Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage has been hit with a pair of sexual violence Protection from Abuse orders handed down this afternoon at the Courthouse.
According to the Republican Herald this afternoon, a Lebanon County judge, Robert Eby, ordered the PFAs against the embattled Commissioner. They’re in place until May 2024 and prohibit Halcovage from “abusing, harassing, or contacting” Jane Does 1 and 2, as they’re known in a federal lawsuit they filed against him in March.
In that lawsuit, Halcovage is accused of serial workplace misconduct – including, in one case, sexual assault – against 4 women identified as Schuylkill County employees who worked in the Courthouse.
Judge Orders 2 PFAs Against Schuylkill Commissioner Halcovage
Prior to this ruling coming down Wednesday afternoon, there was apparently a bit of drama unfolding within the Courthouse walls. Two local mainstream media outlets were barred from covering the Halcovage hearing by Judge Eby.
Times-News and the Republican-Herald each sent a reporter to cover the hearing:
Media tossed from Halcovage hearing @Times_News https://t.co/Ns99TuF8et pic.twitter.com/BTwWJrNP80
— Times News (@Times_News) May 5, 2021
While PFA hearings are generally open to the public, a court official said there is a provision to close the doors if a case involves alleged sexual violence.
The RH then reported that Judge Eby said technically there was no hearing on Wednesday morning because the two sides in the case had come to an agreement. The paper reports now that Halcovage did not have to admit any guilt on Wednesday as part of the agreement.
According to the letter of the Protection From Abuse Act, an agreement is one of two results of a PFA hearing. Parties involved can appear on their hearing date with a written agreement in place or they can tell the judge their agreement.
Only about a half-hour following that PFA hearing that wasn’t a PFA hearing, the Schuylkill County Commissioners were in the middle of their weekly meeting. During the final public comment period, Clerk of Courts Maria Casey once again pleaded with Commissioners to bar Halcovage from the Courthouse. County Treasurer Linda Marchalk echoed that sentiment this morning publicly, too.