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.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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. Hempfield cyclist to cool wheels in jail during appeal
  2. More than 100 stamp bags confiscated in Greensburg; 4 arrested
  3. Police officer taking job in Harmarville
  4. Youngwood playground found to be in violation of disability act again
  5. Unity zoning hearing board OKs addition to Adelphoi home
  6. Latrobe police to host National Night Out
  7. McKeesport man ordered to trial in New Stanton hotel homicide
  8. Hempfield joins county land bank
  9. Firefighters respond to West Newton chemical leak
  10. Jeannette man arrested in city shooting
  11. Police identify Acme man who died after crash