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Schuylkill County News

Jane Doe 5? Lawyer Says She Has a New Client with Claims Against Halcovage, Schuylkill Officials

Attorney says she’s currently representing a new cient potentially planning to sue.

The lawyer representing the 4 Jane Doe plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against former Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage and several high-ranking County government officials says she’s got a new client.

In an email to The Canary on Thursday, Catherine Lowry simply states, “I have been retained to represent a new individual with claims against Schuylkill County and George Halcovage.”

Lowry did not expand upon that statement.

A new lawsuit has not been filed as of this post publishing, based on our search of court records.

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This revelation, however, comes less than a week after Halcovage had his Schuylkill County Courthouse access banned by Sheriff Joe Groody over an alleged “incident” involving the former Commissioner, whose 12 years in office officially came to an end on Thursday.

The County is mum on the details of that alleged “incident” but decided to act on banning Halcovage from the Courthouse for the last week of his term as Commissioner.

If Lowry’s new client eventually does file a lawsuit against Halcovage and County officials, it’ll be the second such lawsuit. Back in 2021, Lowry (who then went by the name Catherine Smith), filed a lawsuit on behalf of 4 Jane Doe plaintiffs.

That lawsuit claims Halcovage sexually harassed the Jane Doe plaintiffs for years and that County officials were not only complicit with this behavior by failing to act on their claims but also retaliated against them for speaking out.

After that lawsuit was filed back in 2021, Halcovage endured calls for him to resign and outlasted efforts to impeach him by state government officials.

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The US Dept. of Justice joined the lawsuit and eventually settled with the County on the promise that it would take actions to prevent not only Halcovage from having access to the plaintiffs but also to prevent retaliation against other possible whistleblowers and future incidents of sexual harassment.

The County agreed to a Consent Decree which, in part, limited Halcovage’s access to the Courthouse. Earlier this year, Groody told Commissioners that he had proof Halcovage had violated the terms of that Consent Decree at least 69 times from July 2022 until July 2023 by staying at the Courthouse longer than that DOJ settlement permitted.

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  1. Val

    December 29, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    There is Law and there is Schuylkill County.
    In Schuylkill County the Sheriff, instead of arresting Halcovage for violations the very first time, has to tell commissioners 69 times before the next “incident” takes place.

  2. Tootsie

    January 1, 2024 at 8:24 am

    Seems everyone (Commissioners Hess & Hetherington, Sheriff Groody, County Solicitors Paul Datte, Al Marshall, Glenn Roth) was asleep at the wheel and just ignored the consent decree. Halcovage should have been impeached long ago. Why did our state reps and Senator Argall drag their feet on following thru? So, allow him to stay in office and draw his pension? What a sad state of affairs, literally.

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