If you thought $380 per hour was a lot to pay for legal help, wait until you see this bill …
Schuylkill County Commissioners will vote on Wednesday whether or not to approve more legal services required by the Consent Decree they agreed to as part of their settlement with the Dept. of Justice.
The DOJ settlement relates to the Jane Doe sexual harassment lawsuit filed by 4 Courthouse employees back in 2021. It accuses Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage of sexual harassment and other high-ranking County officials of their complicity and retaliation against them.
A couple weeks ago, the Commissioners approved a contract with McNees, Wallace & Nurick, of Harrisburg, at a rate of $380 per hour. That contract was for legal services related to that DOJ settlement. That firm will provide investigation services for employee-related matters.
At the time, the Commissioners and County officials were bragging about how proactive they were being in flushing your money down the toilet because they aren’t legally able to do the job they’d just hired an outside law firm to do.
Well, that contract was just the beginning. That Consent Decree required a lot more than just hiring investigators. There was a much bigger part of that agreement, like bringing someone in to basically rewrite the parts of the figurative employee handbook on sexual harassment.
And it appears that’s what the Commissioners will do on Wednesday.
Per the Agenda for their March 1 Work Session meeting, the Commissioners will consider hiring Employment Practices Group as a consultant that provides even more legal services to the County government.
Their fee? That’ll be $450 per hour.
But that’s not all … According to the Agenda, “In addition to the hourly rate, there will be other costs and expenses” with this contract.
You can read more details about what’s included in the actual DOJ settlement with Schuylkill County here.
The Commissioners are meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1 at the Courthouse in Pottsville. If you can’t make it, you can listen in either through Zoom or a voice call: