Rostraver commissioner arrested by law enforcement, accused of harassing rivals by means of text, social media

John J. Lorenzo, chairman of Rostraver Township commissioners, is accused of working with pay as you go, disposable “burner” telephones and established up pretend Fb accounts to harass political opponents and rivals for much more than two yrs, in accordance to prison complaints submitted Tuesday.

A yearlong investigation started off just after fellow Commissioner Gary N. Beck Sr., a Democrat, complained to law enforcement that somebody had set up a Fb account “in his identify, employing photographs of him in several pursuits and demographic facts.”

Township police and a Westmoreland County detective uncovered that Beck didn’t have a Facebook account.

“Mr. Beck reported the messages are not a legitimate illustration of his opinion or political sights,” according to the criticism submitted from Lorenzo, 42, by township law enforcement Sgt. Daniel Cope and county Detective John Mandarino.

Investigators inevitably discovered proof that Lorenzo was administrator of the account. They attained a look for warrant to confirm account information and acquire obtain to textual content messages allegedly despatched by Lorenzo in Beck’s name.

On Nov. 5, 2019, when Lorenzo was elected, the account in Beck’s title sent out several personal messages to persons asking that they vote “for my fantastic good friend John Lorenzo.”

Lorenzo, right after remaining elected, switched his get together affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

Beck also reported receiving unsolicited textual content messages over the interval that he explained as “annoying,” like grievances above conclusions pertaining to a nearby landfill.

Just one textual content examine: “You enable it to transpire. You have allow us all down … how can you sleep at night?”

Investigators allege Lorenzo sent numerous anonymous messages to Beck over months “using 3 burner quantities to mask his real identification,” in accordance to court docket paperwork.

Lorenzo denies allegations

Lorenzo denies any wrongdoing.

“These accusations will not outline who I am. I in no way assumed politics could sink to these depths. These lies have completely devastated my spouse and children and has my livelihood in jeopardy,” he stated in a statement to the Tribune-Overview. “But make no slip-up about it, the real truth will occur out in the finish, and I will be vindicated. I have not completed nearly anything mistaken nor broken any legal guidelines.

“This is all a filthy political driven stunt with a untrue narrative to smear my name. This is what transpires when you do very good in the neighborhood and a find couple of want to see you are unsuccessful and drop.”

Lorenzo was arraigned on multiple prices of harassment by conversation, criminal use of a conversation system, unlawful use of a pc and unlawfully intercepting electronic communications. He is free of charge on $40,000 unsecured bond. A preliminary listening to is scheduled Dec. 13.

“I bleed the Rostraver eco-friendly and white and will carry on to serve the people of the neighborhood with accountability, regard and integrity. I will not allow these lies faze me or consider absent from my responsibility to this township,” Lorenzo mentioned in his assertion. “I am heading again to do the job serving the citizens of Rostraver.”

Previous 58th District Condition Property candidate Robert Prah, a Democrat, also complained to township police very last spring that he received harassing texts from an anonymous particular person.

“You and your group significantly went negative versus Mr. (Eric) Davanzo again? Have not you discovered it is a lousy search and does hurt … you must be ashamed,” go through just one message in March 2020.

Davanzo, a Republican, received the state House seat in November 2020.

“People saying if you have been a Republican you would be a shoe-in (sic) and certain the 58th,” study a further concept to Prah in 2020, according to court documents.

Yet another concept Prah gained in December 2020 about a township challenge urged him to “Go crawl back again underneath your hole.”

Investigators stated they connected all those messages to Lorenzo.

Lorenzo also is accused of setting up a bogus Facebook account past March in Commissioner Ray Iacoboni’s name and sending messages from it, according to court docket papers. That account has because been deleted, investigators claimed.

Main John Christner of the Rostraver Police Division explained the costs were being filed after a complete investigation.

“It’s a unhappy day in Rostraver Township. I really don’t like looking at Rostraver Township offer with this form of adversity,” Christner stated. “However, when it is explained and performed, we have a responsibility to look into prison activity. We ought to be diligent, reasonable and neutral as to our technique and methods.

“As a police office, we will not be dissuaded in carrying out our responsibilities irrespective of the identity of the alleged perpetrator.,” he added.

Lorenzo is the son of late township commissioner Nick Lorenzo, a Democrat who served in office environment for nearly 30 several years right before he was defeated for reelection in 2011. The elder Lorenzo died in 2014.

Lorenzo’s 1st phrase as commissioner expires in 2024.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff author. You can call Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or by way of Twitter .