Westmoreland sheriff staffer suspended, accused of working on political campaign at work
An assistant office manager in the Westmoreland County sheriff’s department has been suspended indefinitely without pay based on allegations she worked on a campaign while on the job, according to the county controller’s office.
Officials would not publicly comment on the suspension of Tiffany Schomer, but sources at the courthouse confirmed she was accused of working on campaign chores for a county row office candidate. The county’s human resources office conducted the investigation, officials said.
Sheriff Jonathan Held declined to discuss details about what led to the suspension.
“I can’t comment on personnel issues. I can state that upon taking office in 2012, I removed all political activity from within this office. Tiffany Schomer is not, and has never been, a member of my political campaign,” Held said.
Schomer could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
According to personnel records, she has worked in the sheriff’s office since 2015, first as an office clerk and promoted last summer to an assistant office manager. She earned $27,591 annually.
Schomer previously served four years as a deputy and chief deputy to former Recorder of Deeds Frank Schiefer, who left office in January 2015 after losing a re-election bid.
Schiefer, a Republican, announced he is running for office again.
Schomer’s suspension comes amid an ongoing criminal prosecution of Held, the two-term Republican accused of directing on-duty staffers in 2015 to perform tasks for his re-election bid. State prosecutors contend Held ordered office staff and deputies to gather items for campaign fundraisers, for which they used county equipment towards that goal. He is awaiting retrial on a felony count of conflict of interest and one charge of theft.
Held denies the allegations. In December, a mistrial was declared after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict. A retrial scheduled for April is expected to be postponed as the defense attempts to have the case dismissed.
Held’s accusers included several deputies and office workers. Schomer did not testify.
Many trial witnesses who said they did campaign work for Held while on the job continue to work in the sheriff’s office.
Held has said he will seek re-election this year.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, email@example.com or via Twitter .