Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Dunkel Told to Leave Schuylkill County Commissioner's Meeting While Making Public Comments

One week since the Schuylkill County Commissioners announced they would again allow the public to attend their workshops and meetings, an outspoken critic of the Commissioners was told to leave Wednesday morning's session.
Jeffrey Dunkel, of Palo Alto, and former Mayor of Mount Carbon is a regular attendee of the meetings, whether he joins via zoom or in-person.

Dunkel has long been a person that isn't afraid to speak his mind and openly expresses his issues with the County on issues like Commissioners' spending of COVID Relief Funding and sexual harassment allegations that have been made toward Commissioner Halcovage.

With the public being allowed back into the meeting, Dunkel was the first to attend the June 16th meeting last week but says he was thrown out before the meeting even began.

During this week's meeting, Dunkel attended again and spoke up during the non-agenda public comment portion.

Dunkel's comments started by criticizing the microphones used for those attending the meetings remotely via Zoom and eventually focused on the ongoing Halcovage sexual harassment investigation and the recent hiring of a tax office employee who he says is "unqualified" for the position.

Commissioner Hetherington had stopped Dunkel twice during his comments threatening to throw him out stating, "You cannot personally attack anyone" to which Dunkel replied, "It's the truth, the public needs to know this stuff".

County Solicitor Glenn Roth was also asked if Dunkel was out of order which he informed Dunkel that Commissioner Hetherington had the right to remove him from the meeting.

Dunkel continued his comments to the point where Commissioner Hetherington interrupted stating "Alright, that's enough, you're done, you're done", and ordered Dunkel to be escorted out of the meeting room.

Dunkel continued to talk on the topic of a supposed incident where Hetherington invited County Officials to his strawberry farm on the afternoon of a weekday.

"The public needs to know the truth Mr. Hetherington" Dunkel said, expressing his opinion that he should not be inviting when he thinks they should be at the courthouse working.

Hetherington yelled "Out!" several times before Dunkel left the room.

Dunkel says he left the meeting room on his own accord.