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Schuylkill Courthouse Keeping Snoopgate Investigation Details Secret

They could deny ours today but they’ll wait until the last minute.

Schuylkill County government officials continue to hide the contents of an alleged investigation report an unknown person or persons completed regarding the Snoopgate controversy.

According to a report from the Republican Herald, the County denied its request to get a copy of it.

Snoopgate is the name we’ve giving to the attempt to fire 2 Courthouse employees for conducting “unauthorized searches” on LexisNexis. The County says these two women – Denise McGinley Gerchak and Angela Toomey – conducted more than 300 searches outside their regular duties at the Courthouse. Both are long-time employees in the County’s tax office.

The County believes their alleged rogue activity could have compromised the identity of more than 9,000 people.

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To reach this conclusion, the County says an investigation was conducted. Who, exactly, conducted that investigation is unknown. When it was launched last year, at the request of Commissioner Gary Hess, it was supposed to be done by a law firm the County was hiring to review and develop some sort of policy on using County computers and software it was licensing, like LexisNexis.

However, after the County’s last public attempt at firing these employees, it was revealed that an investigation was done. But it wasn’t cited to anyone in particular. Was it that law firm or was it someone or some people within the Courthouse.

If it was done within the Courthouse, it could have been done by some of the people the employees are suing as part of a federal sexual harassment.

So, the Republican Herald filed a Right to Know request to obtain a copy of the investigation report that some County officials couldn’t stop talking about a few weeks ago when they tried firing these employees.

That request was necessary because even though they couldn’t stop talking about it, they apparently don’t want anyone else to read it.

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Soon after the paper filed its RTK request, The Canary filed 3 of its own. We want to see the report the County-commissioned law firm filed, the report the County may have done and possibly sent to the law firm for a rubber stamp, and any communications between the County and the law firm.

On Monday, the County responded to the newspaper and denied its request. According to their report, the County says it’s not compelled to release the report because it’s not on a criminal matter.

We’re expecting to hear a similar result on at least 2 of our submissions, but probably all of them.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Coalregion12

    April 12, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Just out of curiosity, can the 2 employees request a copy of the “investigation “? I mean if it was for termination purposes wouldn’t they have a right to see what information was on the report?

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