Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Local News

Judge Rules Halcovage Can Be Present at Jane Doe Depositions, But …

Judge says his decision balances Halcovage’s rights and the spirit of a protection order against him.

The federal judge presiding over the Jane Doe v. Schuylkill County sexual harassment lawsuit ruled recently that Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage can be present when his accusers are deposed. But there’s a stipulation to that ruling.

US Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson ruled on April 13 that the embattled Halcovage can be present when the Jane Doe plaintiffs suing him and other Courthouse officials are deposed. However, rather than having these depositions recorded at Schuylkill County Courthouse, as originally planned, it’ll happen at the federal courthouse in Harrisburg.

“While we would encourage the parties to consider conducting these depositions remotely, if the defendant insists upon in-person depositions, those depositions will be conducted at the United States Courthouse, Harrisburg,” the court ruling reads.

Halcovage Can Be Present at Jane Doe Discovery Depositions

As part of the discovery process in this case, Halcovage’s attorney, Gerard Geiger, has asked to depose the Commissioner’s accusers. Those are 4 women who work as Schuylkill County government employees.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Last year, these employees filed a federal lawsuit against Halcovage, accusing him of everything from non-consensual sex to inappropriate comments at work.

Geiger suggested he depose the Jane Doe plaintiffs at the Courthouse in Pottsville and when he does, he’d need to have Halcovage present to help in his questioning.

The Jane Doe plaintiffs objected to this and said they should be protected from having any contact with Halcovage because of the Sexual Violence Protection Order filed against the Commissioner. They’d rather Halcovage attend the depositions remotely.

“The dispute between the parties calls upon us to reconcile competing, important interests,” the order reads.

In order to reconcile this hang-up in the proceedings, the court says it must consider the “spirit” of the SVPO and Halcovage’s right to assist his attorney while not putting the alleged victims through unnecessary trauma.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Carlson ordered the depositions be taken at his place of employment in Harrisburg so he could “monitor, oversee, and intervene in the depositions if necessary.”

Additionally, when the depositions are taken, Halcovage will not be allowed in the room where it happens until the plaintiff being questioned is seated.

“He will not speak to the deponent and will be seated in an appropriately remote location within the courtroom consistent with the degree of social distancing which would otherwise exist at trial,” the order reads.

When the plaintiffs have concluded their depositions, they’ll be allowed to leave the room in a way that allows them to avoid any contact with Halcovage. And the Commissioner must not participate in any “disruptive or intimidating non-verbal communication or conduct,” the order concludes.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Subscribe to Coal Region Canary

Get email updates from Coal Region Canary by becoming a subscriber today. Just enter your email address below to get started!

News Tips?

Let us know of news happening in your area. Use our NEWS TIPS ENTRY FORM
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. insider

    April 21, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    Question #1…Was the tax office the only office that used that server or did others have access to it?
    Question #2…The commissioners use county owned laptops that are to remain in the courthouse.Has the defendant ever taken his off the property and,since it is county owned,has it be scoured for evidence?
    Question #3…Has the defendant offered to take a polygraph?
    Question #4…Has ANY person, in or out of the courthouse,publicly defended the defendant and praised his high moral character?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Local News

Several Schuylkill County residents say they recently found bizarre printed messages inside packages of items purchased at local grocery stores. The Canary spoke with...

Local Weather

How much are we really going to get? Some say it's still too soon to tell.

PA News

Flights arriving in the cover of night to NEPA.

Local Weather

Slightly more snow expected for Schuylkill County.

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

Hamburg Area School District may be joining Tamaqua Area in defying the indoor mask mandate announced by the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf...

Local News

Back on March 10, a call came in to the Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatch center. Crews with Minersville’s Goodwill Fire Co. and EMS needed...