SANATOGA PA – A potential resolution to a personnel investigation that involves one or more Lower Pottsgrove Township employees, and which began in February (2012) when the Board of Commissioners hired its own special labor counsel to conduct research and interview staff members regarding still-unspecified allegations, may be concluded “within weeks, not months,” board President Jonathan Spadt said Thursday (June 21).
Commissioners received a lengthy report on the matter more than two weeks ago from Huntingdon Valley PA attorney Michael J. Torchia, an employment and labor law specialist whom the board hired Feb. 23. The report was discussed by commissioners Thursday in an 80-minute-long executive session held before their second regular monthly meeting in the Buchert Road municipal building, Spadt reported.
Publicly, board members have said almost nothing about the investigation, relying on their ability under state law to keep confidential personnel matters involving their employees. They have declined to discuss the subjects or topics of Torchia’s inquiry, the scope of his investigation, the township’s need for special counsel, or whether commissioners suspected or were informed of wrong-doing by an employee.
However, township records show that
- Its regular law firm dealing with labor issues, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC of Philadelphia, in March was paid $6,446 for earlier work related to what is specifically identified as a “harassment complaint;” and
- Torchia’s firm, Semanoff Ormsby Greenberg & Torchia LLC, in March was paid $5,000 for its role as “investigation special counsel,” and in February was paid $2,500 as a “retainer (for) special counsel.”
Sources tell The Post those expenses and possibly others are related, although it so far cannot independently substantiate that claim. The Post also has been told that Torchia’s investigation apparently has taken longer, involved more employee interviews, and was more extensive than commissioners initially anticipated.
Township Solicitor R. Kurtz Holloway on Thursday said Torchia would soon provide board members with “recommendations” about how they might deal with the matter being investigated.
- Lower Pottsgrove Personnel Investigation Not Yet Over
- Township Hires Investigative Lawyer In Personnel Issue
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ June 21 meeting):