Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Maria Casey believes Commissioner George Halcovage’s request to obtain a copy of her work computer hard drive and County-owned work phone records are nothing more than a “fishing expedition” to “vex” her.
Earlier this week, Casey filed a Motion to Intervene in the Jane Doe v. Schuylkill County sexual harassment lawsuit filed in 2021 by 4 Jane Doe plaintiffs against Halcovage, the County, and several other Courthouse officials.
The lawsuit accuses Halcovage of a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior and the County and several officials of their complicity in that behavior.
Casey Attempts to Block Halcovage Access to Hard Drives, Phone Records
Back on Feb. 17, Halcovage’s attorney defending against the lawsuit, Gerard Geiger, filed a discovery motion that sought to collect the work computer hard drives of Casey and the Jane Doe plaintiffs. It also sought Casey’s County-owned cell phone records.
What Geiger and Halcovage are looking for on that hardware is unknown. The motion was rather vague.
And Casey doesn’t want to play a part in it. Her Motion to Intervene in the lawsuit is trying to block Halcovage’s access to her devices.
“The extremely broad requests made by Defendant Halcovage are not designed to obtain any relevant, admissible evidence,” Casey filing states. “Due to Ms. Casey’s vocal and unrelenting criticism of Defendant Halcovage, their relationship is extremely acrimonious.
“It is believed that the instant requests are fueled by personal animus and are nothing more than a fishing expedition meant to annoy, harass, and vex Ms. Casey.
Casey contends that Halcovage’s requests have nothing to do with the lawsuit. Also, if she and the County are forced to comply with the request, it’ll not only be cumbersome (including 6 years of records), it’ll also compromise sensitive data that she collects through her job as Clerk of Courts.
“The devices sought by Defendant Halcovage contain highly sensitive, confidential information about Ms. Casey, her employees, and those criminal defendants who are processed by her office,” the motion reads.
Further, she says if Halcovage believes there are text messages or emails between the Jane Doe plaintiffs and Casey on these devices, the Commissioner would get them from harvesting the data from their devices instead of Casey’s. She also contends that if those messages exist, they’d be inadmissible because they’d fall under attorney-client privilege.
Casey is not officially the Jane Does’ lawyer in the federal litigation. She says she’s only a vocal advocate for their effort and a challenge to Halcovage.
She also doesn’t believe the County has any authority over her devices, considering her position as an elected official. Casey says in her Motion to Intervene that the County has once attempted to get the items requested by Halcovage but she prevented it from happening.
Casey’s Motion to Intervene is meant to protect “her rights and interests, and those of her employees, clients, and citizens who are processed by her office.”
Casey is being represented by the Pottsville firm Fanelli, Evans & Patel.
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