Schuylkill County officials said Thursday they won’t appeal a decision by the state’s Office of Open Records and plans to release surveillance video footage involving Commissioner George Halcovage.
We’re unsure what exactly the video will show or what can be seen. But we’ve got an idea from what’s been made public so far. But it was 30 days ago that the OOR ordered Schuylkill County to turn over a copy of the video to Ringtown resident Doug Litwhiler. Litwhiler requested it originally through the County’s Right to Know process.
Schuylkill County Not Appealing, Will Release Halcovage Tape
The video in question will purportedly show Halcovage scaling an earthen embankment on the west side of Schuylkill County Courthouse. Additionally, the video will also show Halcovage “lying in a cluster of trees” allegedly observing two county employees.
We know that because of what a county employee said to Sheriff Joe Groody. They reportedly asked Groody why they, on an unknown recent date, observed Halcovage lying in that cluster of trees. Groody checked video surveillance footage and alerted County Administrator Gary Bender to what he’d seen on the recorded footage.
The public got wind of a potential video through public comment sessions in Schuylkill County Commissioner meetings. So, Litwhiler filed a Right to Know request which the County originally denied. That’s when Litwhiler took his case to the state Open Records office, which eventually ordered the Courthouse to release a copy of the video to Litwhiler.
Critics of Halcovage believe this video shows proof that he was planning to meet or confront two women in the parking lot outside the Courthouse who are accusing him of sexual harassment.
Thursday was the deadline for the County to turn over the video or file an appeal of the Open Records office decision. During the day, Litwhiler informed The Canary that the County told him they wouldn’t appeal the OOR decision. The County said it would share the video with him at 9 a.m. Friday.
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