Posted by on November 1, 2019 4:11 pm

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Categories: Local Politics

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.  

ALSO READ:

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?

ALSO READ: 

13 responses to Coroner Deputies Suggest Sabotage Fueling Vicious Opposition Campaign

  1. Rev. Edward B. Connolly November 1st, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I have visited the mobile morgue several times in recent years (2015-2019) in order to give what we Catholics refer to as “conditional last rites” or else simply to pray for the deceased. Sometimes I have made these visits on my own initiative, sometimes at the request of families, sometimes at the request of Dr. Moylan.
    What I want to point out is that I have never seen anything in that mobile morgue that I could possibly interpret as improper, disrespectful or unseemly.
    Granted it is not a “luxurious” facility, nevertheless it is adequate and clean, and serves the purpose.
    In the past —- I have served in Schuylkill County since 1986 —- I had occasion for visiting the facility that served as the previous County Morgue. I am of the opinion that the current mobile morgue is superior to its predecessor facility in terms of cleanliness and dignity. I could be more explicit about that observation …. but I’ll let it go at that!

    Reply

  2. Deb November 1st, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Let me know when you want to hear the other side of the story.

    Reply

    • admin November 1st, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      Feel free to reply at newscanary@gmail.com. We’ll publish your response.

      Reply

    • SkookNative November 2nd, 2019 at 8:31 am

      We all want to hear the response Deb. Most of us have heard it all yet I’m not sure anyone believes either side except strict party line people.

      Reply

  3. Adultress November 2nd, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Whenever I hear Deb Detweiler’s name, the term “hot mess” comes to mind. Our courthouse has enough issues we don’t need to be adding people to the fray who belong on an episode of Jerry Springer. Seriously go on the county’s legal database and search this woman under all her aliases and well, enough said.

    Reply

    • Skook for life November 2nd, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      Seems to me your the jealous ex that doesn’t even live in schuylkill county !! #youwishyouwereher

      Reply

      • Redringer November 2nd, 2019 at 2:25 pm

        Actually, there has been a lot of discussion about this. Isn’t Deb still married to ////// but engaged & living with someone else?

        Reply

        • Skook real November 2nd, 2019 at 9:49 pm

          Nah, you know the truth ! You guys keep trashing her and lieing because you can’t find anything else on her. Believe me those pictures are not fake or staged. His number one deputies are the ones guilty of doing this. They will lie and cheat so that they don’t lose their meal ticket.

          Reply

  4. Redringer November 2nd, 2019 at 11:43 am

    For months the Detweiler supporters have been trashing Dr Moylan for everything from his physical appearance to events held at the Simon Kramer institute. Once faced with pushback with the truth, she feels “ threatened “ and finds new ways attack. She is playing on people’s fears as not many citizens know exactly what occurs at the coroner’s office.

    Reply

  5. Dave M. November 2nd, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Seems pretty one sided to me. Good journalism would suggest interviewing both sides before printing. If what you say is true why not use the names of the people who defend Doc Moylan.

    Reply

    • Truth hurts November 2nd, 2019 at 10:11 pm

      Because they are scared. Let’s just say they are the deputies guilty of stacking and have no compassion for decedents and their families.

      Reply

    • Kristie November 3rd, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      Agree!!

      Reply

  6. Redringer November 3rd, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    I’m not a supporter of either candidate at this time. I’ve just been bombarded with info on Facebook, Twitter & the newspaper. People at work talking about it too. Lots of mud slinging. I can’t figure out what the truth is. I find it hard to believe the conditions of the Morgue are that horrible. There has to be families that have had no issues with the current administration that won’t or don’t want to speak out for various reasons.

    Reply

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