County’s top detective resigns

Susquehanna County Commissioners confirmed at the Wednesday, Feb. 14 meeting, that the county’s Chief Detective and Director of Public Safety, R.S. Stoud, had resigned from his position.
Prior to his current dual post, Stoud has worked for the county in the capacity of Chief Clerk, as well as heading up the Public Safety department.
Commissioner Alan Hall said that although Stoud is no longer working on the county campus, his resignation is effective Feb. 28 and will be on the commissioners’ meeting agenda that day.
Hall said District Attorney Marion O’Malley would be tasked with filling the Chief Detective position, but that the county’s salary board would need to establish that as a stand-alone post.
Hall said there has not been any decision yet regarding how the Director of Public Safety position will be handled in the county.
In November, Stoud had filed a workplace harassment suit against the county in US Middle District Court and individually named Commissioners Elizabeth Arnold and MaryAnn Warren in the suit.
In the suit, Stoud claimed he had participated in the investigation of a sexual harassment claim and was, in turn, then harassed.
Kreder Brooks Hailstone LLLP, attorneys for the county and the named commissioners, filed a motion to dismiss the case and provided a brief to the court docketed Feb. 12.
The brief argues for dismissal stating Stoud suffered “no tangible employment action” because he did not incur a significant change in employment status, and voluntarily left the Chief Clerk position to take the Chief Detective spot in the District Attorney’s office.
The motion also makes an argument that punitive damages would not be allowed by law and asked that claims against Arnold and Warren, in their individual, supervisory and official capacity, be dismissed.
In addition to the Chief Detective slot, O’Malley has not yet filled the Assistant District Attorney position following the termination of William Urbanski – one of her first acts as district attorney.
Urbanski claims that under the law, he would become the district attorney following the death of Robert Klein in December 2017.
President Judge Jason Legg disagreed, citing the assistant district attorney did not meet residency requirements for the office. After the PA Supreme Court denied Urbanski’s preliminary injunction request, Legg administered the oath of office to O’Malley, who served as the ADA under Legg when he was the county’s district attorney.
Urbanski has filed suit in the Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas. A hearing had been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 14, but was postponed.
County attorneys file motion in McNamara harassment suit
Kreder Brooks Hailstone LLP also filed a motion to dismiss the harassment and sexual harassment suit filed by former Deputy Chief Clerk Maggie McNamara against the county, Arnold, Warren and Director of Veterans’ Affairs Richard Ely.
McNamara alleged in her suit that she reported a sexual harassment incident and then faced further workplace harassment.
Although the attorney’s acknowledge McNamara suffered a “loss in pay” when she transferred from the commissioners’ office to a position in the district attorney’s office, they maintain it was “her decision” to transfer out of the commissioners’ office and she did so voluntarily and without the commissioners blocking that move.
The decrease pay, the county attorneys claim, is not a “significant” enough change in benefits and argue they believe the suit should therefore be dismissed.
The county also argues that Ely was never McNamara’s supervisor and maintain that Title VII – the law the claim was filed under – does not allow an action to be brought against a fellow employee, according to the documents filed in court.
A case management conference has been scheduled for Friday, March 2. United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion is presiding over the suit.

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