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Sheriff candidate to sue over online posts

The lawyer for Doug Litwhiler, a candidate for sheriff, has said he will sue the administrator of a Facebook page and his “co-conspirators” if defamatory posts and a retraction are not forthcoming by today.

Attorney Joseph Orso III wrote a letter to Anthony Kodack, who is the administrator of the Facebook page “Schuylkill County Sheriff Candidate Doug Litwhiler likes young girls” that he has “reviewed the posts on your Facebook Page and have determined that the posts are defamatory and libelous per se under Pennsylvania Law.”

The page alleges Litwhiler made inappropriate remarks to young women. Litwhiler denies the accusations. Litwhiler said he is withdrawing from the Sheriff’s race because of the allegations and its impact on his family.

The letter serves as a notice to cease and desist and to “immediately remove the inaccurate and defamatory information.” A retraction is demanded.

Legal action will commence if the action is not taken.

Orso said Tuesday a complaint will be filed this week in Schuylkill County Court about the matter. It will be for “a defamation and libel and a conspiracy claim led by the Sheriff.”

He was referring to purported texts between Sheriff Joe Groody and someone about Litwhiler. An email from someone claiming to be a member of the county Democrat Committee shows the screenshots. Groody has denied sending the texts.

Hugh Reiley, chairman of the Schuylkill County Democratic Committee, said the email address listed is not the address from the committee. He said legal action is being considered. He does not believe Groody sent the texts.

Orso is not convinced.

“We have every reason to believe they are real,” he said, adding he claims they admit responsibility by the sheriff.

He said Kodack’s lawyer called him and said they would not remove the posts. He is aware the litigation is forthcoming.

Kodack responds

Kodack said he is not easily intimidated.

“I’m not going to back down to threats and I personally believe these women have their right to be heard.”

He said Groody has no affiliation with the page.

Someone put the letter in his front screen door after knocking, he said. They asked his name and then said they were to give him the letter. The person left before Kodack could ask their name. Orso said he did not deliver the letter.

Kodack said he told the other page administrators about the lawsuit.

“We are honestly looking to go to court. These women are looking to have some form of justice,” he said.