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Commissioners' chairperson sued for alleged libelous remark

Published February 20. 2010 09:00AM

A remark made by the chairlady of the Board of Schuylkill County Commissioners' at a recent public meeting was the basis for a civil suit brought by a former county employee which was filed Wednesday in the county court.

The action was brought by Ronald J. Halupa, of Shenandoah Heights, against Mantura Gallagher, of Pottsville, who is the chairlady of the board of commissioners, alleging she made a slanderous and libelous remark at the Jan. 4 public meeting.

The suit states on the day stated the board of commissioners acted to eliminate his job, as plumber and general maintenance man in the county's public works department for nine years.

The remark attributed to Gallagher was, "We cannot continue to simply pay people for doing nothing."

Halupa claims the remark was directed at him portraying his position with the county was being eliminated because he did not do his job and was a lazy employee.

In his suit Halupa states Schuylkill County is a small county, where, generally speaking, everyone knows everyone and his name and defendant's statement will more than likely be remembered in a negative way by all who read are were told about her remark to suspect and believe what the commissioner said.

Halupa claims the statement was made with deliberate indifference and with reckless disregard to his future employability and he also suffers embarrassment caused the alleged statement.

Halupa claims he has suffered and will continue to suffer embarrassment, humiliation, and irreparable harm to his employment reputation and suffer from acquiring any gainful employment in the county.

He seeks judgment in excess of $50,000. Halupa filed the suit prose.

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