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County judges want records off Web site

Published: Sun, July 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) -- Beaver County judges want their property records removed from the county's Web site, citing safety reasons.
"It's been a matter of concern of ours," President Judge Robert Kunselman said. "I don't want people to get on the Internet and find out where my house is located."
Judicial security concerns have increased since the murder of a federal judge's husband and mother in Chicago and the shooting death of a judge, court reporter and sheriff's deputy in Atlanta.
Similar information for judges living in Allegheny County was removed last month.
Because property records are public, the request would apply only to the county's Internet site; records at the county's assessment office would not be affected.
Michael Kohlman, the county's chief assessor, said posting the information was done nearly three years ago to reduce walk-in traffic at the courthouse and for the convenience of real estate professionals.
Commissioners chairman Dan Donatella wondered if information for other county employees should also be removed if the judges' information is removed. The commissioners make decisions that can anger people and county detectives and domestic relations specialists might have security concerns, he said.
But Commissioner Joe Spanik said altering the property search contradicts the county's move toward accessibility.
The commissioners will wait for a written request from the judges before taking any action.

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