitted properly filed bids this time around and bids finally were able to be awarded today for badly
needed roof repairs at the county jail. Can a blogger declare a county holiday that this milestone development has become a
In addition to repairing the jail roof, the roof repair project will also cover part of the courthouse area as well. Once the jail roof
is repaired or replaced, interior jail areas damaged from roof leaks will be addressed. RANTS that the previous commission
majority allowed county property to deteriorate to such levels. (22 Aug 16)
Jail union files DOJ civil rights case... now?
RANTS that the local union representing county jail staff fail to have a clear understanding of what little work that the former
county jail ad hoc committee and former majority commissioners actually accomplished in over two years of planning, as the
union filed a formal complaint of civil rights violations with the U.S. Department of Justice on poor conditions at the jail.
In today's heraldstandard.com piece, "UMWA files complaint with DOJ over Fayette prison conditions," union reps, ironically,
praise the work of the former commissioners and work committee, when in reality, as various Right To Know answers proved,
very little was accomplished -- i.e., except for paying for a drawing of an industrial jail complex that ended up costing a few
million dollars. Planning for a new jail complex in Dunbar Township came to a halt after the former commissioners Al Ambrosini
and Vince Zapotosky accused one another of bid rigging, as readers here well know.
Equally ironic, the filing of the civil rights case with the DOJ comes on the heels of the current board of county commissioners
poised to open bids and award contracts for roof repairs and to acquire the former Army Reserve building near Uniontown
Hospital on Rt. 21 for a jail. It's almost as though the union isn't listening and feels that an all-new jail could be built magically
The only thing sensible for the union to do at this time is to insist that county jail staff do their work, report problems promptly,
insist, for instance, that leaking sinks and pipes are not allowed to leak onto floors for weeks before they're repaired and
demand the firing of any employee who prevents repairs from being made. The can really isn't being kicked down the road and
union reps should really know that.
If that's not good enough, then perhaps the county commissioners can improve the civil rights of most of the inmates by laying
off most of the staff, closing parts of the building and sending to other jails all of the inmates already through the courts.
Given that daily costs to house inmates outside of Fayette is relatively comparable to the cost that jail administrative staff has
quoted it costs to maintain inmates in the Fayette County Prison, that might be the wisest alternative until the building on Rt. 21
is ready, if civil rights are being violated. (21 Aug 16)
Al needs another road trip to Franklin
Is it stupidity or bid rigging?
Audacious Al's geo-technical wasteland survey RTK: Part I
In Killinger's Own Words
An all-new jail won't fix these problems
Audacious Al: Take 3
Ode Keefe: The many different meanings of the word troubling
RTK Prison Operational Costs 2012
County delay of womens' jail: most of $1M in rentals didn't need to be...
Audacious Al: Take 2
County Prison: One Less Thing For Lally To Worry About
Did Heid spill the beans with RTK denial? Or was she just wrong?
RANTS because it appears that by saying so little, Sheryl R. Heid, county assistant solicitor, may have said way too much,
when she responded in a written Right To Know answer, dated August 17, postmarked August 18 and received today.
Either that, or she was just plain wrong.
Did Heid respond inappropriately and negligently to this column's Right To Know request 10 days ago to obtain emails, memos
or other written communications back and forth among county commissioners, leading to the decision three months ago to lock
a back access door to the county officials' offices? Doesn't the public have a right to know what motivated Commissioner Vince
Vicites to initiate wanting the door to be locked and the other two commissioners agree with him? Didn't the chief clerk who
serves as the county's Right To Know officer and Heid err with this RTK request that asked for communications among
commissioners and communications among them and the clerk?
Heid writes in the RTK denial of information that "the documents you requested are exempt as information relating to a
personnel disciplinary action and criticisms of an employee (exceptions 9f and hj)."
By providing that piece of information about the personnel disciplinary action and not releasing any communications between
two or among three commissioners as the RTK requested, Heid -- possibly very wrongly -- paints the picture that discussion to
lock the back access door involved the clerk from the start. Did it, really? That contradicts what commissioners said publicly.
Heid's RTK answer -- again, possibly but, more so, probably very wrongly -- failed to provide any communication that the
commissioners may have had first that had nothing at all to do with the clerk. This assumption that Heid and the clerk both
missed the boat on this two-part RTK request is based on the fact that commissioners later said the access door was locked
for security reasons.
What the public to date knows for certain is the information shared at the last county meeting and what the clerk's lawyer
released to the media last week when her lawsuit was filed. Commission Chairman Vince Vicites said publicly that he initiated
locking the access door for general security reasons. His statement followed the news release that the clerk had filed a lawsuit
against the county and Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink. In it, the clerk wrongly accused Zimmerlink specifically of initiating
locking her out of the access way because she felt the commissioner just doesn't like her.
Ten days ago, heraldstandard.com wrote, ""Revak received an official disciplinary warning from the commissioners office,
stating she wasn’t following directives and was being argumentative and defiant. Zimmerlink, Vicites and Commissioner Dave
Lohr each signed the warning."
Heid's RTK answer received today -- again possibly, but more so, probably very wrongly -- paints the picture that the door was
locked after the warning was written or that all communications had to have involved the clerk.
After the RTK request was made, two commissioners sent word here that neither had been asked to submit any documents to
satisfy the RTK answer. Vicites said on Thursday night that he had not received any such request from Revak to forward any
inner office communications. Yesterday, Zimmerlink sent a similar comment, that Revak did not ask her to forward any
information to fulfill the RTK answer.
Additionally, Zimmerlink said that she had not seen the RTK request.
"When a RTK request is filed requesting documents which may in the possession of the commissioners, the RTK officer scans
and forwards the RTK request to the commissioners and in the body of the email asks for a reply and gives a timeframe,"
Instead, Revak went directly to Heid with the two-part RTK request and then both completely ignored the first-part of it.
Legal opinion sought here yesterday and today unanimously agreed that a partial RTK answer should have been provided by
RTK officer Revak -- i.e., to provide any and all communications by county officials that discussed locking the back access
door to their offices. Legal opinion sought here is that both Revak and Heid erred and that an appeal to the state should be
filed. Didn't Heid fail her legal responsibility by not redirecting Revak to do her job and provide a partial RTK answer?
Since the commissioners said publicly that Vicites decided and the other two commissioners agreed that the back access door
should be locked for security reasons, a RTK appeal will be made to obtain any communications to support their statement.
While it certainly would be interesting to read all of the inner-office communications in this matter, given that the clerk was in a
tizzy enough about being locked out of the alternative entrance to the officials' offices to include it in her lawsuit, nobody here
really expected to receive all communications. (20 Aug 16)
Alfred&Vincent's shameful abuse of power&influence
RAVES to getting documents without having to pull Right To Know teeth to get them. To follow, at this link, are:
- An October 30, 2015 letter from former Chief of Zoning David A. Bukovan to Joseph Cellurale, Jr., directing him to halt all
activities in accordance with the decision of the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board rendered on October 28, 2015, which
approved the appeal of Mr. and Mrs. Kriss to reverse the decision of the Chief of Zoning for the use permit for a lawn care/turf
business. Bukovan, in his letter, directs Cellurale to halt all activities and to file an appeal within 30 days if so desired.
- Copy of the county's Zoning Hearing Board decision, dated November 25, 2015, to revoke Bukovan's issued zoning certificate
for the lawn care/turf business
- A letter dated July 7, 2016, from the attorney representing the Mr. and Mrs. Kriss to Sara Rosiek, director of Fayette County
Office of Planning, Zoning and Community Development, advising Rosiek that the business in question continues to operate in
spite of the county Zoning Hearing Board's decision nine months earlier and that Cellurale filed no appeal. The Kriss' attorney
questioned Rosiek why the county took no action to enforce its Zoning Ordinance. Diane Kriss today confirmed that Rosiek
never replied or responded to the attorney's letter, prompting the attorney to appear at yesterday's county meeting, where
Rosiek dropped a bombshell by stating publicly that former county commissioners Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky
intervened and stopped Bukovan from taking action to enforce the Zoning Hearing Board's decision to revoke an earlier zoning
certificate for the lawn care/turf business to operate. (19 Aug 16)
Why nothing in the newspaper to correct the cheap trashing?
RANTS that the local paper failed to publish the news that the civil lawsuit of the chief county clerk incorrectly targets one
commissioner for doing something that she did not do. Of course, this reference is to yesterday's acknowledgement from the
county commish chair, during this month's regular business meeting, that he ordered a rear access door to the officials' offices
Why didn't the paper report that he -- and not a commissioner wrongly being sued for doing so -- initiated locking the infamous
back entry door that pissed off the chief county clerk enough to sue over it?
RANTS that the truth was not published there. Period. And RANTS, too, that the commish chair waited this long to correct the
cheap trashing. (19 Aug 16)
Were county offices entered? Computers hacked? Lunch money swiped?
County commissioners are asked today to clarify whether the locking of the rear access door to their offices resulted because
county offices were entered without permission, whether computers were hacked, or if the decision to block that access door
was made for any specific reason, other than a general concern for safety. More to follow. (19 Aug 15)
Why didn't chief clerk seek emails, info for RTK answer?
While the snail mail RTK reply from a county solicitor has not made its way here yet, the question begs to be answered why
did Fayette County Chief Clerk/RTK Officer Amy Revak -- or the county solicitor for all that matter as well -- not seek written
information from county commissioners to fulfill a simple RTK answer?
Although County Commissioners Vince Vicites and Dave Lohr yesterday said publicly that Vicites initiated having a back
access way to the county offices locked -- which, partially, answered the RTK question -- Vicites, in email received here last
night said, 'I have not heard from the Chief Clerk on this issue at this point in time.'
Commissioners were asked yesterday whether they were ever asked to turn over information for the RTK answer on their
earlier correspondences discussing whether the rear entry door should be locked. As previously stated here, the public has a
right to know at least what was discussed prior to the point where the chief clerk, as per her lawsuit filed last week against the
county and Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, wrongly stated that Zimmerlink initiated the locking of the door just because she
supposedly dislikes Revak.
As previously stated here, we weren't asking to receive emails to and from the clerk and her bosses over the locking of the
door that her lawsuit hints resulted in disciplinary action against her. The public has a right to know if commissioners felt
unsafe with the access door unlocked, whether offices were entered without permission and whether county computers were
hacked -- i.e., especially since the county last year dissolved its Information Technology Department and contracted a private
firm at two former commissioners' direction to protect the security and privacy of the county computers.
In other words, we have a right to know what happened or what might have been said in emails and correspondences to have
initiated the locking of the rear door before the chief clerk overreacted in lawsuit about being locked out. (18 Aug 16)
Zoning director says Alfred&Vincent reached, protected Alfred's political
campaign supporter in zoning case
RAVES, on one hand, that Fayette County Planning, Zoning and Development Director Sara Rosiek admitted in today's county
business meeting that former commissioners Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky, reportedly, stopped her office from issuing or
sending a cease and desist letter to his political campaign contributors in a zoning matter.
RANTS, however, that Rosiek took her good old time in doing so. She admitted publicly today that she complied last year with
Ambrosini's unlawful reach to intervene in a matter to benefit his friends and stop the department director from enforcing county
zoning codes. Ambrosini and former county commissioner Vince Zapotosky last year reversed disciplinary action and a
suspension from Rosiek's record in an unrelated matter against her, although Zapotosky previously agreed to the suspension.
RANTS because the unlawful reach of Ambrosini into the zoning matter that was none of his business and today's long
overdue public statement from the department director now possibly can put the county smack into a zoning lawsuit. More on
this later. (18 Aug 16)
Vicites, Lohr confirm Zimmerlink did not initiate locking that infamous
back entry door to commissioners' offices
RANTS! We have all been pitifully misled or intentionally lied to, readers!
RANTS that Fayette County Chief County Clerk Amy Revak seems to have misled or lied to her civil suit attorney, the public
and federal courts, by falsely stating in her lawsuit against the county and Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink that Zimmerlink
had that infamous back entry to the commissioners' offices locked to retaliate against her.
As per heraldstandard.com eight days ago, in "Fayette's chief clerk files suit against Zimmerlink, county," the clerk "believes
the reason for limiting her access to the passageway was motivated by Zimmerlink’s personal animosity for Revak."
At today's county meeting, however, County Chairman Vince Vicites and Commissioner Dave Lohr publicly stated that Vicites
initiated the locking of the rear access way for security reasons. Not Zimmerlink. No kidding!
RANTS that the clerk either intentionally lied or may truly believe an unreal reality. This is quite a serious matter, no?
Clerk Revak seeks compensation for general damages and legal fees in an amount to be determined by jury trial. No kidding!
(18 Aug 16)
Who raised the Potty Mouth reader?
RANTS when it could have been a RAVE! This piece is addressed specifically to a reader whose internet is provided by
atlantic broadband and comes through on IP# 126.96.36.199.
While this column appreciates the frequent checks ins here and was originally planning a live chat to thank the person on the
next check in for beating a path here sooooooo many times today to read (7:57 AM, 8:58 AM, 10:56 AM, 12:50 PM and 4:51
PM), we can't help but be equally disappointed that such a frequent reader here would have such a crude potty mouth on
Who raised such a miserably foul person?
For those slandered on that website today by this anonymous person, please feel free to pass along to authorities that the
person behind that IP on atlantic broadband checks in here and left digital footprints on a system using Windows 10, Apple
Web kit, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. (For investigators, web info is 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64)
AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/46.0.2486.0 Safari/537.36 Edge/13.10586). (18 Aug 16)
Will Lohr vote to can Cupp?
Tomorrow, at Thursday's county commissioner meeting, the motions to can Chief Solicitor John Cupp and hire a replacement
at the same salary, are reserved as the final voting matter that the three commissioners will address, as per the agenda online.
At last week's agenda planning meeting, Chairman Vince Vicites, of course, surprised both fellow commissioners by placing the
motion on this week's business meeting agenda. His notion to replace Cupp, he said, seemed to come to him in recent times
and went against earlier plans, instead, to restructure the department. Some circles indicate that Vicites will vote to appoint a
lawyer who handled his recent Protection From Abuse order against his wife incarcerated for shooting him.
How will Commissioner Dave Lohr vote tomorrow on the Cupp issue? Commissioners previously interviewed umpteen lawyers
and discussed possibly making the position a more cost-effective and contracted position. Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink
did not vote to advance Vicites' motions to tomorrow's agenda because restructuring was what she hoped would happen.
So how will Lohr vote? Will he provide Vicites' needed second vote?
Lets hope that Lohr votes the way he truly wants to vote and does not simply just side with Vicites out of fear of never getting a
second vote from the chair on any future vote for something that Lohr may favor.
As of now, that possibility seems too impossible to ignore. (17 Aug 16)
Said to be in the tens of thousands of dollars
Airport: needs 30 days to get legal opinion on settled lawsuits
In today's snail mail bag was a correspondence dated 3 days ago, from Connellsville Airport Manager/Right-To-Know Officer
John R. Neckerauer, saying that this column's RTK request on 10 Aug 16 was received. However, the Airport Authority needs
an additional 30 days to seek legal opinion on whether or not the information requested should be released.
"A decision regarding those issues will be made within thirty (30) days from the date of this letter," Neckeraeur wrote.
As readers here know, nobody's fishing for specific or named former employee settlements, but, rather, the combined dollar
amounts paid to employees and former employees from 2010 through this current time, due to claims of hostile work
environment and any type of unfair labor practices. If no settlements were made, one would think that today's RTK answer
would have stated so, no?
Legal opinion obtained here prior to making the RTK request seems to support the public's right to know how much money
across the board has been paid to airport employees and former employees in court settlements or in out of court settlements
to avoid court decisions. A RTK appeal is being filed. (17 Aug 16)
Oh, and speaking of Right To Know answers...
An email was received today from Fayette County Chief Clerk Amy Revak, stating that a letter will be sent from the county
solicitor postmarked by tomorrow, answering that RTK inquiry to obtain correspondence among the three commissioners and
staff, about the infamous locking of that rear private entrance way to the three commissioners' offices.
Legal opinion sought here prior to making the RTK request supported the public's right to know what was said among county
leaders -- i.e., their concerns about keeping the door unlocked -- to necessitate locking it.
While it is understandable if correspondences were redacted to and from the clerk, who fussed about the locking of the door in
a recently filed civil lawsuit against the county and one commissioner, the public has a right to know why the door was locked
in the first place and who initiated that call. Did one, two or three commissioners feel unsafe with it unlocked? Were offices
entered without permission? Were computers hacked? Was the door locked for a good reason, in other words? (17 Aug 16)
"Quote Of The Day" on heckling the t.v. news
"Have you ever seen two drunks in a room who have the same story to tell the next day?"
Pete, earlier at the diner, talking in disgust to the news reporter in a tizzy that stories changed again, as though the
television reporter could actually hear him, during her report of today's preliminary hearing for the wife of a county
commissioner charged with shooting her spouse one month ago
Real divine intervention
RAVES of hope and prayers today -- come on, even you negative, hard asses out there who never have a single positive thing
to say -- that an area child and his family receive good news that they're praying for tonight. It is a parent's worst nightmare, to
see a child healthy one minute and diagnosed with cancer the next.
RAVES of hope tonight that what started out earlier today as a routine trip to the doctor for a sports injury and ended up
becoming a need for emergency surgery tonight, to remove a malignant tumor, is all the hell that the child and his family has to
RAVES of hope and prayers as they wait, thanking God with all their hearts for the sports injury that hopefully saved his life.
(16 Aug 16)
"Quotes Of The Day" on taxpayer funded industrial park land sold to privately owned methadone clinic
"Can you even believe or imagine that there would be 2 requests for Methadone clinics 1 week apart and right across the
street from each other? My biggest bitch is a methadone clinic being placed in an industrial park that was completely
constructed with taxpayer dollars to attract manufacturing and technology businesses. This ill conceived idea has to be
ranked right up there with Al Ambrosini and Fay Penn's industrial prison complex (shelved 2014 county prison project) located
in the Dunbar Industrial Park... It seems like this Pro Logic property is a repeat story. Fay Penn, our big economic
redevelopment expert, once again sells another property with total disregard to the community and only for the monetary
benefit of themselves.
"What the hell can they be thinking! What other defense or high tech company would ever buy a piece of property from Fay
Penn to place their business next to a methadone clinic!"
Reader mail sent in today, exclaiming and not asking questions, reacting to the zoning hearings scheduled Wednesday, Aug 17, for the
property as seen in the photo on the right, located in the Fay Penn Industrial Park behind the new Speedway gas station and state police
barracks, on Rt. 119, a short distance from Penn State Fayette. The zoning hearing for the second proposed methadone clinic across the
119 highway is scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 24. The 119 corridor into Connellsville hosts an additional methadone clinic a few miles
away, near Walmart, as well.
Highlands Hospital teams with Walter Reed for breast cancer research
RAVES to Highlands Hospital for being selected to participate in a military breast cancer research study, in collaboration with
the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center of Maryland. RAVES, also, to area breast cancer patients willing to donate
blood samples and assist researchers with what, hopefully, will become the valuable missing pieces of the puzzle to cure
The unique study "was started to research and create next generation immunotherapy for cancer," as per today's
heraldstandard.com piece, "Connellsville hospital to be Involved in National Cancer Study."
RAVES of hope that the collaboration between the hospital and its patients and the military study will help find a cure to the
deadly disease that is the second highest cause of death in women and 2,190 men annually. (15 Aug 16)
Lead misleading enough?
Not RAVES, but waves of confusion reading today's heraldstandard.com piece, "Vicites returns to duties, seeks to replace
solicitor," over this morning's cup of tea on the patio. As per the lead paragraph, "Longtime Fayette County chief solicitor John
Cupp will be replaced before the end of the month and a replacement hired, following action taken by commissioners
However, reading the brief article, it is written that the Commish Chair Vince Vicites, surprised his fellow commissioners with
the newly added agenda item of replacing the solicitor, when they, instead, had previously agreed to restructure the county
Today's article also clearly states that Commissioner Dave Lohr agreed to advance Vicites' motion to the next regular meeting
but gave no indication whether he would support Vicites' motion next week. Today's article clearly states that Commissioner
Angela Zimmerlink objected to adding the motion and a second motion -- to pay a new solicitor Cupp's same wage -- because
the motions signified department replacements, but not the reorganization, per se, that could reduce department expenses.
That all said, was there really enough said at yesterday's meeting, then, to write and publish the lead sentence, which matter
of factly stated that Cupp will be -- i.e., as opposed to might be or might not be -- replaced next week? No. (12 Aug 16)
RTK about the infamous locking of the commissioners' private access door
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE. but a note to note that a Right To Know request is sent to the courthouse today to obtain all
emails, memos or written correspondences among the 3 county commissioners and those to and from the chief county clerk,
concerning that touchy subject of the locking of the back access way to the county commissioners' offices.
Given that the touchy subject was explosively charged enough to be put into the chief clerk's civil lawsuit and given that the
county historically seems to rather settle than depose and litigate, lets hope some truth surfaces somehow.
More, hopefully, to follow. (11 Aug 16)
Just how hostile is that work environment?
Right To Know sent for airport information
Today -- and with sincere apologies that the request was not made 3 days ago as some authority members were informed it
would be -- a Right To Know request was made to learn how much, if any, was paid in settlement to former employees of the
Connellsville - Hardy Airport, concerning accusations of unfair labor practices or hostile work environment practices, from the
last 6 years.
Did those settlements actually happen, or are tales of settlements in the tens of thousands of dollars only rumor?
This request was made today to learn the truth or silence rumors of settlements made. Thanks to readers for relaying
information which the RTK should either nip in the bud or address honestly. Just how hostile really is that work environment?
Fact or rumor? (10 Aug 16)
Clerk sues Zimmerlink, county
RANTS to waking up and reading a banner headline story in the local paper that another county lawsuit is underway. This
time, it's the chief county clerk suing and nothing about it is pretty.
RAVES, however, that only one commissioner is being sued, when 3 others, both past and current boards of commissioners,
also signed off on employee reprimand paperwork. RANTS, sure, if you're the one lone commissioner being named and
defamed in the lawsuit, but RAVES that somehow only one is being sued, when 3 others also agreed to the reprimands.
While nobody here is exactly sure what the clerk's attorney refers to when he writes that the clerk was not employed yet when
she innocently was blamed for not running a public notice for the defunct prison work group meetings, for a well-known fact it
is widely known in Fay that a public notice never ran in the papers after a 3-0 unanimous vote in October of 2013 to advertise
the meetings to meet terms of the Sunshine Law.
This column recalls that happy day as though it were just yesterday. There was a glimmer of what ended up being only short-
lived hope that the former administration would somehow work collectively together. It was an almost joyous occasion, possibly
the first instance where this column asked if a blogger can declare a county holiday. It was truly disappointing when the public
notice for the advertisement of the meetings never was published in the papers.
RANTS that politics can be so dirty sometimes. This latest suit clearly demonstrates just how nasty and dirty things can get.
(10 Aug 16)
Audacious Al: Take 2
October 15, 2013 County Commissioner meeting minutes
Seriously, does anyone not know?
Who had sex in an election campaign office closet?
RANTS to frivolous lawsuits filed by negligent public servants who cannnot accept responsibility for their own actions and
blame others for defaming them. More on this later, but when someone has sex in a closet of an election campaign
headquarters and nearly everyone in town learns about it, doesn't that person realize that he or she had no character for
someone else to defame? (9 Aug 16)
Country bumpkin "Quote Of The Day" read by 317,439 PG readers
"I'm not going to bring those drugs into the facility...If you were a gambler and you were in the casino every day of the week...
and I locked you in a room and gave you scratch-off tickets, how's that helping?"
Brian Miller, warden of the Fayette County lock up, as quoted in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette article, "Jail officials,
doctors divided on care of opiod-addicted inmates," commenting on his stand not to allow opiod drug treatment to Fay
inmates; Miller, remaining tight-lipped on his assertation in his lawsuit against the county that former county commissioner
Vince Zapotosky and/or the jail's former doctor, Dominic Dileo, arrested last year for running a pill-mill at a Uniontown
methadone clinic, stood to profit, somehow, if Miller allowed methadone treatment to inmates
To compare how Fayette's jail administration handles inmates with addictions compared to other area, county jails, please read
another PG article, "Going cold turkey: Pennsylvania jails' drug withdrawal procedures." As per the article, Fayette's
percentages of inmates entering jail with drug addictions not only rivals but surpasses most other area jails, with a "four out of
five" rate. Note, too, the "N/A" following the listing of Fay's jail drug treatment programs offered.
Can someone, please, do an accurate assessment that sounds less of an off the cuff guess... and, perhaps, even some type
of intervention with the warden, who again last week demonstrated not to see a connection to recidivism or benefit, when he
repeated his opposition to an inmate work program? (8 Aug 16)
No teachers molest kids today in the news
RANTS to hear that a regional area fire chief is charged with sexually ruining the childhoods of young boys in 4 Pennsylvania
counties and parts of West Virginia, over probably what will be a growing number of years.
Good teachers have to stop what they're doing to turn to the tv, alarmed but a bit relieved, that another occupation or role
which kids might admire, respect or trust, instead takes a hit , when this kind of sickening tv news story airs. You just know it.
(5 Aug 16)
DA, Lohr no shows for rescheduled Prison Board meeting
RANTS that another meeting of the Fayette County Prison Board today was again cancelled, due to a lack of a quorum of
Missing his second consecutive meeting today was the county District Attorney Rich Bower. County Commissioner Dave Lohr
arrived at today's meeting fashionably too late -- i.e., after the business meeting was formally cancelled yet again. Commission
Chairman Vince Vicites, of course, either remains hospitalized in West Virginia or recuperating elsewhere, depending on which
account out there is factual.
RANTS, that with Vicites' absence, other members cannot seem to make it a higher priority to attend. It is unknown what kind
of important county business sidetracked the DA this morning instead, as he was seen exiting his Connellsville private law firm
around 11 AM. (5 Aug 16)
Nasal spray day tripping, anyone?
RANTS to the mind boggling extent someone hell-bent on getting high went, as a woman in nearby Irwin proved in this news
video link, when her habit of using nasal decongestant spray led to the corrosion of metal gas pipes and a serious hazmat
situation that sickened two emergency workers.
RANTS that anyone, anywhere, would mix a strong, toxic chemical, commonly used to clean concrete and remove concrete
from construction vehicles, to extract medical components of the nasal spray into a liquid that she added to her sugar-free
drink. (3 Aug 16)
Prison Board meeting cancelled
Tomorrow's meeting of the Fayette County Prison Board is cancelled, as per the county website, due to a lack of a quorum.
The county controller and district attorney are unavailable to attend. (26 Jul 16)
What good ideas might Lilley have?
RANTS that in all of the hoopla controversy that led to Monty "Cash" Lilley's resignation from the county's Airport Authority, he
had no opportunity to share some of the ideas that he, as an aviation expert, may have to improve the place.
So interested in what ideas that the man may have observed about airport operations, its site and future, when so many small
airports around the country are struggling financially, I seek an interview with him to hear what he has to offer in the way of
suggestions to help the airport.
While the county commissioners may not have the ability or desire to try to dissolve the airport authority, as Lilley suggested
they do in his letter of resignation five days ago, he is probably more experienced in aviation and managing aviation operations
than all the local pilots combined. His ideas may eat, but I don't think so. Hopefully, he'll consent to an interview.
Should that interview be granted, of course, he will be asked to clarify whether people got repaid for pension funds missing or
taken from them, the charges that led to his reported incarceration. An airport authority member outed Lilley publicly earlier this
year for those charges when the county solicitor at the courthouse found no criminal history.
A most unfair part of the public trashing of Lilley at public meetings by fellow airport authority members -- and by those they
brought in to harmonize with them -- is that some of them and the media didn't give a rat's behind a few years ago when
another board member in the county spoke openly about his felony conviction. And then, nobody really, really didn't give a
rat's behind when a third man with several brushes with the law graced a few boards with his presence and participation, and
often even had been a guest of other pilots at the sacred county airport private parties and events.
Since the airport authority members and media called for Lilley's resignation, not one of them, ironically, has asked anybody
else to resign from other boards due to criminal pasts. Nobody should ask, either. In that respect, Lilley was singled out unfairly.
The true hypocrisy of the trashing of Lilley is this. Those who pushed the most for an industrial jail as the only way to lower jail
recidivism and the only way to truly rehabilitate inmates into lucrative, honest careers, forgot about the story of a fourth man
and trashed him indirectly when they trashed Lilley. A retirement early on, during the 2013 meetings of that shelved jail ad hoc
work group committee, led to the departure of one at Al Ambrosini's jail table who did a long period of jail time for homicide,
came back into the community through a well known rehabilitation program, worked his way to the top there and then landed in
a county supervisor job.
Those of us who worked with that fourth man accepted him for the wonderful ideas he had to coordinate programs and
respected his work. Nobody at work and nobody in the large community service group that he led thought about his past that
much, except to respect how far he went in life in spite of his past. After so long, nobody gave it a second thought. He has to
be one of those most successful former inmates that this county has. The public trashing of Lilley at meetings and in the media
indirectly b slapped others, such as this hard-working, now retired fourth man, too. (24 Jul 16)
Paper fails readers with untruths
One editorial hand doesn't know what the others are doing?
RANTS to flagrant bias or professional negligence -- or whatever the heck one choses to label it -- in today's Herald Standard
editorial, "Saga ends," about the resignation five days ago of Monty Lilley from the county airport authority. (See editorial to the
It's not as though Lilley did not give reasons for his resignation from that authority five days ago. He most certainly did provide
reasons that packed a wallop among readers here. Reading Lilley's letter here online prompted a few persons with political
connections to relay similar stories of horrible things that happened to them in pathetic attempts to try to scare them off.
It's not as though two reporters from that publication did not receive the letter three days ago, the same day Rants&Raves
published it. It's not as though a third reporter from that publication didn't also ask for the letter, too, as per online comments
made today to the editorial by a county commissioner.
It is, however, as though one hand didn't know what the other was doing over there -- that is, unless one choses to believe that
today's editorial was a deliberate cheap shot taken against one county commissioner and Lilley once again.
RANTS that the mouth dropping message of Lilley's resignation letter, describing the ways he claims that he was personally
threatened or intimidated to resign, was omitted from the editorial there today. Intentional? Perhaps, but we'll just go for now on
the weak premise that one hand didn't know what the other was doing -- i.e., you know, not that the editorial board could not
resist one more b slap to one commissioner (there really were two present on three days ago at a public meeting) and Lilley
RANTS that an editorial would be written on a juvenile assumption that Lilley apparently gave no reasons for his resignation
without actually trying to obtain the letter. Two copies, definitely, were sent to that newsroom. RANTS that an editorial board
would pen an editorial without first checking facts. At least one member of that publication's editorial staff was definitely aware
three days ago that two reporters already had Lilley's letter.
RANTS that the paper provided inaccurate information when forming opinions in commentary because three of its writers failed
to tell the editor that there was text in the letter of resignation that was news worthy information. RANTS because the editorial
board seems so hell-bent only on smearing the names of one commissioner repeatedly and, hopefully, for the last time, the
airport authority member who reportedly resigned due to threats and harassment.
For today, though, we'll just give more credit than probably credit is deserved by saying they all were conveniently negligent
and that no deliberate malice was intended. Problem is, can we see a show of hands for at least one person who truly believes
so? (24 Jul 16)
Latest on the closed methadone clinic doc
AP wire: the first with this Fayette County news?
RAVES to the Associated Press (AP), the New York City-based multinational news agency, owned by its contributing
newspapers, radio and television stations that operate about 250 news bureaus in 120 countries, for providing the only news
today, in " Cardiologist to plead in methadone-related pill mill case," concerning a Fayette County doctor changing his plea to
guilty, to operating a pill mill from the now-closed Uniontown methadone clinic.
Dr. Dominic Dileo returned to federal court in Pittsburgh today, reportedly to enter a guilty plea to 19 counts of distributing
drugs that weren't for a legitimate medical purpose to an unidentified person, 194 counts of supplying Suboxone to the clinic's
director, also charged, on a weekly basis and four counts of giving a different unnamed person Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug.
In a different case, stemming from when Dileo worked as the county jail physician, he was named last year in a civil suit
against the county filed by the jail warden, Brian Miller, who alleged that he feared being replaced with a new warden who
would allow Dileo to prescribe methadone treatment at the jail. Miller opposes treating addicts with Methadone at the jail.
As per Miller's suit, "This arrangement would, in turn, allegedly redound to the pecuniary benefit of Dr. Dileo "and/or" (former
County Commissioner Vincent) Zapotosky.'
Dileo was contracted at the county jail in more recent years after once being sentenced to 10 years in prison for Medicare
fraud, for prescribing pain killers and oxygen supplies from his company to phantom patients to fund his extra-marital affairs.
Five months ago, ABC news asked how Dileo regained his medical license after his conviction in that matter in the 1990s early
and got the gig as the county jail doctor.
Records dating from 2007 through 2010 show that former political officials, former US Senator Arlen Specter, former Fayette
County Commissioner Joe Hardy, and PA Rep Tim Mahoney and former Fayette County Democratic Party Chair Fred Lebder,
lobbied the U.S. Department of Justice for a pardon to reinstate Dileo's medical license.
Meanwhile, ABC news five months ago was unable to locate the answer to its questions.
RANTS that no local news group bothers to ask such basic questions about our local news. RAVES, though, that outsiders do
bother to ask. (22 Jul 16)
Lilley's resignation: due to harassment and threats
RANTS that Monty "Cash" Lilley resigned his seat on the county airport authority due to what he calls "at least two dozen
threats" via telephone and mail and a drive by in the wee hours with persons reportedly screaming to burn down his home.
Lilley's resignation letter, hand delivered to the courthouse two days ago, also states that his daughters in other areas were
threatened and that he received a dead fish in his mailbox recently, as well.
As per Lilley, persons claiming to know county commissioners, reportedly also contacted his aviation clients "filling their heads
with all sorts of untruths and rumors about my operations in other states.
"Of course, they are free to conjure up whatever their small immature minds produce," Lilley said in his letter to commissioners
before suggesting that they dissolve the airport authority and hire a "professional manager" who reports to commissioners. (21
Lilley's letter of resignation from the county airport authority
Lilley resigns from Fay Airport Authority
RANTS that Monty "Cash" Lilley resigned his seat on the county airport authority in a letter two days ago to the county
commissioners. Commissioners have been asked to forward that letter here. A RTK request is sent. More to follow. (21 Jul 16)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"So Deanna resigned from being a delegate at-large at the Democratic National Convention next week and the state party
deputy press secretary said yesterday that she would have been asked to resign if she had not. I am baffled why the Fayette
County party leader not know that she had a felony history. Should she have even been allowed to be an at-large delegate
before 1 AM last Sunday?"
Pete, back from the winter in the tropics, asking questions this evening at the diner, after being caught up to speed on this
past week's horrible shooting
"From now on, we will tie the tail down. We'll do things differently now."
John Buddy Neckeraeur, manager, Connellsville-Joseph Hardy Airport, to heraldtandard.com today, following a wild
incident there today of an unmanned vintage airplane spinning aimlessly in circles across the long tarmack before
smashing into a hanger door; Neckeraeur, explaining also, as per the online story, that while "he has not seen this type of
accident before, the are not uncommon" in vintage planes that require being started by turning the propeller by hand...
RANTS that this incident, which resulted in the 72-year-old pilot being struck and injured by the propeller and the
subsequent jolt received by being knocked by force to the ground, could have been prevented and should have been
prevented from happening in the first place, given that the supposed aeronautic experts flying and leasing there seem to
have been aware of the possibility of it happening.
In other words, the failure to have had in place before today the safe practice policy of tying down the tail before starting
the plane, could potentially result in a law suit or two against the financially struggling airport. (20 Jul 16)
Will Fay warden comply, continue to oppose inmate work program?
RAVES that the county finally seems willing to resume having a county jail inmate work program, as per comments made
yesterday on AM talk radio from Commissioner Dave Lohr. In a nutshell, it's about time!
Readers here know that we here and many out there, including Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, have been yipping and
advocating for the work program to be reinstated for at least 30 documented months and longer.
As per county prison board minutes from January of 2014, the county jail warden opposed resuming the suspended inmate
work program because he felt it brought contraband into the jail. Basically, this piece of rehabilitative efforts all hinged on
having a new jail first in his mind.
RAAAAAAAAAAVES that there seems to be more than just 1 vote this season to push for the inmate work program to be
reinstated. There is no logical reason why the work program should have been shelved years ago. May it be put on the front
burner for this new Prison Board to resume and implement. (20 Jul 16)
Inmates break out to save collapsed jail guard
RAVES that in the day when cops are ambushed and senselessly killed and, more locally, there's not much happy news out
there at present, here's a news story video sent from Texas our way, showing inmates, waiting in a holding cell for court,
breaking out, to help a guard who collapsed. (16 Jul 16)
Prayers for Vince
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a mos serious request to readers to keep County Commissioner Vince Vicites, hospitalized in
critical condition, in our prayers. May he be home and back to work soon and fully recover. (17 Jul 16)
"The Quote Of This 13th Day Of July"
"Fayette County Commissioners said Tuesday they would move forward with a roof replacement project at the Fayette County
Daily Courier, in today's article, "Fayette to hold special meeting: Prison roof replacement project is topic," which
addressed recent bids received for roof work over the hallway between the county courthouse and annex, the older part
of the courthouse and the county prison
Dakota driver losing sleep tonight?
RANTS to the older couple in a gray Dodge Dakota truck for heartlessly tossing an adorable black and white kitten out the
passenger door late afternoon today in Bullskin Township. The super friendly kitten narrowly missed being run over by the
truck's rear wheels, after it ran under the truck and up the sidewalk away from the truck.
RANTS that Fayette has no animal shelter and that none of the animal rescue groups take cats any longer... and most of all,
RANTS that the heartless people in the Dakota probably have no trouble at all sleeping tonight. (13 Jul 16)
Should newly appointed airport authority member Monty "Cash" Lilley miss the next authority meeting, he will miss the third
consecutive meeting and meet criteria to begin to be booted from his authority seat.
As per the Municipal Authority Act, county commissioners can consider the seat vacated up to 60 days after the third missed
RANTS if Lilley allows himself to get booted from the authority that way. When 3 fellow authority members protested Lilley's
placement on the authority because of a long-ago felony charge, commissioners were questioned, too, about the prior
appointments of 2 others with long-ago brushes with the law on county boards or authorities.
Thaaaaaat response, in turn, brought up a third name and the resurgence of public interest in a long-ago missing person's
case, with ties to the county airport manager... and, of course, the manager's subsequent civil lawsuit, out of county, against
anonymous persons, reportedly lying about him on a community Internet message board.
So, the question of the week is, where is Lilley? His ideas could be helpful on how to improve a struggling, small airport
known to misplace tenant rent checks, loses airport receipts from crucial, past improvements projects and have a steep
employee turnover rate. RANTS that only one authority member understood the MAA and did not trash Lilley publicly. (13 Jul
Alfred & Vincent's fuzzy math bites county in the butt again
RANTS that the county has to find funds, somehow, to pay the piper for having fiscally negligent past county commissioners,
with such poor math skills and no respect for the single-most important job that those county leaders had and foolishly shirked.
Readers here are too well familiar with the nightmare 2016 budget that the former administration prepared that left gaping
holes in funding for key county operations and no funds to cover jobs that the madmen created.
As union arbitration rules, heraldstandard.com reports today that the county now must restore 8 full-time jail workers from their
part-time status. The cut was made 5 months ago when the current board of commissioners found a $3.5 million dollar deficit,
a result of the former commissioners inflating projected 2016 property tax revenue, misusing natural gas impact revenue for
non-allowed budget expenses, overestimating dwindling gaming and impact fees and failing to fund $500,000 of jail expenses.
At the time that the newly created but not funded jobs were cut, the county also was unable to say whether the former big
spenders in charge even had left any county reserve funds in that account on which the new board might have been able to
Like unwanted relatives that won't leave, the joke of a 2016 proposed budget that former commissioners Al Ambrosini and
Vince Zapotosky prepared in late 2015 comes to bite the county right in the butt once again.
RAVES, on the other hand, to the 8 jail guards, who will now be restored back to full-time status. Hopefully, this move will also
finally get inmates outside for some fresh air soon. (8 Jul 16)
Veggie stand sign hoopla hits Fay
RANTS to all the hoopla over roadside veggie stand signs on our local roads. Given that we at Christmas and Valentine's Day
saw the same food festival signs still up on the highway from the previous summer and political signs dot the landscape
several months of the year, RANTS that the farmers are targeted now to have just 1 sign at the site of the mobile stands or that
they must re-design veggie and fruit stand signs to resemble political sign format to squeak around the state's laws to
advertise. True, most of us frequent shoppers know where the veggie and fruit stands are, but it's the principle.
Have there been wrecks or accidents because veggie and fruit junkies suddenly swerve, hit the brakes or leave the road
without using a turn signal to get to the stands? Is it really a bigger problem than we think? (6 Jul 16)
RAVES to the life of one John "Duke" Hatfield of Pittsburgh, as news comes in that he left this world, his family and friends
yesterday. Pittsburgh musicians, across the board, lost their biggest fan, as well. Almost always a comedian, he brought many
laughs to everyone in his path. If you were lucky enough, he also sent oodles of music discs for no reason, other than to make
sure you had this or that rare tune or recording or some inspiration to get through holidays or tough times.
A frequent reader of this column, once glued to the edge of his seat waiting to hear if the citizens of Fayette could stop the
Ambrosini-Zapotosky industrial prison from being built and later send bad Fay politicians packing, he sent quite a few
packages with tens of theme discs of songs from his massive music collection in recent years. John was, in fact, the very first
other person out there in the late 1970s, who I met in college, afflicted also with "The Music Sickness."
Sympathies go out to his wife, son and the entire burgh music family, as this loss is a rather big one. (5 Jul 16)
"Quote Of The Day"
"No one has come forward and offered an apology... I did not expect them to."
John Neckerauer, county airport manager, to the heraldstandard.com, after his deadline passed to receive a public apology from a person(s)
who wrote supposedly untrue, nasty things about him (called him a murderer, drug dealer, etc.) on Internet posts; Neckerauer, speaking to the
paper in "No apologies, Neckerauer lawsuit to continue," about his intention to proceed with a lawsuit in Westmoreland County, “ saying he
will pursue learning who made the online comments about him; Neckerauer discussing his case, which, if successful in winning damages
against those responsible, likely will spawn a slew of similar types of suits, from others viciously lied about, bullied, threatened, harassed, or
otherwise, kicked in the teeth, on the community Internet communication board
Cicadas, no more!
RAVES to the Silencing of the Cicadas and the end of those pesky swarms of large, flying insects that almost always seemed
to smash orange on the front of the car hood right after washing it or end up being carried into the house on the back of some
unsuspecting family member or guest upon entering.
RAVES that the loud male and silent female bugs that have devoured plant and tree leaves have run their course for another
13 or 17 years and that peace and quiet in our neck of the sticks behind the woods is restored. May we all still be here when
those nasty bugs make their next appearance, so we can all gripe together about them once more. (30 Jun 16)
Why did Bud lie to police?
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but as the deadline approaches or a grace period winds down for anonymous bloggers to come
forward and 'fess up or be sued by the county airport manager for wrecking his reputation with untrue Internet posts, here's
some expanded commentary asking a gnawing question, "Why did Bud lie to the police?" (29 June 16)
Buddy files a suit
RAVES to the county airport manager for filing a lawsuit against an unknown person or persons, reportedly, lying about him in
blog, on a social media electronic communication site. Fried mercilessly at times, also, on that same blog, for having a fat
behind, full Italian heritage with generations-past, mob family members, and sizzled, re-fried and re-fried falsely for having a
putrid vice or three, I certainly empathize with anyone who says he or she has been lied about online.
In the airport manager's case, too, with the law of averages, I figure, that maybe some of the people blogging about the airport
manager might have also been the same miserable SOBs who have lied in blog about me. Maybe it's the same lowlife SOB
who put a photo of my (then) young son with autism all over Facebook with nasty political messages.
That all said, though, here's what is quite special or remarkable about the manager's case. RAVES that a court trial might shed
light on what the manager means when he says the spread lies and propaganda about him resulted in the "loss of potential
business relationships, profits..." He is not in private business for himself, after all, but is employed as an airport manager,
paid largely by public funds, in a small terminal that is about to get a sweet federal grant, no?
RAVES wondering what in the world he could possibly mean by a loss of "profits." Hopefully, airport authority members might
be wondering the same thing. (23 June 16)
& to think that we used to laugh about a jail on stilts...
RAVES that the county dodged a bullet by running away from the deal in recent years to turn the former unemployment office
on Iowa Street into a temporary jail site for female inmates. While jail developers and planners falsely stated that the Iowa
building had never flooded, former employees of that building began to speak out truthfully and photographs of past flooding
came in here for publication. Thanks to readers for sending in photos of today's flooding in Uniontown. In the photo to the right,
the water had receded a bit by 9 AM, but was as high as the building cornerstone. (17 Jun 16)
Lightning bugs and fireman's fireworks make a kewl backyard movie
RAVES to tonight's return of the lightning bugs in the back yard to officially mark the return of summer. Never mind the
calendar or that the Solstice hasn't yet quite arrived.
The movie playing out in the backyard with the way cool insects was topped only by the 10 PM start of a stunning fireworks
show higher up in the sky. RAVES to the lightning bugs who re-appeared and to the local fireman's group for the excellent sky
show tonight from the patio. (11 Jun 16)
Alfred to entice fired engineer back? Oh, please!
RANTS if the county's Airport Authority follows through with recommendation from the airport manager to enlist the help of a
former county commissioner and a former male airport authority member/former male airport manager to entice aeronautic
engineer wizard firm, Michael Baker Corp., back to the airport hanger expansion project.
Consider that the majority of the airport authority treated a female rep from that most reputable engineering firm
like dirt at a 2014 meeting -- i.e., when she encouraged them to move quickly on the project -- and that the majority later
cancelled the expansion project, broke engineering ties with the prestigious, professional firm, with 7 months left on its contract
and, instead, gave the contract to a political campaign contributor engineer pal of that same just referenced former county
commissioner. The authority broke contract 7 months early with the aeronautic engineering giants in a most tasteless manner
Readers here are familiar with the fact that some airport authority members took to the paper to throw a public fit and claim that
the engineering giant failed to return communication requested about the project and grant. They needed to proceed quickly,
they said in the paper.
Meanwhile, the former aeronautics firm did, indeed, reply to the authority.
In what had to be simple-minded airport negligence of overlooking it, or, simply, intentionally losing the response from the
Pittsburgh-based aeronautic giant to gain a reason to spout off nonsense in the paper, the authority members with their 2 feet
in their mouths, senselessly bashed the firm in the paper and later hired the former county commissioner's political campaign
contributor engineer pal to replace the well-known Pittsburgh aeronautic engineer professionals.
That Baker charged under $17,000 to design the airport hanger expansion project and did not charge the authority for the time
and travel of the firm's staff to attend the authority monthly meetings to provide updates and that the local engineer, who
replaced Baker, charged almost $70,000 for engineering designs and, reportedly, also charged to attend authority meetings, is
all so mind boggling.
RANTS if the authority allows the former county commissioner to be involved. Al Ambrosini's personal integrity is so
compromised. He led a group of political followers to lose all of the early-on airport expansion and grant documents left by a
former female airport manager. He encouraged the authority members to talk crap in the paper, to talk poorly, in misleading the
newspaper's audience reading along, to believe that the aeronautics engineering firm failed to reply when it had.
RANTS, in summary, because the authority lacks the guts to ask the former female airport manager about the mysterious grant
and all documentation, receipts and early hanger expansion information that she left at the airport, but, somehow, was "lost,"
after her departure, while stored at the airport.
Ambrosini's help is the very last thing that the authority needs. (22 May 16)
The most embarrassing Fayette "Quotes Of The Day"
"I can't personally say it is (a nuisance bar). All I can say is that the Liquor Control Enforcement and the district attorney, from
the evidence that they have from over the years, are saying it's a nuisance bar."
Jim Killinger, Dunbar Township American Legion Vice Commander, today to Pittsburgh television news crews, reacting to
word that the DA and state police closed down the Legion, in the DA's words, due to "several instances of harassment,
disorderly conduct, fights involving weapons...shots being fired, sexual activity in the parking lot and shootings
involving injury and homicide...guns (found in neighboring) yards, drug deals occurring in the parking lot."
"We're going to talk to the district attorney and the liquor control people to see if we can get their liquor license back and get
the post reopened with whatever guidelines they choose to give us."
Killinger, going on to the Pittsburgh WTAE television cameras today, saying he was unaware of the extensive police
presence at the Legion (18 incidents in 3 years of fights, injuries, shootings, etc.), distancing the Legion hall from the bar
as 2 separate entities, yet still advocating for the reopening of the nuisance bar inside his Legion post.
Warbucks auction to unload a chunk of downtown vacant properties
RANTS that not enough of the scattered downtown properties that Daddy Warbucks has going on the upcoming public auction
block are large enough to consider purchasing for a new county jail. It would have been kind of fun to dust off a former county
commissioner, who brokered the airport's $1 million gift from Warbucks, and ask that he lobby that the airport gift not being
used be revoked and a large downtown building be donated for a jail instead.
That all said, RANTS, too, that nobody official seems to be actively promoting the sale of the larger vacant downtown buildings
or properties to private enterprise -- i.e., preferably to a profitable business that would employ a sizeable number of locals.
Apologies to all, if the properties have been marketed to death already and we're just ignorant you know whats, unaware of the
efforts. (10 May 16)
Will warden comply?
RAVES that the county jail warden was directed recently to provide a much needed prison population report, detailing crimes
of conviction and sentencing imposed on inmates. Can a blogger declare a county holiday?
Exactly how a former jail ad hoc work group committee could plan a new jail without such insight into the county jail population
was always a twisted mystery here. Right To Know answers sent here, asking for such demographic information on the county
jail population bounced back, revealed that nobody from the county knew the answers. How could a jail ad hoc work group of
sound minds planning a huge industrial jail complex magically know the county's true needs to reduce recidivism without
knowing such prisoner information?
RAVES that we soon should have that vital piece of information for current jail planners to review. RAVES of hope that more
than just 1 or 2 votes to terminate negligent staff are now a possibility if lists of demographic and case information do not get
compiled, or orders in general don't get carried out again. (5 May 16)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"There's nothing beneficial to be had by rehashing this."
Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport Authority Member John Cofchin, as per the Daily Courier's "Conflict continues over
airport authority appointment," in reaction to fellow authority members repeated nagging requests or attempts to bully the
2016 appointee to resign, because of a supposed several-decade-old felony conviction
"In our opinion it is the jewel of the watershed. It has the potential to be outstanding."
Annie Quinn, Jacobs Creek Watershed Association (JCWA) executive director, at Thursday's county commissioners
meeting, referring to Greenlick Jacobs Creek Park (as pictured, to the right) and the application for a grant with a county
match to provide funds for upgrades to playground equipment at the massive and simply stunning park that is starting to
What happened to warden's claim that Zap, Dileo
were in questionable jail cahoots?
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a frank admission here of feeling much out of the loop in the civil case that the county jail
warden has against half the county.
In the latest move, outlined in "Federal judge dismisses portions of county warden's lawsuit" on heraldstandard.com, some of
the case, of course, was not dismissed.
RANTS that we no longer read mention -- as was stated in the original lawsuit and only in the initial news reports of the lawsuit
-- of anything about the warden also suing a former county commissioner and a former county jail doctor, now charged in a
slew of counts of running a pill mill from a Uniontown methadone clinic. As per the case as filed, the warden sued the 2 men
because he felt that they wanted him removed from his job and replaced so that they could start distributing methadone at the
jail with a new warden who would allow it. The current warden opposed and, reportedly, would not and does not allow
methadone to be dispensed to inmates.
Was that piece of the suit dropped previously, without mention in the papers? (20 Apr 16)
Coroner jury recommends federal investigation at county jail
RANTS that a corner's jury, looking into the death of a county jail inmate, recommended that the feds probe further into the
conflicting testimony heard at inquest from jail staff and former staff.
RAVES of hope that the county offers a former jail staff the polygraph that she said she is willing to take to help prove her claim
that the inmate did not receive prompt medical care and that the inmate's complaints of pain and discomfort were ignored or
wrongly minimized and quickly dismissed by other jail staff.
Likewise, everyone else involved from the jail should be offered a polygraph as well... and fired if they refuse.
Meanwhile, RANTS -- i.e., very shameful, inexcusable RANTS -- that emergency phone numbers were not posted on all walls
near all jail phones, and that calling for an ambulance for the inmate was delayed for such a lame reason.
RANTS that this past week's recommendation from a coroner's inquest jury for a federal investigation into the woman's death
at the jail follows last fall's recommendation from a Grand Jury to charge a guard for hitting an inmate in handcuffs in the
RANTS because the very worst problems at the jail have nothing at all, whatsoever, to do with an old versus new building.
That's the real hell part. (17 Apr 16)
New newspaper to be published
RAVES that area business owners stepped forward to purchase the now closed Valley Independent newspaper in Monessen
from the Tribune Review, and that a paper will resume to be published as the Mon Valley Independent with new owners.
RAVES, too, that several former employees of The Valley Independent were hired back. There can never be too many different
papers. (17 Apr 16)
More goofy letters to the goofy ed
RAVES of abundant chuckles this early morning as the personal, political bullshit bias towards a county commissioner
continues to play out in frequent letters to the editor from supporters of a former commissioner who lost the last general
election by a respectable size landslide.
RANTS that 21 days since airport authority board member Joe Maher outed the newest authority appointee for having
reportedly embezzled more money than the former commissioner frivolously spent in office, that small minds behind the
ongoing personal, political bullshit bias towards a county commissioner consistently and conveniently ignore an important fact.
What Maher ignored by blind sighting the appointee at a public meeting and not first talking privately to commissioners about
the matter is this. It's something that the paper and writers of letters to the editor take public swing at one or one or two
commissioners over, but otherwise noticeably ignore.
How can commissioners or any public governing board revoke one appointment to a county board or authority without also
outing and removing at least 2 or 3 other sitting board or authority members with known felony records?
RANTS that critics of the recent airport authority board appointee care only to have someone identify the other already sitting
board or authority members with past criminal records. Why?
The critics of the recent airport authority board appointee have to already know who the 2 are. Why put those 2 men through
public scrutiny in 2016, since their lives turned around a few decades ago and the men truly were rehabilitated?
RANTS that critics of the recent airport authority board appointee seem so unnaturally obsessed with blaming a commissioner
for the county not ever doing background checks on county or authority board members. They don't seem to mind that at least
2 county residents volunteering their time and service for years without incident on county boards or authorities, surely, must
feel uncomfortable hearing about Mahler's blind sighting of the new airport authority member showing up for his first meeting.
RANTS that critics of the recent airport authority appointee write more and more goofy letters to the editor, without considering
that the letters have to upset at least 2 other previously appointed persons with known, distant criminal pasts and convictions.
(5 Apr 16)
Organ donor mail counters political hate mail every time
RAVES to the 195 on this site's mailing lists, who responded with feedback that they and at least 1 person they know agreed
since 1-15 to become organ donors. As per webguy's tally, this brings the grand total of about 3,000 readers here who have
made that pledge since the organ donation information button was placed in 2005 on the homepage.
RAVES because that number used to be just 1.
RAVES, too, to those waiting for a life-saving transplant, who find my mom's story here and send email that reading it gives
them hope. RAVES to those who graciously spend what they know is precious, valuable time writing to say that Mom in 2016
gave them hope... and RAVES to those surviving family members, who have written in to say that Mom's story stuck with them
and, somehow, gave them strength to donate their loved ones' organs to live on, when accidents happened. (21 Mar 16)
As snow covers the blooming daffodils
RAVES that spring is here today, even as the snow sticks to parked cars outside tonight and covers the blooming daffodils.
RAVES, still, this first night of spring that at least the calendar says winter is gone. (20 Mar 15)
Why the hypocrisy?
Editor tries to keep the controversy going
RANTS for hypocritical double standards that some of the supporters of a shelved project to build on pyrite a $28-32 million
hall of justice and rehabilitation center -- i.e., fancy name for a new county jail -- have on the concept of rehabilitation. As
expected, an editorial in today's Herald Standard criticized the county commissioners for not reversing the appointment of its
latest airport authority member.
Never mind that the paper ignored its own report 3 days ago that the county solicitor conducted a statewide check for
Pennsylvania, federal PACER record systems and district and state records in Maryland and found no criminal record of the
appointed man. Even if the solicitor had located record of a 25-year-old blue collar crime, why so much hypocrisy from those
who once pushed so hard to sell the $28-32-40 million dollar concept of rehabilitation of first-time offenders to turn their lives
RANTS for the pick and choose hypocrisy that raises its ugly head each time one of them selectively points a finger. Today,
the editor of that paper suggested that the appointed man instead volunteer at the food bank or some other type of community
service program. Why?
As a citizen commented at this week's county meeting, nobody raised questions -- as the citizen said nobody should have --
when the previous board of commissioners placed others with criminal pasts to current county authorities and boards.
RANTS for the hypocrisy and double standards given in the publicity of this recent appointment, since even the original 2013
county jail ad hoc work group committee gathered to plan for the shelved hall of justice and rehabilitation center was
comprised of two rehabilitated gentlemen employed by the county, who decades earlier, were incarcerated -- i.e., one for
homicide and the other for drug offenses.
RANTS if some tongues wag today in disbelief of the content of that last sentence. That's the true beauty of successful
rehabilitation, as those squawking the loudest about this recent airport authority appointment likely had no idea -- as they
shouldn't have had -- of the criminal past of one or two seated at that early jail ad hoc work group table with them. (20 Mar 16)
2 in, 2 still out
RTK answers start to trickle in
Two Right To Know answers came here this week from the county, while 2 others must still be in the works.
As those who follow county business know, a surprise proposal was discovered recently from a company that bid $24 million
on the downtown jail project 2 months before the general election.
This low-ball proposal dated 2/4/15 was kept hidden from at least one county commissioner and the public and discovered
only after the new board of commissioners started the 2016 term.
In regard to that RTK, the name of the company which submitted a proposal of $24 million for a jail for 245 inmates was
Architectural Innovations of Pittsburgh. Sources connected to that firm noted that the proposal was based on limited
information. A county source said that the proposal was not done per scale and gave opinions on probable options.
Nonetheless, RANTS that former commissioners dared to hide it and not share that information with county officials and the
public during a heated pre-election season, when now-defeated opponents blasted downtown proposals from Astorino-Cannon
for about $32 million and media compared it similar in price to a $28-32 million off site project that was shelved. That project
was sheved after former commissioners Vince Zapotosky and Al Ambrosini accused one another of bid rigging. Zapotosky was
quoted as saying Ambrosini's plan likely would have cost $40 million or more and withdrew his support of it.
The second RTK answer received concerned statements that Zapotosky stated publicly during a county meeting, when a
citizen asked him why he was at Addictions Specialist, Inc. driving with a county vehicle kept at his home. Since he stated
publicly that he was present at the methadone clinic to plan for a new county Medicaid funded program to treat persons with
dual mental health and addiction issues, the RTK asked was whether the county is actually pursuing this new program now.
The methadone clinic's physician, a close friend of Zapotosky's, and a director there were charged more recently with running
an illegal pill mill. Those shameful arrests followed a raid from the FBI months earlier and a fire that destroyed some patient
In regard to that RTK answer, the CEO of the county's behavioral health unit sent a one word response in capital letters: NO.
Following the now infamous special meeting on March 10 of the county airport authority, a RTK was sent the next day, asking
if anyone else submitted a RTK to learn the names of all persons who wanted to be considered to replace former member Sam
Cortis. That RTK answer has yet to be received.
Also not received is another RTK answer concerning inpatient psych admissions. More on that to come. (18 Mar 16)
"Quotes Of The Day"
Vincent: ... I don’t know, Alfred, this whole thing seems to be unraveling.
Alfred: It’s okay, Vincent, you were great at the last meeting when you sternly reminded the public just who's really in charge
until the fourth day in January.
Vincent: Alfred, this whirlwind that Neuman has us in the midst of seems to be spinning wildly out of control. I mean, we gave a
no-bid $850,000 contract to your political campaign contributors to take over the county's IT department. This follows the
recent furlough of a county IT staff said to have a very good work record. We both know we didn’t follow county code to
advertise for best price.
Alfred: Look, calm down, Vincent, everybody bought that story that the company IT guy told that a 14-year-old could hack into
the county computer system any minute. That makes it appear to be an emergency. It’s like martial law, you have to suspend
normal county rules in an emergency.
Vincent: Geez, Alfred, the present system has never been hacked into.
Alfred: Ha ha, well, we are in a good place now, Vincent, our friends will have complete access to everything that goes on in
the county, including the official county email.
Neuman, exert from "The Adventures of Alfred&Vincent, Part 15," published yesterday, offering satirical insight into a
fictional situation that is too close to reality for comfort, referring to a very real copier contract pulled without notice and
given out instead as a no-bid $850K contract given to political campaign contributors of a former county commissioner
Drama King Joe's retraction of lies to the paper
RAVES that at least one whopper lie by a county airport authority member in the early morning paper was so quickly squashed
at the 10 AM meeting of the county commissioners.
In the heraldstandard.com's "Airport authority appointee will not step down," Connellsville Airport Authority Member Joe Maher
was quoted as saying that all 3 county commissioners ignored returning his phone calls prior to his dramatic announcement 8
days ago that a newly appointed authority member had a criminal history.
As per the article online this early morning covering last evening's airport meeting:
"Maher reiterated that he had made attempts to reach the commissioners in advance of last week’s meeting to advise
them of his concerns about Lilley’s appointment, but has yet to receive a return call. 'I’m disheartened by that,' he said.
'I know two of them very well and they know where I’m at. They have no problem finding me at election time."
However, by today's 10 AM county meeting downtown, Maher, who attended to plead to the commissioners to revoke the
appointed man's position on the airport authority, admitted that he never attempted to contact the 3 commissioners by phone
as he claimed he had done in his quotes to the paper in this early morning's edition.
Maher's admission of the truth -- i.e., that he lied about trying to call the commissioners -- came when commissioners pointed
out their phone records showed no such attempts from him were made to them.
RANTS that anyone in his right mind serving on any county authority or board would publicly state twice in one week such a
shameful untruth that was so quickly disproved by 10 AM.
RANTS that this evening's, "County solicitor: No court records show Lilley committed crime," detailing today's 10 AM county
meeting downtown and published online at 8 PM at heraldstandard.com, fails to note that Maher lied about the county
commissioners failing to return calls to him, as the paper earlier in the day reported.
RANTS that so-called businessmen claiming to want to improve the county's image act like such asses and only embarrass the
county more when they're so easily caught in lies. (17 Mar 16)
"Quote Of The Day"
"Al's gang tried to throw a big bucket of sh** on the commishes and it all blew back in their faces."
Current county board member, in an email sent this way this early morning... who shall remain anonymous unless/until his
permission to identify him is received.... offering up his take on the airport appointment controversy initiated by pals of
former county commissioner Al Ambrosini
County meeting agenda:
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note to view tomorrow's county meeting agenda. Of interest, are items to:
- consider seeking proposals for roof repairs for the county jail and other county buildings.
- consider authorizing jail officials to complete a written action plan within 2 weeks of progress on needed jail repairs, estimated
costs, work start and completion dates or to determine if the repairs can or cannot be completed by county maintenance staff
or must be contracted out, and
- consider awarding an RFP to former long-time ace airport engineering company, Michael Baker International, for development
and completion of a FEMA approved Hazardous Mitigation Plan update. Baker submitted the original county airport hanger
project design at a low cost of $18,000, in comparison to local replacements, Sleighter Engineering's costly $62,000 design
Citizen Killinger accuses commissioners of Sunshine breach in
airport appointment.... film at 11
(RANTS that satire writer Neuman has disappeared from the Fay political scene and left readers so high and dry and pining for more. Perhaps
this latest addition of airport circus madness just might be enough muse to call Neuman's name out from the underground... )
At this evening's airport authority meeting, former county jail ad hoc architecture group leader in search of no-bid land deals,
Jim Killinger, opposed the newest authority member's presence and participation in authority roll call to start the meeting. Why?
Not because the man reportedly has a criminal past that got him ambushed one week ago in public, at the special airport
meeting called to discuss employee matters.
This evening, Killinger alleged that the newest airport authority member should not participate and not be part of the authority,
because he accused the county commissioners (who were not present) of breaching the Sunshine Act in selecting the man.
Killinger, without providing proof or details, told the crowded room of onlookers and 5 authority members that the appointed
man and county commissioners met to discuss the appointment prior to the county making a formal request to receive letters of
interest from persons wanting to sit on county authorities and boards.
RANTS that another public meeting turned into a circus atmosphere because some truly don't understand the Sunshine Act
and do not provide proof of baseless claims. Nonetheless, readers, RANTS that we all know tomorrow's little banner headline
in the daily paper will reek of the sensationalized propaganda.
In response to being asked for comment, one commissioner tonight said that she hadn't recognized the man by his nickname
on the letter of interest and saw him for the first time in many years when another commissioner ushered the now appointed
man into the room for the 3 to interview him earlier in the year. Commissioners interviewed other persons that same day and
the man, reportedly, waited outside the room with others for his appointment.
RANTS that we all know this won't be the end of it and some will believe what they read in the paper tomorrow. Apparently, the
appointed man's participation in tonight's meeting must mean that the county solicitor found no just reason or policy to exclude
the man from taking the seat on the authority and that the county is not going to reverse its appointment of him to the authority
board following protest last week from some on the airport authority.
Perhaps that was painfully obvious to some in attendance, so Plan B -- i.e., Killinger's accusation without proof of a Sunshine
breach -- was implemented instead. (16 Mar 16)
Airport Authority president
Drama King Bill offers to shuttle commissioners
RANTS to Bill Gerke, president of the airport authority, for continuing to give the county a black eye needlessly, with yet
another media circus lynching and b slapping of county commissioners for not being psychic to know that someone appointed
to serve on the authority had a criminal history.
While the commissioners wait for a legal opinion on what to do -- legally withdraw the name of the applicant in question or do
nothing -- RANTS that heraldstandard.com provides another full recap of the appointment before the county solicitor provides
RANTS, most of all, that Gerke chose to b slap a county commissioner in print media, by recalling that she previously did not
support his own appointment to the authority and today gave such a smart-ass, drama king quote to the paper -- i.e., that he
has "a very large car... insurance.... and will be glad to pick them up, bring them to the meeting and then take them home if
they do not have transportation.”
County commissioners met for their regular meeting 4 days ago, the day after fellow Drama King Joe Maher of the authority
announced that nobody was telling him what to say, before declaring publicly that the intended applicant had a criminal history.
Nobody from the authority attended the downtown meeting to ask the commissioners to withdraw or cancel the appointment
Perhaps the funds that the county earmarks for airport improvements could be better spent on funding criminal background
checks for all volunteer applicants interested in serving on all future county boards and county authorities. (14 Mar 16)
National Napping Day: taking it seriously
RAVES for National Napping Day, observed the day after losing an hour of sleep with the time switch, when it's acceptable or
not frowned upon to clock out early from work just to catch up, curl up on the couch and take a cat nap. (14 Mar 16)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"In 2012, (former Commissioner Al) Ambrosini raised taxes twice as much as he needed to and promised us retirees that he
would contribute to the pension fund. He did not put that money into the pension fund. In 2015, $500,000 was supposed to be
transferred to the pension fund. He, (Former commissioner Vince) Zapotosky and the clerk did not answer at a mid-December
meeting when (Commissioner Angela) Zimmerlink asked them if the money had been transferred. Ambrosini created new
county positions for his friends who contributed to his campaign and gave county contracts to some of his political campaign
contributors without competitive bidding. Zapotosky accused him of bid rigging (on contractors for shelved Dunbar Township
prison complex). He's no better than the man asked to step aside from the airport appointment -- only luckier."
Fayette County retiree, whose next email was the below message
"Footing the bill for criminal background checks for county board and authority seats is something Fayette should not do
because we can't afford it. This guy Lilley is an exception that slipped by. Commissioners aren't psychic. Background checks
would not have stopped appointments that we've had in the past, either, of well-known cocaine dealers, once under police
surveillance, who have sat, and may still sit on boards, since they were lucky enough never to have been charged."
Some in Chamber crowd laugh at commissioners
RANTS that some in the audience of private business owners and non-profit management, who should know exactly how
costly background checks and security clearances are, dared to laugh aloud yesterday, in a weak attempt to embarrass county
commissioners, during a question period of the Fayette Chamber of Conference's "Meet the Legislators" luncheon at the Hilton.
Those who anonymously asked the question in writing on cards -- i.e., how was a convicted felon appointed to serve on an
authority or county board -- already knew the answer.
RANTS that at least one asked the question in a forum designed to promote and market the county and more than one
laughed aloud when it was read. That the county cannot afford full background criminal clearance checks on board members
is understandable. RANTS that sour grapes over election results probably had more to do with the public ambush at this
week's airport authority meeting and, subsequently, the matter being regurgitated yesterday to elicit the childish response of
giddy laughter at the Hilton.
RANTS because it is no laughing matter.
Anyone who genuinely wants Fayette to succeed should have known better than to take another cheap, public shot at the 3
commissioners who approved the airport appointment. (12 Mar 16)
Did it really have to be so tactlessly done?
Airport authority outs newly appointed member
Airport authority member Joe Maher began tonight's specially called meeting by outing a supposed felony conviction record of
its newest authority member, recently appointed unanimously by the 3 county commissioners.
Monty Lilley, a 30-year CIA employee and owner of Congressional Charters, in response of being blind-sighted by a packed
airport conference room, told the authority that they should have inquired with him about it, as he has legal paperwork
explaining the old charges and has written a book about it. He clarified that Joe Hardy, owner of Nemacolin Woodlands, who
gave the airport a $1 million gift to match grant funds for an airport expansion project, had asked him to serve on the authority.
He then, in turn, wrote to the commissioners, asking to be on the authority and received their unanimous approval. The county
does not complete criminal background checks on persons wanting to be on county boards or authorities.
Following the executive session, Maher told the crowd that he had Lilley investigated and learned about the past issues.
Will this move to out Lilley in a public meeting so tactlessly influence the gift to be taken off the table? Will it matter if that
happens, since the airport authority likely still would not have enough funds to complete the project anyway? Bids received
total over $3 million, or $1 million more than the $2 million available to use.
Tonight's meeting was called, as per the legal notice, to discuss personnel issues. Does this mean that the executive session
was called due to complaints about the manager impeding progress with the FACT tenant's desire to add a storage building?
Was the authority allowed to motion to conduct business with FACT that was done following tonight's executive session? Was
the authority within its right to withhold information from the public when a citizen asked for clarification on what vague
business with FACT was voted on and approved? Was any of it legal? Solicitor? (10 Mar 16)
After a Grand Jury addressed staff-to-inmate violence, he pulls this?
Just WTH is the county jail warden's problem?
RANTS that there's a frivolous lawsuit going on between the county jail warden and some county or former county officials
over a suspension that was reversed.
Seriously, what the hell is this man's problem? Forget that it took him a few years to write what amounted to be a few simple
jail policies that resulted in the jail getting highly publicized deficiencies during state inspections over multiple years running.
Forget that he allowed and still allows some jail repairs to fester and stopped work release programs that could have reduced
recidivism and promoted true rehabilitation because he personally felt that he could not control contraband from walking back
in the doors with the inmates returning.
Forget, too, that inmates have been quoted in the newspapers as saying sinks leaking for weeks spill onto the floors unfixed
and that taxpayers pay the water bills and foot the bills for structural damage from the excess flow of water. Never mind, either,
that there was a Grand Jury investigation last fall because of guard-to-inmate violence and injuries and that there even had to
be a Grand Jury convened to address this shameful Goon Squad issue allowed to exist in the first place.
Forget, too, that the warden and his fellow jail ad hoc committee members met and met and failed miserably to evaluate jail
needs by not bothering or thinking to bother completing simple demographic statistics on the jail population, and that Right To
Know responses came back from 2013 on as "Duh! We don't know," when asked basic questions that any new facility or
program developer should have known, such as how many inmates had mental health problems, chemical addictions or
qualified for the Day Reporting Center.
Never mind all that.
RANTS, though, in spite of all that, the warden isn't simply just tickled pink and grateful to even still have his job -- as he very
well should be. Staff in the private sector performing so poorly would have been replaced long ago. If anyone's professional
reputation has been irreparably harmed, he alone truly deserves full credit for bringing it on himself and should not be suing
any current or former prison board members for any reason, let alone "political affiliations." (9 Mar 16)
"Quote Of The Day"
"The commissioners did not increase their combined salary figure in the 2016 county budget from $150,472 to $167,833. This
is false. The fact is the correct figure in the 2016 amended adopted county budget had a combined salary figure for the
Commissioners that went from $164,676 to $167,833. The increase was set in 2010 at a public meeting by a former board of
Commissioner Vince Vicites, in a letter to the heraldstandard.com editor today, "to set the record straight on the
misinformation" first stated at a February county meeting by Jared Billy, Local 668 SEIU steward/county property
assessor/Uniontown City Council member and parroted in a letter to the editor, without an editorial correctional comment
in the local paper 5 days ago, from Joyce Nuccetelli, a board member of the Fayette County Housing Authority, who,
ironically, also was in attendance in February, heard first-hand but ignored the correction then County Commissioners
Link to listen to the show
County commissioners score big on the radio today
RAAAAAAVES to all 3 county commissioners for setting the record straight about the 2016 budget, budget cuts and tax
increase on AM talk radio today. RAVES that we seem to have 3 people seated on the county board, who can speak
intelligently about fiscal problems and their dead on plan to recover from the reckless spending spree joy ride that the former
commissioners took the county coffers hostage on for 4 nightmare years.
RAVES that Fayette may finally have three seated commissioners, who through their intelligence, respect for what is lawful,
right and wise, may actually become a magnet to attract new businesses here to increase the quality of life in Fay.
RAVES of hope that this honeymoon period won't end where the 3 interact well and share information and problems to resolve.
This truly is the only way Fayette has a chance in hell of prospering.
Why is the methadone clinic still open?
RANTS for all the head scratching and head shaking going on today while reading heraldstandard.com's "Inspectors find more
non-compliance issues at methadone clinic." The clinic, which drew an FBI raid 5 months ago, and later was the scene of an
interior fire that burned some records, and, more recently, saw its doctor and director charged for dispensing drugs illegally,
now has a whole new litany of inspection non-compliance issues that are shamefully mind boggling to grasp in the real world.
From providing only a single counseling session in 16 years to one patient, to failing to complete incident reports of patients'
deaths, to documenting only 22 of 33 inspected charts for case comments, to failing to document credentials of therapists and
failing to document urine sampling testing to the 580 patients served, to reducing drugs not meant to be taken in cut form or
reduced milligrams, the clinic on paper reads like a pitiful horror story gone amok.
The clinic is contracted by the county's behavioral health Medicaid provider to serve Fayette's Medicaid recipients. A Right To
Know request was sent today to learn if the county is still pursuing expanding that contract to serve dual needs of persons with
mental health and addiction issues. Former county commissioner Vince Zapotosky said at a public meeting in 2015 that he was
at the clinic pursuing the development of a new dual program when citizens questioned why he was present there driving a
county-owned vehicle. RANTS if this plan is still being pursued with such a shameful provider. (7 Mar 15)
Editor's Note: A Right To Know request is sent to the county to learn who submitted the $24.8 million proposal for a downtown
jail project that former commissioners hid from a third commissioner and the public. This recently discovered proposal was
mentioned in the below piece.
"Quotes Of The Day"
"His letter claimed there was more than a million dollars in surplus, yet it was later revealed that his budget planned on taking a
loan of more than $900,000. All of this information came from (contracted county fiscal advisor) Sam Lynch during the meetings
of the reopened budget."
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, in "Ambrosini's lies and distortions," a most worthwhile read, refuting ridiculous claims
in half-baked letters to the editor from a former commissioner to area newspapers
"Recently, I learned of an unsolicited proposal dated February 2015 that was withheld from me and the public which proposed
a 245 bed on site facility at a projected cost of $24.8 million. I can see why they withheld that information 2 months before the
election. We are learning other information on possible sites were kept from me and the public."
Zimmerlink, from the same above referenced commentary, of secrets that former commissioners kept from her and the
public about jail planning, as the former commissioners and media often scoffed at a downtown plan for being projected to
cost the same as Ambrosini's failed $28-32 million dollar plan that, realistically, would have cost tens of millions more
Highlands Hospital turns a profit again
RAVES of the most respectful kind to Highlands Hospital in Connellsville, to its CEO, staff and board of directors, for turning a
profit and keeping its doors open another year. In spite of providing over $3.5 million dollars of free health care to uninsured
patients in 2015, the facility still ended up with even more of a profit than it had a year earlier.
Readers here are too well familiar with the bitter battle that resulted in 2012, when a former county official and county
department head secretly contracted another hospital for psychiatric services to divert revenue and patients from Highlands'
RAVES to Highlands for the good fight it gave to keep its doors open then through today, and for the impressive expansion of
services that creative minds rolled up their sleeves and worked efficiently and productively to develop. Of course, too, RAVES
to the facility for the genuine respect and dedication that it provides to this county's behavioral health patients.
May the hospital's financial success continue to grow in a day and age when many smaller facilities had to merge with the
giants or close. (3 Mar 16)
Rowan declines EB appointment
Connellsville attorney Mark Rowen has declined the temporary appointment on the county's Election Board, as per Fayette
County Election Bureau Director Larry Blosser.
County President Judge John Wagner named Rowan earlier this week to sit on the board while Democrat Commissioner Vince
Vicites seeks election to represent the 9th Congressional District voters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Blosser confirmed this morning that Rowen is still a registered Republican. Rowan's appointment would have resulted in 3
Republicans comprising that temporary Election Board. (3 Mar 16)
Radio audience needed hip boots
RANTS that a former county commissioner misses hearing himself talk so badly that he made a complete fool of himself today
on talk radio to attempt to discredit the actions of those who beat him in a fair election. Didn't he read the Herald Standard 26
days ago, when the paper (in "Commissioners to consider 'all options' to balance budget'') said:
"Commissioners reduced an initial $3.5 million deficit by $1 million through department spending reductions and the
correction of certain budgetary figures. The commissioners, along with Sam Lynch, senior financial consultant with
Susquehanna Accounting and Solutions Inc. of Harrisburg, have put in lengthy days over the past week reviewing the
figures of a Dec. 15 budget adopted by the former administration, meeting with department directors, and reducing
overall expenditures. The bulk of the deficit increase was discovered by Lynch over the weekend. According to his
figures, more than $300,000 in salaries and $200,000 in benefits were not included in the initial 2016 budget for the
county jail. The commissioners concluded the costs were tied to the Nov. 25 hiring of nine full-time guards. The hiring
took place one day after the initial preliminary budget was presented. Lynch said while he requested updated
information as he finalized the budget, those salaries were not given to him, and weren’t included in the plan."
Apparently, the former commissioner missed that edition or the point made in the above exert clearly went over his head.
Today, on the radio, he said that the funds for those 9 full-time jail jobs were included in his budget adopted in mid-December.
He reasoned that 2015 jail overtime costs that he turned into full-time positions in late 2015 completely covered the additional
costs of benefits in 2016.
RANTS that the former official spoke in the present tense about his former job as though he were still in office. RANTS that he
took such cheap shots on the radio today, as though he were on a twisted telethon to get work for a former jail architect and on
an equally warped mission to disturb the peace that the current board of commissioners seem to enjoy. RAVES that the
thinking public saw right through his tall crock of crap.
RAVES, too, that today's pathetic performance just might be muse enough to draw out Neuman for some fitting, sorely missed
satire! (2 Mar 16)
3 Republicans on Fay County Election Board?
RANTS for the head scratching going on today, reading the heraldstandard.com's article, "Rowan to temporarily replace Vicites
on election board." As per the article, the county president judge named Connellsville lawyer and Republican Mark Rowan to
sit on the Election Board while Commissioner Vince Vicites seeks election to represent the 9th Congressional District voters at
the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
RANTS because 2 other Republican county commissioners already sit on the Election Board.
Did election law change to allow this single party representation, even temporarily, on a county board? Did the judge err? Did
Rowan change his party to Democrat and the paper got that piece of information wrong? Did 1 or both of the other 2
commissioners secretly change his or her or their party registrations recently to Democrat since the last election 4 months ago?
Shouldn't we expect a Democrat to be named to sit on the Election Board while Vicites, the lone Democrat commissioner, is off
trying to elect Hillary Clinton to be his party's nomination and American's next president? More to come on this one, no doubt.
(2 Mar 16)
Nighthawks get standing ovation with Nardini tune
RAVES to R&B legends, The Nighthawks, for singing and playing their hearts out and getting a standing ovation recently a few
hundred miles away, with a killer performance of "Three times your fool," a song written by the black sheep of Pittsburgh
music, Norman Nardini.
Written and produced a decade or so ago for a solo record for former Nardini drummer, Mark Stutso, who went on to join the
Nighthawks in recent years, Nardini's song brought the Nighthawks' audience to its feet.
RAVES that Stutso brought Nardini's polished song to another band and a crowd to its feet with "Three times your fool," in
RAVES that this was the Nighthawks doing it in 2016. The only way to improve on that would have been to have Shari
Richards sing it with Stutso as a Nighthawks duet and NN play guitar.
RAVES that Stutso took a bit of the burgh and the NN genre with him to the Nighthawks and to those music lovers on the east
coast in other states for losing their breath and feeling the standing ovation. (28 Feb 16)
Why can't Fay county jail stop it here?
Greene SCI contraband bust busts staff
RAVES to the Office of Special Investigations and Intelligence (OSII) for the Department of Corrections for busting dirty guards
and security staff at the Greene SCI with surveillance video. In addition to exposing prison staff for taking pay off fees to allow
inmates to take possession of belongings of other inmates, the sting also proved on video that dirty staff even allowed
weapons to be part of the contraband exchanged or bought by inmates.
RAVES that a secret surveillance camera caught the make-shift weapon to be passed to an inmate for a price and that 3 prison
staff are named and charged. Two staff were charged with obstruction of administrative law/other government function, two
counts of the unlawful use of a computer, tampering with records and criminal mischief. A third was charged with an additional
count of recklessly endangering another person, misapplying entrusted government property, obstruction of administrative
law/other government function, unlawful use of a computer, tampering with records and criminal mischief.
Perhaps the recent publication photo in the local paper of Fayette's county jail confiscated contraband could peek the interest
of a similar-type secret surveillance sting from an outside source. Given that the Fay county warden and staff cannot stop
knives, cell phones, hand-made weapons and other contraband in the county lock up, perhaps it's time that the OSII or another
investigative entity took the initiative to stop it here, as was nicely done in Greene. (27 Feb 16)
Happy, happy 2nd birthday, Mason!
Cowardly b slaps woman, ignores males in agreement with her
Alfred pens delusional letter to the ed
RANTS that former county commissioner Al Ambrosini was permitted to pen such a delusional letter to the editor of
heraldstandard.com today and that the paper allowed his shameless trashing of Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink to occur in
RANTS that the one-term, big loser in the last election still has no grasp on reality, defending the whack-job 2016 budget that
he prepared that had to be tossed to the curb in tireless re-write by the new board of commissioners and Ambrosini's own
former fiscal advisor.
RANTS that Ambrosini still has no grasp on reality, seemingly still oblivious to the fact that his whack-job budget called for
improper use of county gaming revenue for general fund expenditures instead of legally allowed purposes that he passed
resolutions for and forgot about, so conveniently. His letter today did not shed light, either, on why he thought it proper to not
fund those projects allowed by gaming fund regulations, or why he thought it cool to overestimate property tax revenue
percentages to inflate and create the illusion of budget revenue that intelligent minds quickly recognized as BS.
RANTS that the former commissioner who got booted from office overwhelmingly by voters again ran his foolish mouth in an
almost laughable fashion today and was allowed to do so in media print, without editorial comments printed for legal
clarification of his outrageous thoughts.
Both he and the paper stooped so embarrassingly to new lows today to bitch slap Zimmerlink and cowardly ignore the
intelligence of 2 other commissioners who have unanimously also criticized Ambrosini's whack-job budget, as well as those 2
men and the controller who unanimously also agreed not to give non-union staff pay raises for budgetary reasons.
Ordinarily, R&R would publish or post a link to letters like this, but his is simply too pathetic to publish online here. Those
without paid subscriptions to the paper can, however, receive a copy of his feeble ramblings by requesting it in email to
RAVES once again that his sorry ass is out of office. (26 Feb 16)
Should Fayette raise taxes even higher or get a new warden?
Given that the county jail warden and jail union reps state that the safety of county jail staff and inmates will be in jeopardy with
staff cuts, one has to wonder if the county should raise property taxes even higher to cover the cost of keeping the 8 full-time
guards hired last fall.
Or should the county be looking at what might be a far worse contributing factor to jail problems than is a strained budget?
Even though 8 or 9 full-time guards were added last fall at the jail, last week a current jail staff/union rep said, "During the last
3 months of 2015, security measures weren't being done" at the jail.
Specifically, he mentioned that search and shake downs of prisoners and cells to detect contraband were not done because
there was not enough staff to do this. (See 1:31 in the video of the Feb. 18 county meeting.) Nobody here, meanwhile, doubts
the sincerity of the young man who stood at the podium at the public meeting and made the claim about searches and shake
downs not being done regularly from October through December of last year.
Given the number of confiscated weapons and contraband pictured on today's heraldstandard.com that the warden said were
seized in the last 2 months in regularly held shake downs, and given the jail administration's inability to control contraband
coming into the jail or to schedule necessary staff training with the additional 8 or 9 staff hired last fall, one has to wonder if
there's an even higher priority or larger emergency-type need at the jail than to have a magician find extra funds to maintain or
increase staff numbers.
In other words, what were jail administrators thinking last year when they said that all they needed was 4 additional full-time
staff? Were they thinking at all? (25 Feb 16)
Non-union staff lose raises
Ghosts of Alfred&Vincent screw over non-union county workers
While it is now 8 weeks since Alfred&Vincent's sorry asses have been out of office, the Dysfunctional Duo's whack-job budget
left behind a mess that required the current board of commissioners to take back 2016 raises for 150 non-union county
RANTS that the county couldn't even afford the Vaseline to help ease the staff's pain before they got screwed today from the
impact of Alfred&Vincent's reckless 4-year spending spree that reached the stage of heightened frenzy&lunacy in their final
weeks in office.
RANTS because the only other consideration that the current board of commissioners might have had would have been to
raise taxes more than the 1-mill increase that property owners received 12 days ago.
Following today's salary board meeting and unanimous 4-0 vote to rescind the non-union raises, department heads broke the
news to affected staff, with the county behavioral health department calling an emergency staff meeting.
RANTS that annual raises for hard-working staff had to be rescinded today because Alfred&Vincent spent unwisely and
planned such a whack-job budget with a 3.5 million dollar deficit.
Above all, though, RANTS because some people still point fingers at the wrong commissioners who have to clean up the huge
mess left behind from the past. (24 Feb 16)
Frazier board member's response to school consolidation talks
Please click here to read a letter to the editor about an area legislator's proposed county-wide school district consolidation plan.
The writer brings many years of school district fiscal experience to the table and poses questions which need answered before
any real decisions are made. (24 Feb 16)
Bruce: in a burgh state of mind
RAAAAAAAAAAAAVES to Bruce Springsteen for ticking off so many Browns' fans in Cleveland last night, by stepping on stage
to start the E Street Band's show and announcing, "Welcome Pittsburgh!"
With so many from the burgh in attendance, however, Bruce really seemed so dead-on right! (24 Feb 16)
RTK answer: Safe Haven
As yesterday's Right To Know response clearly shows, the program ended in Fayette mid-January because the federal grant
funds are exhausted.
In other words, the RTK answer contains a 5-month-old letter from the U.S. Department of Justice's principal deputy director
that shows that no local politics played a part in the termination of the program's staff.
Should program funds become available again here to provide a safe haven for court-involved cases for parental visitation or a
neutral child custody drop off site, the projected re-start date would be in the fall. (24 Feb 16)
And union knew so
Fayette's SSA payments: all paid up
RANTS that a the union representing the jail staff posted on social media late afternoon Friday that no county Social Security
employee deductions were turned over to SSA in 2014 and 2015 for all county workers. RANTS, that is, because a union rep
who stopped by the courthouse last week, reportedly, was informed that both years payments were made, that the county
processed the payments correctly, that the SSA erred and that the SSA was correcting the mistake.
Last week, payroll staff and staff from the controller's office noticed that the payments were not showing correctly on SSA's end
and resent w2s a second time to the SSA.
"All taxes have been paid. The Social Security error was when they processed the 2014 w2 file we sent to them," confirmed
Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink today.
"SSA is in the process of fixing it," she said, adding that the SSA has not processed the 2015 payments yet.
RANTS that the truth was not in the message put out there on social media late Friday afternoon, when the truth, clearly, was
known by that time. (22 Feb 16)
Other county staff's 2014 deductions show in online Soc Sec accounts
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of thanks to various county employees who logged into their Social Security accounts
over the weekend and confirmed that payroll-deducted payments from the county were made and entered into the employee's
2014 Social Security totals. Nobody checking in today or yesterday noted payments to their online record for 2015.
Also, thanks to private employers who wrote in to say that they are required to make monthly or quarterly deposits of employee
Social Security deductions on time. (21 Feb 15)
Claims Fay deducted, didn't pay 2014-15 Soc Sec
Union promoting fact or fiction?
RANTS -- true or not -- that county jail union reps are reporting in social media that no county employee Social Security
deductions were submitted or paid to the feds in 2014 and 2015. If true, then expect county commissioners to be scrambling to
add another debt to the budget that will have to be paid pronto. If untrue, RANTS that those without conscience or those easily
duped by busy bodies promoting rumor might be adding to the stress that county jail workers are experiencing and adding to
the divide between the county and its workers.
While common sense might assume that retiring employees in two previous years, surely, would have become aware of this
supposed fact when the Social Security Administration prepared those retirees' monthly retirement income amounts and would
have already brought it to everyone's attention in 2014 and 2015, anything might be possible.
At a county commissioner meeting 3 days ago, commissioners confirmed that 3 union reps, indeed, had received prior
notification of pending county job cuts, after those reps blasted the commissioners for not notifying them. RAVES of hope that
this claim that the deductions were unpaid to the feds is just another hoax that the county can clarify tomorrow.
In the meantime, RAVES of hope that only factual information gets passed around in the future. The situation is heated enough
without more fuel being thrown on the fire. RAVES of hope that this is just a rumor, as the county's already strained budget
simply cannot afford a wallop of a hit that this type of unexpected 2016 expense would bring.
Commissioners have been asked for comment. A Right To Know request is sent to obtain proof that the deductions were paid
or unpaid as reported by county union reps to its members. (21 Feb 16)
What happened to Fayette's Safe Haven grant?
RANTS that the county's "Safe Haven/Safe Visitation" grant and program ended when the national program site lists no
information that funding in general ended. Given that those types of programs do not always state on their websites or
promotional information that funding is exhausted or on temporary hold until a new fiscal year or quarter begins with "new
money," a Right To Know request is sent today to the county for an answer.
Did the funds across the board end, even temporarily, for Safe Haven/Safe Visitation, or did someone in the county drop the
ball or allow the worthwhile program to end? This protective program is designed to provide a safe meeting place for children
to visit with parents or guardians in domestic dispute.
A request for clarification on Fayette's status was also sent to the national or main program website reps today. As a result of
Fayette's grant ending, two county workers were furloughed in mid-January. More to follow. (19 Feb 16)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"Some of his biggest financial supporters are unions. So why not talk about consolidation across the board … and make it a
true study? He won’t do that because the teachers union and all these other groups give him tons of money each year. So,
once again, it’s a ruse on behalf of the representative to not talk about a real plan.”
Philip Martell, Superintendent, Connellsville School District, reacting in the Daily Courier's, "Mahoney irked by opposition
to consolidation," to comments that PA Rep Tim Mahoney, 51st District, wrote on his website about the district's refusal to
hear the state rep's proposal plan to consolidate administrative departments of Fayette's school districts
"One of the indigenous problems in Fayette County – and one that I believe holds us back in many ways – is flat out refusal to
even consider new solutions to problems or new ways of doing things."
Mahoney, as per the mentioned article, reacting to the Connellsville School District's choice not to want to consolidate
administrative functions with the other county school districts
While the business manager for the SEIU seemed to attend today's county meeting to spread urban legends and false
information that she says was in the paper but was not, the local SEIU steward wildly took command of the podium to interrupt
commissioners answering a UMWA rep's questions about the cut jail positions.
"I'm taking over now!" the SEIU steward/county employee repeatedly said, as he loudly pounded his fist on the podium and
ignored commissioners' requests to allow the previous UMWA speaker's questions and concerns to be addressed.
RANTS that someone, who would have been fired immediately or forced into an employee behavioral health assistance
program in a private sector job for classic insubordination, was permitted to bully and carry on so childishly in public. RANTS of
the shameful kind that this half-baked employee/steward dared to compare his pounding of the fist and yelling at his bosses to
private citizens who spoke out in past years against illegal or inappropriate spending sprees of a former administration.
RAVES, on the other hand, to the UMWA reps and staff who participated in today's meeting and calmly spoke, truthfully and
respectfully, about their growing frustrations with having a reduced jail staff. Having "a bare bones skeletal crew (for the) last 3
months" at the county jail has not been easy for the staff or inmates. While the outdoor area was fenced in to allow inmates to
be outside daily, they have not been outside because of limited staff, even prior to last week's termination of some jail staff.
Additionally, county jail staff, as per one jail guard, did not receive required training in Lancaster County's Elizabethtown
Training Academy. Nor will jail staff likely receive training any time soon in 2016 with last week's budget cuts.
As readers here are fully aware, the county commissioners cut several full-time jail jobs last week, after a prior administration
prepared a half-ass 2016 budget, some $3.5 million short. RAVES of hope that the commissioners continue to search for fiscal
pork areas in the budget and can restore enough jail coverage to allow required and needed training and days off for jail staff.
Lastly, RAVES to the full-time guard, now reduced to part-time hours without benefits, for sharing her story and idea to
eliminate the central court system to save or restore the lost jail jobs. (18 Feb 15)
Happy 2nd birthday, Mason!
RAVES that readers here have kept a special, little toddler in medical crisis in their prayers. Please read Happy 2nd Birthday,
Mason, in the right column.
Alfred&Vincent's frenzy&lunacy prompts tax increase&furloughs
RANTS that Alfred&Vincent really were as awful commissioners as previously ranted here to be... RANTS that the wrong
commissioners might be losing sleep over having to raise property taxes, furlough a dozen employees and not fill a couple
dozen already vacant positions to balance a budget and keep county government and operations afloat.
RANTS that Alfred&Vincent were as awful commissioners as every frigging one of the vocal citizens speaking out at county
meetings said they were.
RANTS that the Dysfunctional Duo audaciously crossed the line with each vote to misspend special funds every single time
they and county solicitors disregarded reason, logic, budget restrictions, County Code or funding regulations, as consistently
quoted by Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink, with each no or dissenting vote she gave them.
RANTS that jobs that Alfred&Vincent created in frenzy and lunacy in late 2015 were not budgeted in 2016, and that those jobs
today had to be eliminated.
Sad RANTS that those staff who lost their jobs are real people, with real families, directly impacted because Alfred&Vincent
sucked at reason and logic and failed to perform their due diligence in completing the most important task assigned to
commonwealth county commissioners.
Alfred&Vincent sucked to high heaven and failed their chosen job recipients by failing to find legitimate or appropriate funding
in 2016 for those new jobs. Ditto goes to those very real people employed as staff who got selective raises in late 2015, some
retroactive for 1 year. Alfred&Vincent moved money around with such frenzy and lunacy that it's sad that staff and families
getting used to the idea of getting a special, selective raise now lose it.
RAVES that the new county commissioners did their due diligence, cleaned up a mess and made the hard choices. RAVES
that they did it together and did it in the best interest of the county. That is a most uncomfortable thought to think, nonetheless,
since more dependable staff are needed at the jail and part-timers, said previously to have refused to answer calls to work,
were running full-time staff ragged covering shifts on overtime. When budgets can allow it, this need needs attention.
As said earlier, RANTS because the wrong people tonight might be losing sleep over having to raise taxes and furlough staff,
and that the Usual Suspects, no doubt, again wrongly will blame Zimmerlink for it all. (12 Feb 16)
When attention returns to the county jail
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but some expanded commentary, wondering, as county commissioners soon focus on county jail
overcrowding, "besides drawings, what do commissioners have to mull over?
Vicites, Lohr miss jail board reorganization meeting
RANTS that the 2 newly-elected county commissioners missed a scheduled prison board reorganization meeting today and
wasted the time of a third commissioner, the sheriff, controller, warden and public. The meeting will be rescheduled. (10 Feb
Yoi, how Alfred&Vincent's 2016 county budget sucks!
RANTS that county budget meetings continue to find none of that often-referenced surplus, magical source of gaming and gas
well revenue funds from Alfred&Vincent and The Lost to bail out the county's budget.
RANTS that the three commissioners continue to work long days, trying to make sense of the Dysfunctional Duo's twisted,
nonsense budget that would not have covered funding for county government too long into 2016.
While one lost re-election, the other did not seek re-election and they are both out of office today, it's almost a shame that
Alfred couldn't have been yanked back in from vacationing Lauderdale and Vincent from where ever he is today in the cosmos,
to answer for their negligence. (8 Feb 16)
County getting new solicitors?
RAVES that the county is actively seeking letters of interest, through February 16, from attorneys wanting to be Fayette's next
chief and assistant solicitors "as defined in the County Code."
RAVES, too, that the ad instructs applicants to send information to all 3 county commissioners via email and/or snail mail. Are
the days numbered, then, for the current solicitors, known to sit quietly like bumps on a log, while former commissioners
violated the Sunshine Law and conducted business in violation of County Code?
RAVES that days may be over, when, for instance, a rogue solicitor would pursue a zoning appeal without county knowledge
or approval. (7 Feb 16)
To review the agenda for Tuesday's county agenda planning meeting, please click here.
ABC News asks how convicted felon doc got Fay Co jail gig
In the aftermath of the late January FBI indictment of Dr. Dominic DiLeo on hundreds of charges of running a pill mill from a
Uniontown methadone clinic, disgraceful RANTS that it's a national news organization also asking how in the world the ex con
doctor ever got clearances in the first place to work at the county jail as that facility's medical doctor.
Prior to the October FBI raid of the methadone clinic, the doctor was hired to provide medical care to the county jail even
though he was convicted previously in the 1990s of prescribing illegal pain killers in exchange for kickbacks and ordering
fudged employee and patient medical testing and oxygen supplies to drum up business for himself.
RANTS that ABC national news had to ask the questions that should have been asked by county officials and local media well
aware of DiLeo's history.
Additionally, RANTS that it's a national news organization that had to ask how or why the doctor was granted an exception to
have his medical license reinstated after only 1 year of suspension, when, normally, there is a required 10-year period for
others. Who pulled those strings and why? It's not as though he were the only cardiologist around at the time.
RANTS that infamous indictments such as his throws Fayette County into the national news spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
(4 Feb 16)
Budget meetings continue to correct Alfred&Vincent's twisted math
RAVES to the current board of county commissioners for continuing to work on Alfred&Vincent's whack job of a 2016 budget
that the Lame Ducks prepared before leaving office. RAVES that about $1 million dollars was trimmed from what initially was
about a $3.5 million dollar deficit. RANTS that Alfred&Vincent slyly inflated the property tax revenue figures and gave their
twisted blessing to a joke of an adopted 2016 county budget that was about $500,000 short than actual costs just at the county
RANTS, too, that it is unknown at this time if there is any money left in a county reserve fund -- a fund usually reserved to tap
into for budget shortfalls. RANTS that we cannot force Alfred&Vincent to repay their salaries to the county, as it appears that
they really weren't at work, even when they physically were present. RANTS, likewise, to the county solicitors, who sat through
more than one public meeting silently, as a lone commissioner and members of the public tried to stop the Dysfunctional Duo a
few times from misusing Act 13 funds however they so desired.
The 2016 board of county commissioners must balance the budget, either with a tax increase or further reduction of costs, by
mid-month. May the force be with them. (3 Feb 16)
Editor misses the boat, tries to b slap citizens
RANTS to the editor of heraldstandard.com, not just for chronically missing the boat for the past 4 years, but for trying to throw
the collective watchdog public under the big boy bus today. In an ed piece titled, "A mess," the editor rightfully commended the
county commissioners for working productively together on the fuzzy, twisted math budget mess left behind by the former
Dysfunctional Duo, Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky.
The editor, however, couldn't just leave it at that. No, no, no. He had to try to bitch slap the citizens known to speak out
publicly at past meetings each time the Dysfunctional Duo tried to pull their twisted crap, under the guise of bringing economic
development, by misusing Act 13 funds, time and time again, to generate regular county revenue to pay bills.
"They also haven’t had to deal with outcries from the public, which have been a huge distraction in the past," the editor said,
after a positive review of the officials' daily budget meetings.
RANTS that the attempted bitch slapping was a bit too far reaching today for justification of a goofy bias. RANTS that the
editor still has no clue -- none whatsoever -- and did not comprehend why citizens defended their right to speak out against
careless leaders who spent like drunk sailors on leave, as though there's no tomorrow or piper to pay. RANTS that an editor
consistently praised the Dysfunctional Duo's plans for 4 years and shamefully slammed the citizens who wisely saw right
through the BS sham.
RAVES, yes, that the county may finally have 3 commissioners who want the county to prosper legitimately, but RANTS that
the paper, too, held the county back by looking the other way and by not exposing dirt or the truth neatly dished out at times on
a platter during public meetings. RANTS that the paper proudly promoted the Dysfunctional Duo's spin for 4 years.
Come on! Did the editor really expect citizens to squawk when 3 leaders are working productively to resolve the mess that
Ambrosini and Zapotosky created? Shame on him, if he did. (31 Jan 16)
Snow storm changes all plans
RAVES to neighbors helping neighbors dig out from the whopper of a snow storm that turned on precisely at the moment
yesterday when weather forecasters predicted it would arrive. Front yard yardstick total was 26 inches, while the backyard drift
area swallowed up the yardstick, not to be seen again until the thaw occurs.
RAVES that there was no loss of electricity and that the house stayed warm throughout the storm, making it comfy in between
brave trips out into the element to shovel, coax the snow blower into working and glide down a hill a few dozen times on a
plastic sled with the kids of all ages. (23 Jan 16)
County tables some non-budgeted items
RAVES that the county commissioners today tabled a promotion and some purchases, after learning that the expenses were
not covered in the budget. Please read that sentence again, or even a third time. This phenomenon seems refreshingly new to
Fayette after 4 years of passing resolutions on promises that revenue would, somehow, magically appear.
Savour the moment and hope that this type of smart due diligence becomes trademark of this new board of county
commissioners, and that it's not just a one, single instance of fiscal responsibility among this county's leaders. (12 Jan 16)
"Quotes Of The Day"
"John Croftcheck said the resolution was made during tumultuous times where there was a lot of passion and anger, but the
resolution was designed to stifle citizens' comments."
The Daily Courier, "Public comment measure could be revisited," summing up public comment from incorrectly identified
citizen John Cofchin, on the county public comment policy, which the former administration majority imposed selectively
on some, but not all, members of the public in past meetings
"Oh, I smell more tumultuous times ahead!"
Dave, this morning at the diner, reading the above mentioned Courier article that stated that 2 commissioners refused to
boot the policy to the curb and, instead, wish to review it for possible implementation
Trib covers stupid Fay criminals, but not news
The Tribune Review, since its downsizing and selling of the Connellsville Daily Courier and other papers, no longer covers
county meetings and news, but, of course, jumped to reserve space and time to cover a Smock man's choice to stuff his shoes
with pot, rolling papers and lighters, when checking in high for a scheduled hearing for driving without a state license.
The 26-year-old's buzz cruise to the hearing left him reeking of pot smell, apparently. He is said to have been fearful of being
incarcerated. What a buzz kill, then, for him to learn that he wasn't going to summer camp and would be searched prior to
entering a jail cell.
RANTS, though, that no news is covered any longer, yet acts of stupid criminals get print media coverage there, then get
picked up on television news and onto the national wire. Amazing! (4 Jan 16)
Vicites in as chair
Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note of no surprise -- i.e., egos being what egos can sometimes be -- that Democrat Vince
Vicites accepted the chairman role on the county board of commissioners. RANTS, however, that he nominated newly elected
Republican (by registration) Dave Lohr as vice chair over seasoned incumbent, Angela Zimmerlink.
Gee, why? (3 Jan 16)
Electronic Uniontown business signs...
Happy 2nd Birthday, Mason!
On February 26, 2014, videographer Chuck U. Farley left a special county meeting -- when
former commissioners signed a $1.25 million dollar no-bid land deal to buy Dunbar Township land
for a new county jail -- because his son, Mason, was about to be born. In December of 2015, when
many families were busy planning the Christmas holidays, Mason suffered a stroke and was
diagnosed with Barth Disorder, a rare genetic disorder that usually brings more heartache than
families should be expected to bear.
In Mason's case, however, the little trooper is about to celebrate his second birthday, a joyous
milestone that some who share the diagnosis do not reach. Mason's stroke leaves him paralyzed on
his left side and kept him inpatient for nearly 2 months in Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital and
that facility's inpatient rehabilitation unit. He finally was discharged to return home this month.
While he will require extensive physical and occupational therapies to recover from the stroke,
Mason's chances of overcoming the cardiac and other issues from the genetic disorder actually
improve the closer he gets to his third birthday in 2017. When little boys with his disorder reach
their third birthday, they have a very good chance of growing up without cardiac or other Barth-
related medical complications.
A gofundme account is established to help this young, working family acquire home adaptations and
transportation and to help them recover financially for work missed during the family's need to be
with Mason for nearly 2 months inpatient in Pittsburgh.
Please help by going to Mason's gofundme page and donating whatever you can afford.
Please keep your prayers coming Mason's way, too, that this little trooper keeps progressing and
reaches next year's all-important third birthday milestone.
Above, Greenlick Jacobs Creek Park, one of the most stunning
Fayette sights not atop a mountain, hopefully, will become a
future recipient of a $50,000 upgrade grant for new playground
equipment, a walking trail and restrooms.
Breakiron Road bridge damage video that dramatically shows the
extent of damage that a little stream underneath did in record time three days
ago to steel and concrete. The image seen at the start of the short video is
shocking, but grows even more shocking when the camera pans back behind to
the road before the bridge. (video by J. Connors)
Who needs an education in Fayette County?