“Today, we start the process of impeachment …”
The “process of impeachment” of Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage is reportedly underway.
The three Representatives of Schuylkill County in the State House on Wednesday say they have introduced a House Resolution that calls upon the body’s Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Halcovage should be impeached.
“Today, we start the process of impeachment,” a statement from Reps. Tim Twardzik (R-123), Jerry Knowles (R-124), and Joe Kerwin (R-125) reads.
Impeachment Process Begun Against Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage
“This is very rare for Legislators to ask for the investigation of a public official. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, we believe it to be necessary. As Schuylkill County representatives, we have an obligation to our constituents to determine the facts in this case and proceed accordingly,” it continues.
By law, a County Commissioner can only be removed under certain circumstances. In the case of Halcovage, he can as he has choose to stay in office despite numerous calls for him to resign. He could also resign on his own. A criminal conviction could force him out, too. And if none of those happen, he could be impeached but that starts in the State House of Representatives, where a process similar to a Presidential impeachment could unfold.
And we’ve seen too many of those recently so that’s pretty familiar.
Presuming the House Resolution is moved to the Judiciary Committee, that board will investigate whether Halcovage should be impeached before the full House. If the House votes in favor, the matter goes to the Senate, where a two-thirds majority vote to convict would remove Halcovage from his job as Schuylkill Commissioner.
The Resolution introduced by Twardzik, Knowles, and Kerwin on Wednesday “empowers the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Courts to conduct an investigation of Schuylkill County Commissioner George F. Halcovage Jr.,” the statement reads. Those committees can subpoena witnesses, record testimony and review other evidence pertinent to the matter.
Halcovage is accused of being a serial harasser inside Schuylkill County Courthouse during his time as Commissioner, spanning almost a full decade. A federal lawsuit filed back in March by 4 anonymous female Courthouse employees alleges he harassed them for years and in the case of one of the women, committed sexual assault against her.
The 3 Representatives along with State Sen. Dave Argall have called on Halcovage to resign to avoid a potential mess unfolding over impeachment. Fellow Commissioners Boots Hetherington and Gary Hess have also told Halcovage to quit, as have the female row officers inside the Courthouse.
Earlier Wednesday, a judge hit Halcovage with a pair of sexually violent PFA orders, prohibiting him from harassing 2 of the “Jane Doe” plaintiffs in that lawsuit for a period of 3 years.
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