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Schuylkill County News

Jane Doe Transfer to Clerk of Courts Office Taken Back

The saga continues …

jane doe transfer to clerk of courts office rescinded

The plan to transfer 2 of the 4 Jane Doe plaintiffs suing the County government in a sexual harassment lawsuit is being taken back.

Based on the Agenda for the Jan. 18 Schuylkill County Commissioners Work Session meeting, the transfer of Angela Toomey and Denise McGinley-Gerchak from the County’s Tax Claims office to the Clerk of Courts office is being rescinded.

The two employees, who have previously been publicly identified as part of the group of plaintiffs involved in the Jane Doe sexual harassment lawsuit hanging over the County government, were approved for transfer back in September 2022.

They’ve been suspended from their jobs at the Tax Claims office since at least September 2021, following a secretive investigation supposedly determined they used LexisNexis software against County rules to dig up information on people.

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The County has never released the results of that investigation to the public or media, despite repeated attempts to get it through Right to Know requests from The Canary and the RepublicanHerald.

Despite not releasing that investigation to the public, the Commissioners and at least one other elected official referenced it in open meetings, getting emotional calling for these two employees to be fired.

And, in fact, the Commissioners twice tried to fire them from their County jobs but have been unsuccessful due to a lack of votes on the motions.

So, in September of 2022, Clerk of Courts Maria Casey informed the Commissioners that she’d hire them in her office as Clerks. They never actually started in that role and now that request is being taken back.

Retaliation or Coincidence?

Part of the argument the Jane Doe plaintiffs make in their lawsuit is that they’ve been retaliated against ever since filing their initial lawsuit against the County and Commissioner George Halcovage, Administrator Gary Bender, and Solicitor Glenn Roth.

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Indeed, since that lawsuit, these employees have seen their roles within the Tax Claims and Tax Assessment offices reduced and their pays slashed.

This was part of the County’s plan to rework those offices, which they said publicly, “wasn’t working out” prior to this shake-up.

The new “plan” apparently was to hire two consultants who apparently agreed that the best way forward for these offices was to engage a third-party private company, not based in Schuylkill County, to basically conduct the offices’ business.

And the County hired a new Chief Tax Assessor, who had to undergo training after he was hired to qualify for the job.

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