TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Westmoreland County Register of Wills Ginsburg seeks dismissal of defamation lawsuit

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Attorneys for Westmoreland County Register of Wills Michael Ginsburg said his client cannot be sued over comments made about an employee's job performance because he is an elected official.

Ginsburg, a first-term Republican from Penn Township, on Wednesday asked Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against him this month.

Ginsburg was sued by an employee in his office over published comments he made in response to a complaint filed against him with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. In that complaint, staffer Katie Pecarchik contended Ginsburg and his chief deputy, Charles Humberger, sexually harassed her and made the office a hostile work environment.

In an interview, Ginsburg responded to those allegations by saying he experienced discipline problems with Pecarchik.

Ginsburg's lawyers, Christian D. Marquis and Teresa O. Sirianni, contend the comments are protected under state law because he is a “high public official” and asked that the lawsuit be dismissed because Pecarchik did not disclose how she was damaged by the statements.

Ginsburg has not disputed making the statements about Pecarchik but has denied allegations that he sexually harassed her.

Pecarchik's lawyer, David Millstein, said on Wednesday that Ginsburg is not protected under government immunity provisions in the law.

“Knowingly making statements that are false is not protected by privilege,” Millstein said.

Ginsburg is being represented by the Pittsburgh law firm of Marshall Dennehy Warner Coleman and Goggin. Westmoreland County commissioners are expected to hire that firm formally on Thursday on Ginsburg's behalf.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Facelift approved for historic La Rose building in Greensburg
  2. Hempfield bicyclist gets one last chance from Westmoreland County judge
  3. Jewish congregations dwindling, forced to mull viability of worship sites
  4. Hempfield woman donates music inspired by WWI ‘doughnut girls’
  5. State Supreme Court rejects latest Foxley Farm appeal in Ligonier Township dispute
  6. Independence Day events for Westmoreland County
  7. Purple Heart recipient Krinock to lead July Fourth parade in Latrobe
  8. Hempfield woman seriously injured in crash
  9. Former Jeannette coach held for trial on charges of assault on teen girls
  10. St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data
  11. Greensburg’s Trinity United Church of Christ sprucing up