Harrisburg, Pa – Ethics complaints are being drafted, and a Dauphin County Republican Committeeperson has called for Hartwick’s resignation in response to his alleged drunken brawl at a Steelton bar, and being caught too drunk to drive his Dauphin County owned vehicle.
Is Dauphin County Commissioner George P. Hartwick being treated unfairly, or is he receiving special treatment?
Perhaps Hartwick wasn’t intoxicated when he drove the Dauphin County vehicle to 7-11 on Derry Street in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, 2020. Although that wouldn’t have given him much time to sober up from allegedly being cut-off by bartender “Ruthie” at the St. Lawrence Club, who threatened to call the police on Hartwick following an altercation in the bar on the night of Feb 15.
Allegedly Hartwick slammed another man’s head into the jukebox. When confronted about the assault, he went off on a tirade mentioning, “Do you know who I am?”
It is unclear who the victim was, and no charges have been pressed as a result of the alleged assault. Unconfirmed reports suggest the altercation may have involved a relative of Hartwick’s.
It has been confirmed that Hartwick’s evening on Feb. 15 started at the St. Lawrence Club in Steelton. PennLive was able to corroborate that. By 1:25 a.m. Sunday, the commissioner was at the 7-11 store in the 4000 block of Derry Street where he was found by Swatara Township police.
The officer wrote in his report that he approached Hartwick and found the commissioner to be “visibly intoxicated due to his bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol” on his breath.
Dauphin County residents have expressed concerns that this is not the first drunken episode, nor the first misuse of country resources by the commissioner. Citizens are questioning why Hartwick wasn’t charged with DUI in this circumstance, as well as no repercussions in numerous other episodes of violence and DUI in recent years.
It’s been stated repeatedly that the camera’s and video recordings on 7-11’s advanced security system would provide details of Hartwick driving the county vehicle into the parking lot.
Chief Reider said he is satisfied with his officers’ handling of the situation in Swatara. Reider explained that because no one had observed Hartwick driving into the lot, there was no cause to initiate a driving under the influence investigation.
Hartwick’s county vehicle was left in the store’s lot for pick up later.
The commissioner formerly served as mayor of Steelton but lives in Swatara Township. Hartwick was arrested for drunken driving while making his first run for county commissioner in 2003, though those charges were later expunged after he applied and was admitted into a probationary program in which first-time offenders can clear their record.
He was investigated for his role in a fight outside a Steelton bar in August 2001, but that case was dropped with no charges after investigators were unable to determine who started the four-person fight. Hartwick said at the time that he and his brother, Andy, were merely defending themselves after they were attacked.
Last year, Hartwick was re-elected to his fifth term at the courthouse. He overcame public allegations from Heicklen that he had hit her during a 2010 argument – a claim that Hartwick has denied and that another witness has disputed – and revelations about a December 2015 crash in Swatara Township that left his county-provided vehicle heavily damaged.
The 2015 car crash happened when Hartwick rear-ended another vehicle, according to police reports, Hartwick suffered a broken thumb and was cited for following other vehicles too closely.
In a written statement Tuesday, in which he called himself a victim of character assassination. Hartwick’s statement was published by Pennlive:
“I will no longer address personal attacks from someone willing to put our children in the middle during a custody battle. People see this for what it is – a sad attempt at character assassination, and I will play no part in it.’’
Pa Board of Pardons administrator Brandon Flood supports George Hartwick as “capable commissioner” despite recent scandal, history of violence
When asked for comment, Dauphin County resident Brandon Flood told hbg100.com, “Well, he’s proven himself to be a capable Commissioner and frankly, I [don’t care] about what he does on his personal time. And you can quote me on that.”
Tom Wolf endorsed Hartwick for Commissioner, now appointed him to Long Term Care Council
Just days after his drunken brawl at a Steelton bar, and being caught too drunk to drive his Dauphin County owned vehicle, Dauphin County Democratic Commissioner George P. Hartwick was appointed to Protect Senior Citizens by Governor Tom Wolf.