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Hess Urges Hetherington to Lean On Bender, Not Halcovage

Boots hetherington schuylkill county commissioner

Boots hetherington schuylkill county commissioner

Schuylkill County Commissioners reorganized on Wednesday morning in the fallout from allegations against Chairman George Halcovage. And minority Commissioner Gary Hess gave some advice to the new chairman Boots Hetherington.

Hess told Boots he should lean on the experience of Schuylkill County Administrator Gary Bender for help leading the board. And he shouldn’t go to now-former Chairman George Halcovage.

Hess Tells Boots to Lean on Bender, Not Halcovage as Commissioners Chairman

Pardon our notes from the meeting – held via teleconference technology once again – but the reception broke up several times during Wednesday’s Schuylkill County Commissioners work session meeting.

Hess said “I wish that you take” advice from Bender, “rather than relying on Commissioner Halcovage,” Hess said as a not-so-subtle dig at Halcovage. “(Bender) has a lot of expertise.”

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Hess once again echoed the comments he made to WNEP-TV Tuesday night in calling for Halcovage to resign from office.

He said, “Commissioner Halcovage, you should step aside.”

Halcovage indicates he’s ready for a legal battle against the accusers who say he violated several workplace policies at the Schuylkill County Courthouse. When news of the allegations against him first broke, Halcovage denied them.

On Wednesday, Halcovage stepped aside as Commissioners Chairman. During a reorganization vote, Halcovage nominated fellow GOP Commissioner Hetherington to take over. Hess agreed and Boots was installed as Chairman.

As for now, at least publicly, Boots says he’ll let the allegations and potential court proceedings play out.

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Boots said during the meeting, “I do believe in due process.”

And in his new role as Chairman, he assured people attending the meeting and public, in general, “I will not support sexual harassment, especially with women. We are not going to cover anything up.”

The trio also agreed to the same for the Schuylkill County Salary Board in a meeting held immediately following Wednesday’s work session meeting.


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