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Halcovage Confined to Office, Bathroom Breaks at Schuylkill County Courthouse

george halcovage schuylkill county commissioner

george halcovage schuylkill county commissioner

On Wednesday, we learned Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage is allegedly being confined, during working hours, to his office at the Courthouse.

The only chance he’s got to leave his office is for bathroom breaks.

That’s pretty messed up for someone who’s only been accused of wrongdoing.

Halcovage Confined to Office, Bathroom Breaks at Work in Courthouse

During public comments at the regular Schuylkill County Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, July 8, Clerk of Courts Maria Casey let it out that Halcovage’s ability to move about the building has been limited.

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And according to her, she still thinks that’s too much freedom for the man she says “prowls the hallways” at the Courthouse “looking for his next victim” of harassment.

These histrionics and more came on a day when Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O’Pake allegedly handed over an investigation involving Halcovage to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

According to the RepublicanHerald newspaper, Shapiro’s been asked to look into any potential criminal wrongdoing on Halcovage’s part.

Halcovage has been accused of harassing women in the workplace this year. According to an internal investigation at the Courthouse, Schuylkill County Solicitor Glenn Roth says it’s “apparent” that Halcovage violated 3 different workplace policies.

The Halcovage matter was turned over by County administrators to the District Attorney’s office, who then asked the state Attorney General to step in.

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Halcovage denies these accusations and promised to fight them in court, should things develop that far.

“Clearly a Threat”

During the public comment session on Wednesday, Casey told Commissioners the fact that Halcovage has been confined to his office at the Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (except for bathroom breaks) shows that “clearly he is a threat.”

Casey indicated that the confinement exercise may not be working entirely. And like at last week’s Commissioners work session meeting, she thinks he should be removed from the Courthouse throughout any investigation.

She admonished the two other Schuylkill County Commissioners, Gary Hess and Boots Hetherington, for not following through on her demands.

“Despite my repeated recommendations, you two ignore that,” she said. “Ban him from all access to the Courthouse. You owe it to the women of this county.”

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Casey thinks Halcovage should only be allowed to return to the physical workplace when one of two things takes place: he’s found innocent or he’s been rehabilitated, in her words.

“Neither of those things will happen here, I guarantee you,” Casey said.

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  1. Rob

    July 9, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Since when has this country’s policy guilty until proven innocent?

    That is what Ms. Casey is doing and it’s a horrible way for a highly seated county official, clerk of courts, to act. That said while it’s a violation of Constitutional law (and treating the county’s capitol building like a day care for children) it’s in Halcovage’s best interest to follow her ridiculous confinement order and play along and letting other people’s failures backfire and self destruct. There has been no proof or charges against Mr. Halcovage they’re accusations at this point. He’s a highly seated county commissioner, not a 3 year old that broke a toy in a tantrum because he needs a nap. He can’t and shouldn’t be locked up or made to sit in a corner facing the wall on a time-out until mom says he can play again.

    That is ridiculous.

    • PTFloridians

      July 9, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Excellent points Rob…people, by in large, assume guilt with no due process.
      …i might assume that most folks have been brainwashed into thinking that these restrictions are fine. They’re NOT, unless George agreed to them.
      …innocent til proven guilty, not the other way. The political left has succeeded in a paradigm shift, in many ways, about a variety of topics, and have successfully brainwashed the finger-swiping, 5 second news-blurb society, instead of people taking a few moments to reflect and investigate matters, like wise, critical thinkers would do…

      • Tweener

        July 9, 2020 at 4:14 pm

        Were the investigations carried out by an independent organization or the Republican-heavy officials of the Court House?There seems to be some real internal political struggles going on with the party.Doesn’t seem to be Democrat or left-wing.Insights?

        • Rob

          July 9, 2020 at 4:52 pm

          It is an internal ivestigation. Several other media sources state that the allegations are under investigation by the County District Attorny.

          Ms. Casey is attacking and attempting to discredit and confine Halcovage with everything she can. In my view what she’s doing is a common, childish, retaliation tactic conducted by corporate people who know they are weak links because and didn’t get their way on something. Halcovage just got through another investigation, similar allogations, that resulted in him not being charged at all. So it seems Casey is throwing a fit.

          That is horribly inappropriate. These people, who work in the court house, are not only adults they are county officials. The way Ms. Casey is not only acting like a child but treating an elected official and the entire courthouse like a bunch of obnoxious, out of control toddlers is not only Constitutionally illegal it’s morally disgusting and disrespectful.

          We need adults on our political seats who can handle being spoken to like an adult human. Not grown adults that act like and treat other elected seats like children.
          They’re not a bunch of kids they are the people who were elected by the people to run Schuylkill County.

          I will add that I don’t know George Halcovage closely but he and his family and mine were neighbors on the east side of Pottsville for several decades. Mr. Halcovage never was never rude or even slightly abusive in any way to anyone. He was admired in our neighborhood because he always had a great, political and nice way, to comment on and handle things like not only an adult but an elected official should.

          I’m wondering what Casey is really upset about that caused her to put him in her crosshairs.

          • PTFloridians

            July 9, 2020 at 8:50 pm

            Casey seems to be the common demoninator in quite a few hissyfits over the last few years, in the courthouse and in other political arenas. Double dippin’ Maria (2019), unfair labor practice Maria (2016) to name the most headline-grabbing…sounds like quite the drama queen/attention seeker, who just loves a good axe-to-grind scandal.
            “If you want to know what unbridled arrogance and greed looks like, have a look at Maria Casey,” one county employee says.

          • Canary Commenter

            July 9, 2020 at 11:00 pm

            Don’t forget COVID in the Courthouse. She was all over that. Quoted in the local daily paper literally saying “I told you so” when they allegedly found a 2nd case.

          • Rob

            July 9, 2020 at 9:23 pm

            I must correct the info I shared. If we read the third paragraph under the title this source reports that the investigation has been “handed over” to the PA Attorney General. So the investigation is being done by the State, not the county. So it is but it’s not internal. In my opinion though whenever a politician that works in a government building is being investigated by any form of law enforcement it’s internal becauce all of those departements are inside the government. It began as an internal County investigation then went to State level authorities.

          • Rob

            July 9, 2020 at 9:43 pm

            The other very disturbing side of all this, if it’s even true (I never fully trust any media source.), is that the Clerk of Courts position is in layman’s terms a secretary. The Clerk of Courts responsibilities are clerical record keeping and record maintenance duties. They’re not the court house’s cop or security service. She’s nobody’s “boss” either.

            So this woman, Ms. Miria Casey, has absolutely no authority to violate Mr. Halcovages Constitutional Rights and Freedoms and demand let alone order him like grounding a child to stay in his room.
            She is wrong in so many ways.

          • Canary Commenter

            July 9, 2020 at 11:04 pm

            There was an internal investigation handled within the Courthouse dealing with a workplace conflict. If it were at your job, no one outside the cubicles would know about it. When it’s at the Courthouse, it’s palace intrigue.

        • Canary Commenter

          July 9, 2020 at 10:58 pm

          The initial investigation (at the County level) started with a complaint to HR, which was forwarded to the Solicitor’s office. The DA was asked to step in and look for potential criminal wrongdoing. Conflicted, the case goes to the state level.

          You’re right that there are some sharp divisions within the County GOP. Several sides that likely wouldn’t be upset to see Halcovage resign. With the investigation now in the far-left hands of AG Josh Shapiro … who knows what happens.

          • Tweener

            July 10, 2020 at 10:03 am

            You seem to have good insights to the divisions in the party.Curious if there are two or three sides.Will you have a fly on the wall on Saturday in Tremont for the committee people?Would make interesting reading.

  2. Tweener

    July 10, 2020 at 10:04 am

    You seem to have good insights to the divisions in the party.Curious if there are two or three sides.Will you have a fly on the wall on Saturday in Tremont for the committee people?Would make interesting reading.

  3. Pingback: Thomas Switches Watchdog Focus from Schools to Courthouse Drama, Local Politics - Coal Region Canary

  4. StopSchuylkillCountyCrooks

    July 12, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    Who does Maria Casey think she is? Im embarrassed that I voted for her.l! Definitely not making that mistake again. And she’s an attorney! OmG!! She should know that you are innocent until proven guilty. My best guess is Maria Casey was put in her place by Commissioner Halocovage at some point and that’s probably why she’s hell bent on making these ludicrous statements and demands. I would bet money on this whole thing being exaggerated by these women in order to retaliate because Commissioner Halcovage called them out on mistakes they made or criticized subpar work. Lastly, I don’t want to offend but I just want to point out that incompetence is very common among Schuylkill County Courthouse employees. Not to mention pettiness. Most of them don’t even know how to correctly do their job because they don’t know the laws. And forget about giving criticism without a fight. Dont expect them to apologize for anything nor expect them to admit a mistake, etc. even when proven wrong. Schuylkill County needs to get rid of the petty corrupt politicians & employees!!

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