Schuylkill County government’s human resources director is leaving the Courthouse for another job.
According to a report from theburgnews.com, Heidi Zula was hired back in April to take the HR director job at Harrisburg Area School District. She’s set to make $125,000 a year in that position.
In that same position at the Courthouse, Zula is paid $79,000 per year. She first assumed that job in January 2021. Zula took over for an interim, third-party HR director, which had been filling in for an HR director, Deborah Twigg, who resigned from that job in August 2020.
The interim, third-party HR director – Dorren Kutzler – and Zula are each named as defendants in the Jane Doe lawsuit against Commissioner George Halcovage and other Courthouse officials.
While Halcovage is accused of sexual harassment against 4 female County employees, Zula and the other officials are accused of not acting on complaints of the Commissioner’s alleged behavior.
That lawsuit was expected to move toward a trial date this September, but delays in the discovery phase of it likely will delay the start of any trial.
Halcovage, Zula, and the others named as defendants in the lawsuit have denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
HR Director Leaving for Job with Harrisburg Schools
Zula also became a key figure in the recent Snoopgate investigation that also involved 2 of the 4 Jane Doe plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The County says those employees conducted a number of “unauthorized searches” of people using LexisNexis and that activity could have compromised the personal security information of a range of people.
Zula allegedly conducted an investigation of the alleged activity and the County has used that information – or perhaps information it gained from a third-party law firm it hired to do its own investigation – in an attempt to fire those 2 Jane Doe employees.
The investigation has since backfired on the County and the employees – while still suspended from their jobs – are still technically County employees collecting unemployment benefits.
It remains unclear whether the County used Zula’s investigation report (if one exists) to submit to that third-party law firm for a rubber-stamp approval or if that law firm actually did its own investigation, as it was hired to do.
This all remains unclear because every time the County’s been pressed to release details of that alleged investigation report, it keeps hiding.