A Tower City-area political activist says Schuylkill County Commissioner has until Friday to resign from office.
If he doesn’t, Marcus Riddell says he’ll send a draft of a Document of Impeachment to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Riddell tells The Canary in an interview on Wednesday, that according to Article 1, Section 2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, permits him to send this draft to the House.
§ 2. Political powers. All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.
He says he’s been told the document will be read by the Speaker of the House in Harrisburg and then likely sent to the House Judiciary Committee.
In the meantime, Riddell – who organizes the action group We the People of PA – is planning to hold a protest outside Schuylkill County Courthouse on August 19 to convince Halcovage to resign.
Schuylkill County Activist Preps Impeachment Docs, Plans Protest to Force Halcovage Resignation
Riddell started his political action group in April in response to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He became active in the Halcovage drama at Schuylkill County Courthouse after reading the findings of the internal investigation that found Halcovage likely violated 3 different workplace policies, including sexual harassment.
Although that investigation did determine Halcovage violated those policies, the County has produced zero evidence that suggests any of it is real.
Riddell addressed those concerns that some in Schuylkill County currently have. He said he sent a Right to Know (RTK) request to the County seeking more evidence from that investigation. Riddell tells us the County got back to him within the required 5 business days but only to say they needed an extension. The County promised to get back to him by Aug. 19 and said they’re not sure if what he’s requesting is subject to RTK laws.
“The people of Schuylkill County need to stand up to these victims,” he tells The Canary. “These poor ladies are afraid to go to work. Their voices need to be heard.”
Protest for Halcovage Resignation
Riddell plans to protest outside Schuylkill County Courthouse on Aug. 19, starting at 8 a.m. Since that’s a Wednesday, Riddell wants to be there so the public attending the Commissioners meeting that day will see their message. On the 19th, the Commissioners actually have a work session meeting scheduled, which is still open to the public.
There is a chance, of course, that meetings could still be held via teleconference. Riddell says the protest will go on as scheduled regardless, unless of course, Halcovage resigns prior to then.
Halcovage says he’s not resigning, despite near constant calls for him to step down from inside and outside the Courthouse.
Outside of his own resignation, the only ways Halcovage can be removed from office are from a criminal conviction or by impeachment. Impeachment involves the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Riddell believes the documents he sends to the House of Representatives in Harrisburg – if Halcovage doesn’t resign by Friday – will be read by the Speaker of the House and then sent to the House Judiciary Committee.
He described what he’s planning to send to Harrisburg as a binded document, including a draft resolution with a copy of the statement released by Schuylkill County Solicitor Glenn Roth to announce the findings of the County’s internal investigation
The impeachment process actually mirrors the one we all saw unfold in late 2019 and early 2020 against President Donald Trump.
Once in the House Judiciary Committee, the issue would likely come to a vote. If the matter passes out of Committee, it would move to the full House for a vote. Should it pass out of the House, the matter gets moved to the Pennsylvania State Senate.
Like the US Senate, the State Senate holds conviction powers but would need a 2/3 majority to force Halcovage out of office.
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