Could Democrat challenger for Schuylkill County Coroner be sabotaging the office so voters usher her into office?
At least some of her co-workers there believe it could be the case.
Next week, Schuylkill County voters head to the polls in the 2019 Municipal Election. In addition to local races, we’ll all be picking the next roster of Schuylkill County row offices.
Schuylkill County Coroner Election 2019
The Coroner’s race isn’t one that normally gets a lot of attention. Of all offices at Schuylkill County Courthouse, Coroner is probably the one you won’t see in your life.
But this year’s different. Earlier this year, a Deputy Coroner, Democrat Deb Detweiler, launched a campaign that turned out to be one of the most vicious and most advanced in recent memory.
Since announcing, Detweiler spent months lobbing attacks at Moylan, the two-time incumbent and a well-known local oncologist.
You’ve seen long-threaded and viral Facebook posts, video testimonials and more. You’d think this lady were running for President.
Her attacks ranged from the ordinary: Moylan is an absent administrator and that’s causing delays in the processing of the deceased …
To the truly absurd: Stopping just short of saying Moylan’s disrespecting corpses by keeping them in a run-down tepid County “mobile morgue” Moylan runs at his property in New Philadelphia.
Sabotage Inside the County Coroner’s Office?
Some employees inside the County Coroner’s office tell The Canary that her campaign against Moylan could all be predicated on sabotage.
“No question in my mind,” one Deputy Coroner tells us. “Her friend is the one who conceptualized the mobile morgue in the first place. And she was the one running it. Yet they want you to believe our county morgue is something out of a horror novel.”
Another deputy believes Detweiler was stacking bodies in the morgue and taking pictures. She did this to tear down Moylan by presenting the office in the worst light possible, they say.
The Detweiler campaign has shared photos on social media showing the outside of the mobile morgues in New Philly. According to a local media report, she shared pics taken inside the morgue showing bodies stacked extremely close together.
She says the bodies are stacked in the county’s morgue facility because Moylan isn’t doing his job.
Our sources inside the Coroner’s office see it another way.
“Do we have ideal facilities? No, nobody does in this age of limited funding and doing more with less,” this Deputy says. “But we’ve made do, and it’s nowhere near what (Detweiler) portrays it as.”
And the attacks against Moylan as a medical professional are over the line, they say.
“As a physician, Doc Moylan cherishes the sanctity of life, but he also demands that we treat all decedents with great respect and dignity, which we do,” they tell The Canary.
The Ax to Grind
So, why — if these allegations are true — would Detweiler go to such great lengths to portray not only the Coroner’s office in such a negative light, but also Moylan? It’s to the point that they think she’s fixing things inside the office to make it look as bad as possible to voters who wouldn’t know otherwise.
Perhaps it has something to do with the lawsuit she filed alongside Pothering and another Deputy Coroner, Scott Clews. The lawsuit was filed originally in December 2017.
The three allege the County owes them thousands of dollars in back overtime pay. Schuylkill County says it’ll pay Detweiler $5,000 for back overtime pay if she produces time sheets to say she worked the time she wants paid for.
But her lawsuit against the County seeks considerably more than $5,000.
The Morgue is a Mess; I Was Always There; But It’s Not My Fault
Regardless of how much Detweiler gets in back overtime pay, the lawsuit and even the County’s willingness to pay shows that Detweiler was crucial to the Coroner’s office.
Her lawsuit spells out all those duties.
In order to bolster her claim for overtime, she admits that she was in complete charge of processing all corpses that came through the mobile morgue that her old pal (and as it turns out, co-saboteur), Joe Pothering, had acquired and recommended to the office.
In court filings, Detweiler says the “Morgue Process” was “assigned only to me to perform.”
Detweiler also says she “was required to process ANY DECEDENT transported to the Schuylkill County morgue.”
But wait …
She also says, “Any decedent that was transported to the Schuylkill County Morgue was to be morgue processed by myself per Dr. Moylan’s request.”
Elaborating, she claims, “I would remove the decedent from the cooler area and photograph the decedent’s clothes, remove the decedent’s clothing and photograph the decedent again. The decedent would be placed back in the cooler for holding. I would than (sic) contact Dr. Moylan and advise of all the findings.”
That’s not all …
Detweiler also says, “I would then go into the reporting program and document the morgue process and any findings along with the chain of custody information. I would upload the toxicology reports into our reporting system. If an autopsy was completed, I would email the pathologist the tox report.”
She even admits arranging the autopsies, serving as office liaison between law enforcement and the funeral parlors. Detweiler and her friend Pothering admit training new deputies, too.
For her lawsuit, the more work Detweiler says she does, the more money in damages she’s likely to get if she wins. Detweiler says she’s reached out to various unnamed officials at the local and state levels and they’ve told her that the only way to stop what she says is wrong with the Coroner is to run against him.
Well, you can’t run a campaign claiming the office you want is a mess but at the same time, claim you’re in this office so much that the county owes you thousands in overtime pay.
Which is it?
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