POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The investigation into a Schuylkill County Commissioner has intensified. Multiple women have accused Commissioner George Halcovage of sexual harassment.
District Attorney Mike O’Pake told Eyewitness News he will not be leading the investigation. Instead, the Attorney General’s Office is now handling it.
In the meantime, Commissioner Halcovage remains in office but, during a commissioners meeting Wednesday morning, several people voiced that they want him out.
“I am not comfortable walking around in the hall with someone like that,” one woman said.
A handfull of others echoed the statement. The women that spoke up during the meeting work at the county courthouse and say they have felt this way since the investigation into Commissioner George Halcovage started.
“These are credible allegations. That were made against the commissioner halcovage which was stated and also on our, going against our policy,” said Gary Hess, County Commissioner.
An internal investigation determined that his behavior did violate the county’s sexual harrassment policy.
District Attorney Michael O’Pake turned the investigation over to the Attorney General’s Office to avoid any conflict of interest.
“The referal is basically because of the possible appearance of propriety. With he being an elected offical, myself being an elected official and the potential conflict of interest that may arise from that,” said O’Pake.
“I’ve read the report. I’ve seen the credibility that’s in there. Coming from these allegations is that, i think it should go to the next step and he should step down as commissioner,” said Hess.
Halcovage has since stepped down as chairman of the board, but remains in office as a commissioner. He has been ordered to limit his time at the courthouse to only regular business hours.
“If it had been a county employee they would have been suspended, recommended for termination but once again it’s not my position, not my place to decide that. It’s up to the individual,” said Barron Hetherington, Chairman, Schuylkill County Commissioner.
The Attorney General’s Office will determine if criminal charges will be filed against Halcovage.