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Schuylkill Courthouse Says It Needs 30 More Days on Snoopgate RTK Requests

Hmmm … wonder what prompted this response.

Just a few hours after we published an article that presumed the Schuylkill County Solicitor’s office denied our Right to Know requests seeking information on the so-called “independent investigation” that is supposed to be the impetus for firing 2 Tax Claims office employees, we hear back from the Solicitor’s office.

It turns out, the 3 Right to Know requests that were filed back on March 11 weren’t denied. The County says it needs 30 more days to produce the information we’re requesting.

Those requests seek the following information:

  • A copy of the investigation report from the law firm of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin, and Mellott LLC,
  • A copy of an investigation report the County sent to the law firm of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin, and Mellott LLC,
  • All written communications between the law firm of Eckert, Seamans, Cherin, and Mellott LLC and several Schuylkill County officials since it was retained in late-2021.

Eckert, Seamans, Cherin, and Mellott LLC is the law firm the Schuylkill County Commissioners hired last year to conduct an investigation into alleged unauthorized use of LexisNexis software by 2 Tax Claims office employees.

READ MORE: Schuylkill Courthouse Playing Hard-To-Get On Snoopgate Investigation Requests

Courthouse Requests 30 Days to Respond to Canary RTKs

The County now says those 300+ “unauthorized searches” could have somehow compromised the identities of more than 9,000 people. And last week, the Commissioners agreed to fund $64,000 from the County’s contingency fund to pay for Experian credit monitoring service for those 9,000+ people.

Despite several references to an alleged investigation report, the County has failed to produce a copy of it for the public. They say it’s enough to justify firing these 2 employees – who are also plaintiffs in a sexual harassment lawsuit against many of the same County officials trying to fire them – but won’t release it without a public records fight, like this one.

The County says there are 3 reasons why the 30-day extension is needed:

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  • Staffing limitations
  • Legal review is necessary to determine if our requests are covered by Right to Know law
  • The “extent and nature of the request precludes a response within the required time period.”

We’re told a final response from the County will come by April 21.


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