The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts convened Tuesday morning in Harrisburg to launch an investigation into allegations against Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage.
Tuesday’s hearing at the Capitol lasted all of 5 minutes but members of the Subcommittee, part of the House Judiciary Committee, voted to move forward with their investigation.
“The process of impeachment will need to move forward,” Rep. Paul Schemel, the Subcommittee Chairman, said Tuesday, reading a prepared opening remark.
PA House Subcommittee Launches Investigation of Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage
“Impeachment is one of the most serious processes that we as a body have. And we, here in this committee are taking this specific process very seriously, handling it with the professionalism it deserves and also looking to hold to account our fellow elected representatives,” Subcommittee co-chair Rep. Joe Hohenstein added during Tuesday’s brief get-together.
The Subcommittee only took 1 vote on Tuesday. That was to “consider House Resolution 99” which authorized the House Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittee on Courts to conduct an investigation into Halcovage. Last year, HR99 passed the House unanimously.
We can expect in the coming days and weeks for the Subcommittee to subpoena witnesses, documents, and other materials that might help Schemel’s Subcommittee determine if Halcovage should face impeachment.
Schemel said that evidence could be received by the Subcommittee either in an open public forum or in an executive (private) session.
“Under the circumstances, I believe it is incumbent upon us to use the subpoena power to ensure the witnesses are heard and the documents are produced and reviewed in an orderly and expeditious manner,” Schemel said Tuesday.
The Subcommittee could ultimately recommend impeachment go forward against Halcovage or end the investigation if it doesn’t have evidence.
Halcovage stands accused of sexual misconduct while in office. In 2021, four Schuylkill County government employees filed a civil lawsuit against Halcovage for sexual harassment.
Since the lawsuit was filed, just about every Schuylkill County politician has called on Halcovage to resign as Commissioner.
However, Halcovage denies wrongdoing and has ignored the calls for him to resign.