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Commissioners put off discussing Christoffel case

July 12, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN - The Washington County Commissioners are tentatively scheduled to discuss sexual harassment allegations against Health Officer William Christoffel next week, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Tuesday.

Christoffel, who has been on administrative leave since June 9, told The Associated Press he was planning to meet with the commissioners Tuesday.

That meeting didn't take place.

Snook said the commissioners and Christoffel were not able to agree on schedules and that Christoffel's attorney was not available Tuesday.

The commissioners did not discuss or take any action Tuesday regarding Christoffel, Snook said.

Tuesday was the first commissioners meeting since a state report alleged Christoffel engaged in sexually harassing behavior.

A meeting on the matter is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday, Snook said.

Although he is a state employee, the commissioners have the authority to terminate Christoffel's employment with concurrence from the state.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene completed a report stating Christoffel allegedly engaged in sexually harassing behavior while on the job.

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The report was signed June 20 by Hilda J. Davis, a state Equal Employment Opportunity investigator for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Community Relations.

She wrote in the report that she based her conclusions on evidence from at least 13 witnesses.

A statement released last month by Christoffel and his attorney, Arthur Schneider, said Christoffel has never "purposely or knowingly" discriminated against anyone at the Health Department or the public.

Christoffel's salary is $96,355.

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