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Schuylkill County News

Commissioners Approve Jane Doe 1 Settlement for $1.7 Million

Padora reads prepared statement following passage of the settlement terms.

Schuylkill County Commissioners unanimously approved paying a $1.7 million settlement Thursday with Jane Doe 1 in connection to a 2021 sexual harassment lawsuit.

She and three other female County employees filed against former Commissioner George Halcovage and other County officials. The settlement agreed to at Thursday’s Board Meeting would only settle Jane Doe 1’s claims but the lawsuit remains active in federal court and could end in a trial.

The terms of the settlement are as such:

  • $983,649.33 to Jane Doe 1
  • $716,350.07 to Catherine Lowry, attorney for Jane Doe 1, and her firm, Derek Smith Law Group, Philadelphia

From that $1.7 million, $200,000 of it will be paid for by the County to the law firm. The rest is covered by the County’s insurance carriers.

In that lawsuit, Jane Doe 1, specifically, accused Halcovage of numerous inappropriate actions, including forcing her to have sex. She also claims the County did nothing to stop this behavior and then retaliated against her and the other plaintiffs for speaking up about it.

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After approving the terms of the settlement, Chairman Larry Padora read a prepared statement on the settlement.

He said, “The county took action today to approve the settlement with Jane Doe 1 from the pending federal litigation. We recognize that the settlement includes payment of $200,000 by the County to the attorney representing Jane Doe 1. After consultation with the attorneys representing the county in the litigation, our County solicitors, the Commissioners firmly believe this settlement is in the best interest of Schuylkill County. Although settlement with Jane Doe 1 addresses a significant aspect of the litigation, the case remains pending as to remaining plaintiffs, so we will have no further comment on the settlement of the pending litigation at this time.”

Here is video of today’s entire Commissioners meeting:

FULL COVERAGE: For our coverage on this issue since the beginning, follow this link: Jane Doe v. Schuylkill County

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  1. Pat

    April 26, 2024 at 7:08 am

    So, essentially, the taxpayers are shelling out for Halcovage’s BJ’s and warped sexual proclivities. How about we file a lawsuit against Halcovage for reimbursement from his insurance company??

  2. Val

    April 26, 2024 at 8:30 am

    “In the best interest of Schuylkill County” does not sound right. “In the best interest of the bureaucrats of Schuylkill County” would be better. Did anyone get seriously punished for that? Fired? There were other defendants, that we know, besides Halcovage with no immunity excuses. And how many we don’t know? I don’t believe that Halcovage did it without any support from his colleagues in the Courthouse.
    It only means that the County taxpayers have to be prepared for more lawsuits any time in the future.

  3. Tom

    April 28, 2024 at 8:04 am

    I am scratching my head trying to figure out why criminal charges weren’t filed against George Halcovage. If he forced Jane Doe #1 to have sex (rape), he should have been arrested, charged and might be sitting in the slammer right now. Which county officials were protecting Halcovage’s criminal behavior?

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