Westmoreland County Register of Wills Ginsburg seeks dismissal of defamation lawsuit
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 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hours to be reduced at Ruffsdale post office
- Audit: Westmoreland records were at risk in transfer to computer system
- Salem teen surprised with Westmoreland Fair Queen win
- Catholic Diocese of Greensburg injunction becomes permanent
- 9 displaced by fire in Grapeville
- Police look for Derry driver who crashed into house
- Mt. Pleasant police chief Ober retires
- Ex-worker admits to taking money from Penn Township Sewage Authority
- Expectant mother from Jeannette told she’ll have to stay in custody
- Greater Latrobe schedules will be available online
- Former Jeannette man sentenced for claw hammer attack