George civil suit scheduled for conference

CLEARFIELD – Attorneys for state Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Houtzdale, and John Gallagher, manager of the Houtzdale Municipal Water Authority, will be in Clearfield County Court next month for a special conference.

The meeting is a pre-trial conference, the traditional final meeting between people involved in a case before the matter goes to trial.

At issue in the civil proceeding is whether Rep. George attempted to interfere with Gallagher’s job, assaulted him and also violated his rights. Those claims and others were made in the civil case Gallagher filed against George.

George then filed a countersuit, alleging that Gallagher alligned himself with other men in an attempt to defame Rep. George.

The civil case was filed after an alleged incident that happened July 13, 2005, at Rep. George’s Houtzdale office.

A police report filed after the incident showed that Rep. George and Gallagher were involved in a verbal argument, and police report that Rep. George allegedly pushed Gallagher against a wall and grabbed his neck. An investigation was conducted into the inident, and no charges were filed.

Rep. George was not charged because an investigation showed insufficient evidence against him. Gallagher was not cited because Rep. George declined to press charges, police reported.

The pre-trial conference is scheduled for Aug. 11 in Clearfield County Court. Clinton County Judge J. Michael Williamson will preside at the conference and at a trial (if needed) because judges in Clearfield, Centre and Blair counties due to perceived conflicts of interest.

Williamson has informed the Clearfield County Court Administrator’s office that if a trial is needed, it will be in Clearfield County. That decision could be changed, however, if the judge decides to do so.

The court administrator’s office has said the case will likely added to the fall term of court.

The trial would have to be scheduled around the Nov. 7 general election. Rep. George faces Republican Richard Hansel in the race for the 74th District seat.

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