Cathy Bowers vs. Potter County

PHRC to hear testimony in discrimination complaint; Cathy Bowers vs. Potter County

COUDERSPORT – Cathy Bowers, a former Potter County Commissioner who was ousted after just one term, filed a complaint on December 24, 2008 with the PHRC (Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission) alleging that she was the victim of discrimination, and as such was not awarded an employment position within the county based on her age.

Mary Durst was hired for the position in question instead, and was later instated as a permanent employee for the job.

The PHRC stated that although the complaint was originally filed in 2008, it was not docketed, and an investigation was not opened until May 7, 2010.

According to information and documents provided to CoudyNews.com, Bowers is seeking full retirement, restitution and pay retroactive to May of 2008, to the tune of more than $50,000.

Discrimination in relation to law is defined as adversely making judgement against an individual on the basis of age, creed, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, military duty, genetics or gender. Bowers’ complaint alleges discrimination on the basis of age, but a closer examination reveals a tit-for-tat ‘I’m gonna get even’ squabble that has been ongoing for several years.

This is not the first time that Cathy Bowers has been caught up in litigation involving Potter County and discrimination. In 2005 a lawsuit brought about by Vicky Johnson charged Cathy Bowers with Sexual Harassment and Discrimination.

Johnson alleged that Bowers had “sexually harassed” her and “discriminated” against her for nearly 15 months. It was reported at the time that Bowers had made sexually suggestive remarks both to and about Johnson, beginning about two months after Johnson first began working for the Commissioners.

A pay raise promised to Johnson by the Commissioners was later defeated by Bowers and Treasurer Krista Miller, a move Johnson herself called “retaliatory”.

That lawsuit was settled on May 18, 2006, costing the Potter County Commissioner’s insurance carrier $25,000.

Now, if Bowers has it her way, the taxpayers of Potter County will again be on the hook.

Bowers’ complaint against Potter County will be heard next week in Pittsburgh in conference with the Human Relations Commission, representatives from Potter County, and Cathy Bowers.

Potter County Commissioner Paul Heimel made this statement in response to Bowers’ complaint, “We’ve received a copy of a complaint filed by Ms. Bowers with the PHRC and we intend to respond to the commission under its procedures for resolving such issues. We do expect the commission to conclude that this board did not discriminate against Ms. Bowers and that her allegations are groundless, but that will be determined by the commission.”



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9 Comments

  1. george says:

    Hey why buy a potter leader enterprise news paper to get news from 1-3 weeks ago when you can get on coudynews.com and get the news the same day it happens. I think the leader enterprise is scared of the competition. The potter leader isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. I personally will never advertise with them again for the simple fact, last time i did they cut half of my add out when it was printed and that half included my business phone number and they refused to correct the problem or refund my money so therefore i didnt receive any calls because my number wasn’t associated with my add…. goto coudynews.com to get the news when it happens, not 2 weeks later. what the potter leader prints is actually OLD NEWS.

  2. Darryl says:

    Sad Part about all this is that the whole story is a lie.

  3. admin says:

    Care to elaborate Darryl?

    Thanks for your input 🙂

  4. Darryl says:

    All I can say is lets let the legal powers to be sort it all out.

  5. admin says:

    And I’m sure they will Darryl.

    In the meantime I have reported the facts surrounding the case to the best of my ability.

    I do believe that the people of Potter County should be aware of the complaint and ongoing investigation, as ultimately it affects every tax-paying citizen in the county.

    Thank you again for your input Darryl 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand this……. She was not re-elected? Or was she removed from office?
    Either way,
    In my opinion, if she deserved to hold the position of county commissioner then she wouldn’t be suing for a money that comes right out of the tax payers pockets!!! And if she claims not to realize that this money comes from the tax payers then she shouldn’t be working anywhere but McDonalds.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And did anyone ever ask her if she made such comments to the Leader? I don’t think so. May we all should investigate the reporter.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Who gave this information to the Leader Enterprise? I would almost bet it could be the Commissioners themselves. And, speaking of taxpayer’s dollars – why isn’t the Commissioner’s attorney handeling this. It appears they have hired some attorney from Williamsport. When the whole truth comes out – I wonder which news source will print it? Allegations are just that – unfounded statements.

  9. admin says:

    Thank you for your comment 8:54/9:11.

    First, I do not believe that any statements in the article here on CoudyNews.com have any relation to the Potter Leader Enterprise.

    If you followed the story from the beginning, then you are probably aware of the conflict that arose over the Potter Leader accusing CoudyNews.com of stealing the story from them. Once again, that was not the case.

    As for any statements made to the Potter Leader regarding this matter, they have nothing to do with CoudyNews.com or the article above.

    While I did originally learn of the story from sources within the Potter Leader, it took me quite a few days to confirm the facts surrounding the complaint filed against Potter County by Cathy Bowers.

    The material in this article is a compilation of information obtained from confidential sources, documents, court records, previous statements made by Cathy Bowers, information from the PHRC, and statements made by the Potter County Commissioners.

    The ONLY information that the Potter County Commissioners provided to CoudyNews.com is the statement made by Paul Heimel, which is included at the bottom of the article.

    Nothing in this article has been ripped off from the Potter Leader Enterprise. In fact there is information contained in the article here on CoudyNews.com that is not available in the Potter Leader.

    Furthermore, the article published in the Potter Leader is a bit misleading, as Cathy Bowers has not yet filed a lawsuit (to the best of my knowledge) against the County, she has only filed a complaint. The PHRC receives numerous complaints on a weekly basis.

    As for allegations, you are correct, these are just that. Cathy Bowers has alleged that Potter County discriminated against her. This has been confirmed by the PHRC. Limited information is available regarding the matter from the PHRC, as they are exempt from the ‘Right To Know’ Act. However, either party involved in a complaint such as this is free to share the information with whomever they wish.

    However, once that party makes such information public, it is just that – public.

    I have only reported on the facts as they are available.

    I will continue to report the facts as the complaint against the County continues, and if and when the “whole truth comes out”, I will report that also.

    As for Cathy Bowers, she is more than welcomed to visit CoudyNews.com and share more of her side of the story if she chooses.

    As for the attorney handling the case for Potter County, I am not familiar with that.

    I hope I have addressed all of your questions.

    Thank you again reader.

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