Argall Joins Chorus Calling for Halcovage Resignation as Schuylkill Commissioner
State Sen. Dave Argall, on Monday, called on Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage to resign from office.
Halcovage, of course, faces numerous allegations of workplace misconduct, including sexual assault and sexual harassment. He’s been sued, along with several other County officials, in federal court over his actions. And last year, an internal County investigation determined that if he were a regular employee of the County and did what he allegedly did, he’d be fired.
But as a County Commissioner, he’s about as close to untouchable as you can get as a politician. Only resignation, criminal conviction, or impeachment can remove him from office.
Halcovage was elected in 2019 to another 4-year term as Commissioner. He was appointed Commissioners Chairman but stepped aside in 2020 amid the allegations, allowing Boots Hetherington to take the gavel at Commissioners meetings.
Argall Calls for Halcovage Resignation as Schuylkill County Commissioner
On Monday, Argall became the latest to ask Halcovage to quit. His request comes weeks after his colleagues in the State House of Representatives – Reps. Jerry Knowles, Tim Twardzik, and Joe Kerwin Jr. – did the same, promising to proceed with impeachment of the Commissioner “with alacrity” if he’s found guilty in the federal lawsuit.
In his statement Monday, Argall says it shouldn’t have to wait that long.
“It’s a sad day for Schuylkill County, but due to the nature of the allegations, I believe it would be in the best interest of everyone involved and in the best interest of Schuylkill County for Commissioner Halcovage to step away from his post. Dragging this out would be a disservice to the residents of Schuylkill County who elected him to help lead their county government,” Argall says. “After careful consideration of the facts of the case and a review with Senate legal staff, I strongly urge George Halcovage to resign his post as County Commissioner.”
The statement from Argall comes somewhat out of the blue. As noted, it’s been weeks since it was trendy to call on Halcovage to resign. And nothing since then has been revealed that would indicate one way or another that Halcovage might be more or less guilty.
Argall says he’s responding to the numerous public calls for Halcovage to quit as well as the detailed allegations against him spelled out in the federal lawsuit filed by 4 anonymous female Courthouse employees.
“I have heard from many members of the Schuylkill County community about the serious allegations leveled against Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage,” he says. “Residents, business leaders, and other county officials from both sides of the aisle alike were horrified to read the details of the lawsuit filed against him by four Schuylkill County women. An investigation by the Schuylkill County solicitor and human resource office determined that if Commissioner Halcovage was an employee, they would have recommended that he be terminated.”
Argall continues that if Halcovage doesn’t resign, the wheels are at least starting to move on impeachment in Harrisburg.
“Rep. Jerry Knowles, Rep. Joe Kerwin, and Rep. Tim Twardzik have reviewed the impeachment process with attorneys from the House of Representatives. While impeachment would be a very serious and difficult matter, we all understand this path may be the next appropriate course of action,” he says.
Impeachment would have to begin in the State House of Representatives. If they vote in favor, Halcovage’s case would be moved to the State Senate for a trial. If convicted there, he could be removed from office.
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