CLEARFIELD – One day after the election, state Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Houtzdale, and John Gallagher, the manager of the Houtzdale Municipal Water Authority, will be in Clearfield County Court for a civil case.
The trial is set for Nov. 8 with the jury to be selected Oct. 26.
Clinton County Judge J. Michael Williamson set the date during a pre-trial conference held in Clearfield County Court Friday.
Neither Edmond George, attorney for his father, nor the state representative were present for the conference, but the younger George communicated with the judge via telephone. Present in the courtroom were George’s other attorney, Bruce Manchester, Gallagher and his attorney, Jim Bryant.
The civil case will decide whether George assaulted Gallagher in the lawmaker’s office last summer. Criminal charges were never filed in the case.
Gallagher filed the suit, stating that a verbal argument between the two escalated to a physical confrontation in which George grabbed Gallagher by the kneck and pushed him against a wall.
During Friday’s conference, the younger George told Judge Williamson he needed one more deposition before the trial could proceed. The judge also warned him that at least eight community members were present in the courtroom, to which he replied: “I’d rather not have a settlement discussion out in the public.”
Whether a settlement will be reached before the case goes to trial is not yet known, but reports have shown that Gallagher is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
The one-day trial will begin on the day following the November election, when George is set to go against Republican challenger Richard Hansel.
The case was also to include a countersuit filed by George, who said a group of men conspired to defame the legislator. Both sides have agreed not to argue those claims in the November trial.