NO OVERSIGHT OF MILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS-BUT THEY WANT TAXPAYERS TO FOOT THE BILL FOR A $15 MILLION DOLLAR FIRE STATION!!!!!!!!!!
DEPUTY CHIEF CHRIS JORDAN, Son of longtime Fire Chief Jordan tells supervisors you can't attend any of our meetings. Financial information is sketchy and incomplete says me. No oversight on the millions we provide them. The mere audacity of Jordan's attitude and Vollmer's support of such behavior makes me skeptical. I get paid to be skeptical when the taxpayers monies are hidden by secret meetings! J. Chadwick Schnee is a big proponent of eliminating transparency where ever he can and this fits into his philosophy. (My opinion) Call and write your supervisors and tell them you want oversight from the supervisors over the fire company. We give them a $million a year and provided them recently with almost $2 million for a ladder truck. Tell them you want financial transparency and you want oversight!!! It's your money!!!
In My Opinion As An Elected Supervisor
About my right to speech
I am deeply committed to my role as a Supervisor in Exeter Township. My dedication extends to all our residents, not just those who voted for me. My actions and decisions stem from genuine concern for all of you.
In contrast, individuals like Bell, Vollmer, and Kirsher often seem ill-prepared and unaware of the issues at hand during our meetings. Despite facing obstacles from our Solicitor who seems intent on keeping me in the dark through abuse of attorney-client privilege and excessive redaction, I tirelessly gather information. This ensures that my decisions are well-informed, especially at a time when it seems there's a concerted effort to hide the township's governance and financial standing.
Everything I share on social media or my official website reflects my viewpoints as an elected official. There is no distinction between my personal and elected official persona; they are one and the same.
Schnee appears to be trying to artificially separate my online actions (as a citizen) from my duties as a Supervisor, possibly in an attempt to challenge my immunity as a public official. His obsession with this differentiation misses a fundamental point: free speech is a right that all should respect.
About documents that Schnee deems privileged: here’s the truth that Schnee is trying to hide
We're concerned about a novice lawyer who seems to misuse key legal principles to hide the negative impact he's having on our community, our values, and the very essence of the legal profession.
Let me break this down:
Despite these clear guidelines, this lawyer, Schnee, claims every interaction he has falls under attorney-client privilege. Moreover, he labels any document he touches as work-product, even if it has nothing to do with a legal matter. It seems he's trying to control the township's decisions and, more importantly, control what the people of Exeter are allowed to know.
We've invested considerable time submitting Right-To-Know requests, resulting in numerous appeals forced by Schnee and addressing Schnee's consistent efforts to obstruct our access to information. Schnee has made the Right-To-Know process painstakingly slow, with an average wait time of over 65 days for us to receive any documents. This delay is particularly frustrating when contrasted with Schnee's "preferred" associates, like Jupina and The Exeter Informant, who are affiliated with the majority party of Bell, Vollmer, and Kirsher. They often receive documents in under 5 days, especially if these materials align with Schnee's objective of defaming Hughes.
We've chosen to highlight Schnee's unsavory tactics by publishing documents he wrongly labels as privileged. The content of these communications doesn't pertain to legal matters, litigation, or requests for legal counsel. We aim to shed light on Schnee's maneuvers, especially considering that his law practice seems to be struggling with Exeter Township as its sole client. His financial predicament appears to have led him to disregard professional ethics and expected conduct for an attorney, prioritizing self-preservation over impartiality and integrity.
We want to emphasize that Schnee’s methods are not only troubling but also extremely manipulative. We've grown tired of his inappropriate behavior. We've decided to shine a light on his questionable ethics. It is absolutely striking to see the amount of energy that Schnee is spending at taxpayer’s expense to make sure that the public doesn’t know anything about anything.
People of Exeter, We've had enough of this absurd conduct.
In My Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
Chadwick Schnee of Schnee Legal Services has been caught making false statements on multiple occasions. Here are the three most significant instances, captured on video:
And the most concerning:
Lie #1: On video, Schnee claims that Hughes is suing the township. Chadwick, can you provide any specifics on that? As it appears, Supervisor Hughes has never initiated a lawsuit against the township. Schnee, instead of portraying yourself as the victim, perhaps it's time to stop spreading falsehoods and refrain from your condescending and passive-aggressive behavior.
Here's the audacity of Schnee's appalling game: While a right-to-know request isn't viewed as litigation, an appeal certainly is. Predictably, Schnee constantly pushes for an appeal, simply to falsely claim, "Hughes is suing the township." This is a blatant lie! All Hughes is striving to do is fulfill his duties, but Schnee manipulatively orchestrates these appeals. It's utterly reprehensible!
Lie #2: Schnee suggests, in his usual manner and without proper context, that all of the township's legal expenses are due to right-to-know requests, implying they all come from Hughes. Let's delve into this claim further.
There's a troubling account of a junior attorney, Schnee, misusing attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine. He's using these to hide the negative impact he's having on our community, our democratic principles, and the legal field itself.
To put it plainly, attorney-client privilege ensures that conversations between a lawyer and their client remain private. This protection is meant for situations where the client is either in legal proceedings or seeking advice. Using this privilege outside these scenarios is inappropriate.
Similarly, the work-product doctrine protects materials an attorney creates while preparing for a case. It's meant only for use within legal proceedings. Any other application is improper.
However, Schnee claims every interaction he has, digital or otherwise, is protected by attorney-client privilege. He also views any document he touches as work-product, even if it's unrelated to legal matters. It appears he's trying to control the township's activities and the narrative the public receives. In essence, he's determining what Exeter's residents should know.
In the case of Supervisor Hughes, Schnee and the unelected super-majority are determined to block Hughes from accessing necessary information to fulfill his supervisory duties. They often delay providing him with documents, and when they do, these documents are heavily redacted, rendering them nearly useless. This obstructive approach was also a hallmark of the former Township Manager, Betsy McBride, who, for over a year, collaborated with Schnee and the super-majority to withhold information from Hughes.
Because of this, Hughes began seeking documents directly from township employees to effectively perform his supervisory role. In response, the super-majority, McBride, and with Schnee's backing, spun tales of Hughes' alleged harassment. They voted to funnel all Hughes' information requests through Gardella, and later Bell, and then Vollmer who, likely in collaboration with Schnee, ensured Hughes remained in the dark."
Due to barriers placed in his way, Hughes was left with no alternative but to use Right-To-Know (RTK) requests to access the documents essential for his supervisory duties. It's important to note that the records Hughes seeks have no litigation context. Schnee's frequent invocation of attorney-client privilege seems more like a recurring tactic to obscure public records.
Currently, Schnee isn't handling any township litigation, and given his questionable public behavior, one might wonder who would seek legal counsel from such an inexperienced attorney.
To be clear: Hughes' reliance on RTK requests is a direct consequence of Bell, Vollmer, and Kirshner's smajority stance, aided by Schnee, to ensure Hughes remains uninformed in his role. The information Hughes seeks through RTK should be easily accessible to him without hurdles, especially as they aren't part of any legal case or associated with litigation work.
The financial implications of this obstruction are significant, and Schnee shoulders the blame.
It's astonishing to witness the extent to which Schnee goes, using taxpayer funds, to ensure the public remains in the dark.
People of Exeter, We've had enough of this absurd conduct.
"HAVE NO IDEA?": NOW WANTS TO WORK TOGETHER. CHADWICK SCHNEE IS NOT THE SOLICITOR WE NEED FOR THIS TOWNSHIP! HERE IS WHY:
In my Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
From: J. Chadwick Schnee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: David Vollmer; Michelle Kircher, ;George Bell;, Larry Piersol
Good afternoon, Supervisor Hughes.
I caught your latest disparaging post. As I’ve mentioned more than a few times, I continue to have no idea as to how I ever drew your ire, and, as I’ve also offered more than a few times, I’d love to put aside whatever personal animosity you may hold for me and work together for the benefit of the Township and its residents.
Can we schedule a time to sit down and hash this out?
J. Chadwick Schnee, Esq.
Schnee Legal Services, LLC
74 E Main Street #648
Lititz, PA 17543
Here we go again with yet another baffling email from Chadwick Schnee of Schnee Legal Services. It's borderline comical how Chad consistently fires off these passive-aggressive missives, trying desperately to paint himself as some kind of martyr at the hands of Supervisor Hughes. The repeated attempts to alter the narrative - especially with the looming threat of legal repercussions - don't escape our notice. "Look at me, the innocent victim," he seems to cry.
Let’s cut through the noise: Chadwick, the evidence is overwhelming. Video after video reveals your open hostility and unapologetic condescension towards Supervisor Hughes. It's astounding how quickly you unravel when confronted by my truth-telling, revealing yourself to be less of the seasoned attorney you claim to be and more of a novice struggling to keep up. Your brazen attempts to rewrite history – particularly by misusing legal tools like attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine – are transparent.
It's evident that you're trying to shield the Exeter public from whatever dubious dealings you're part of. And let's not forget your blatant use of board of supervisors resolutions as a weapon: propping up your shaky business, taking jabs at me, and even trying to silence and intimidate me and other Exeter residents.
Chadwick, drop the act. The curtain was pulled back on your charades long ago, and your reputation in Exeter Township - and the wider legal world - looks precarious at best.
Further, you Chad claim to have caught my latest "disparaging" post?
Newsflash: I’ve been at the helm of exeterunited.com for years, consistently updating our residents about the happenings within our local government. Way back, I called out the blunders leading to the hikes in our sewer and water bills. While only a handful took notice, I stood firm. While my blog melds hard facts with personal opinions, you seem to believe you're the self-appointed referee of what constitutes as "disparaging".
And let's talk about that absurd clause in your contract, where you slap the township with a $1,000 fine each time you "feel" an employee or supervisor steps out of line on social media or blogs.
This isn’t legal vigilance; it’s EXTORTION.
I’m convinced that this clause emerged after I publicly rated your first-year performance as a 2nd class township solicitor with a failing grade. Did I hope for improvement? Absolutely. Did I get it? Sadly, no.
Let’s dive into the mystery that is your role, Chad. According to your oh-so-vague contract: "This firm has been retained to serve as the Solicitor for Exeter Township."
But when we reference the 2nd class township act, it clearly underlines that Schnee operates at the behest of the Board. Yet, here you are, brazenly drafting a "resolution" aiming to sidestep this very act, transferring power to the manager and yourself. Are you here trying to cure your misdeeds with Betsy McBride for the past 12 months?
Your contract further states: "The scope of our representation does not include advice or services regarding accounting, tax, personal financial matters, business management, and related non-legal matters and advice..."
And yet, you seem unable to resist meddling in areas way beyond your purview. Case in point:
Mr. Schnee, perhaps it's time to reacquaint yourself with your job description and act accordingly.
In my Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
Here's the unsettling story of an inept, greenhorn attorney whose only experience is clerical work, exploiting attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine to conceal the extensive harm he's inflicting on our community, democratic values, and the legal profession itself.
To clarify, attorney-client privilege is a legal safeguard that keeps communications between a lawyer and their client confidential. This rule is intended to protect the client, whether they're in court or just seeking legal advice. Any use outside of these contexts is not legitimate.
The work-product doctrine operates similarly, shielding documents or notes generated by an attorney in preparation for legal proceedings. This protection is only applicable within the scope of a legal case. Any other use is out of bounds.
Yet Schnee categorizes every interaction with him, whether digital or otherwise, as falling under attorney-client privilege, and deems any document he lays a finger on as work-product — regardless of whether it's even related to a legal issue. It's a blatant attempt to monopolize control over the township's actions and, more critically, to dictate the public narrative. In simple terms, he wants to control what the people of Exeter should and shouldn't know.
We find these tactics not just objectionable but egregiously manipulative. We've had enough of this absurd conduct, so we took it upon ourselves to give him a crash course in legal ethics. Not because we think he's capable of learning, but to publicly expose and dismantle his deception.
And let's just say, we hit the mark spectacularly.
Our game plan was straightforward: we filed a right-to-know request with Exeter Township for specific documents that we knew existed, were not part of any litigation, and that Schnee was desperate to keep under wraps. These documents reveal Schnee's inappropriate meddling in township management and politics, which is absolutely not the role of a contractor funded by Exeter's taxpayers.
The documents also expose how Schnee is picking sides, tipping the scales in favor of the Gardella-Bell-Volmer supermajority. He's doing everything in his power, even breaching the Attorney's Code of Conduct, to ensure this supermajority stays in place come the November elections, all to secure his cushy $15,000-a-month job.
We simply asked for a letter Schnee sent to me on June 28th of this year—something I wanted to share openly with you, the citizens of Exeter. What followed was 65 days of utterly pointless back-and-forths with Schnee, culminating in a ruling from the Office of Open Records—the Pennsylvania authority on public record transparency—confirming what we had argued all along.
So what transpired over those excruciating 65 days? Schnee kept hiding behind his bogus "attorney-client privilege" claim to repeatedly deny the release of the document. We argued that there was no privilege attached to the document because its content was neither seeking legal advice nor part of any ongoing litigation. But hold on, there's more! Upon close scrutiny of Schnee's denials, he even had the audacity to claim — an outright lie — that the letter didn’t even exist! Can you fathom the sheer arrogance of this man, lying to the Office of Open Records? It's outrageous! How can the people of Exeter tolerate this?
Ultimately, the Office of Open Records agreed with us: No attorney-client privilege existed.
Above are my requests for information. Below, you'll see Schnee's initial refusal to comply. I'll spare you the multitude of back-and-forth digital exchanges with the Office of Open Records in the interim. This pattern of behavior is indicative of what our solicitor is primarily engaged in: an internal crusade aimed solely at undermining me. Astonishingly, around 20% of his billable hours are dedicated to generating conflict and muddying the waters, costing our township both valuable time and money.
The email Schnee sent me reveals his blatant political agenda, showing he's an integral part of the Gardella-Bell-Volmer supermajority clique, actively working against the interests of Exeter Township's citizens and taxpayers.
If you've endured the train wreck that Supervisor Bell orchestrated twice a month for a full year during board meetings, you'll know their latest claim that I disrupted a public meeting is an absolute farce and an outright lie.
See the nonsense for yourself!
As the footage clearly shows, I'm not some random audience member; I'm an elected supervisor doing my job by asking crucial questions. Unlike Bell, who was appointed rather than elected, I was put in this position by the very taxpayers and citizens you'd expect me to represent.
This letter lays bare Schnee's deep involvement with this Gardella-Bell-Volmer cabal, actively colluding to spread outright lies and defamation about me and my family.
I could dissect Schnee's ludicrous letter line by line, but I'll just point you to my handwritten notes. The guy is meddling in township management and has the audacity to inquire about my plans, as if he's genuinely offering help? This is nothing but a sham. He's laying down fake olive branches in our communications, probably to use them as supposed evidence of his "proactivity" should there be litigation against him.
To top it off, he's giving an elected official—me—unsolicited personal and political advice, coupled with veiled threats about my family. These are mob-like tactics, and let me make one thing abundantly clear, Schnee: you're messing with the wrong Marine.
Listen up, Exeter—Schnee is the root problem here. He's the architect of the discord and dysfunction we're seeing on the Board of Supervisors, and he's doing it to line his own pockets. Schnee is supposed to focus solely on legal matters as directed by the board. At this point, there are zero justifiable issues to warrant his obscene $15,000 monthly salary, nor his utter incompetence, malice, and abject failure to maintain professional impartiality.
In my Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
It would almost be laughable if it weren't so outrageous that this is happening at the taxpayer's expense. Schnee seems to have forgotten that his role is exclusively to execute tasks assigned by the Board of Supervisors—nothing more, nothing less. Yet he continues to shamelessly bill taxpayers for actions not sanctioned by the board, actions that, incidentally, amount to very little of substance.
Isn't it simply marvelous when our inept solicitor decides to produce an unsolicited piece, trumpeting his marketing prowess? A piece so riddled with glaring falsehoods and dripping with hypocrisy, it lacks even a shred of self-awareness or humility. It's an affront that demands the full attention of our citizenry.
Before we dissect this travesty in detail, let's first expose Mr. Schnee's pompous communication sent to the Board of Supervisors just a few weeks ago.
From Chadwick Schnee, Of Schnee Legal Services:
Good morning, Supervisors.
In addition to providing you with a list of legal activities in which I am currently engaged, I also wanted to keep the Board apprised as to Solicitor legal costs.
As the Board knows, I am currently providing services to the Township on a flat fee basis amounting to $15,000 per month, and the payment for the 4th quarter will be due by the end of September, to the extent that the Board wishes to continue with the flat fee arrangement. To the extent that the Board wishes to switch to hourly billing starting in October, I’m certainly always willing to have a discussion.
In the interest of providing some factual information to inform the Board, I’ve provided the information below.
In 2019, the Township paid over $1,300,000 in legal costs. In 2020, the Township paid about $650,000 in legal costs. In both 2021 and 2022, the Township paid approximately $250,000 in legal costs. Under the current flat fee arrangement, the Township would pay $180,000 for its solicitor. For illustration purposes, please see the below chart.
SEE: Image labeled IMAGE 1.
I also wanted to compare the difference between using the flat rate versus billing on an hourly basis. For illustration purposes, I’ve maintained my $215/hour rate for the number of hours I’ve expended on the Township’s behalf since April. In April, I spent 77.2 hours performing work for the Township. Hourly, I would have billed the Township $16,598; however, I instead billed a flat fee of $15,000, which saved the Township $1,598. In May, I spent 78.6 hours performing work for the Township. Hourly, I would have billed the Township $16,899; however, I instead billed a flat fee of $15,000, which saved the Township $1,899. In June, I performed 80.9 hours of work for the Township. Hourly, I would have charged $17,393.50; however, I instead billed a flat fee of $15,000, which saved the Township $2,393.50. In July, I performed 69.9 hours of work for the Township (I took a vacation this month). Hourly, I would have billed $15,106.50; however, I instead billed a flat fee of $15,000, which saved the Township $106.50. My billing is not yet complete for August, but I believe we’ll be in the $16,000 to $18,000 range. For purposes of illustration, please see below.
SEE: Image labeled IMAGE 2.
I also think it make sense to compare the amount of work I’ve performed in April-July in comparison to two other rates from local firms. When proposals were sought in 2022, the next closest bidder proposed charging $265/hour, and that amount times the number of hours of work performed during those months is reflected as “Local Firm - next closest bidder” below. Additionally, Supervisor Hughes proposed using Cornerstone Law at one point, with a rate of $325/hour – that amount times the numer of hours is reflected as “Cornerstone” below.
For the 306.3 hours of work performed, I billed $60,000. Compared to Local Firm – next closest bidder, that resulted in a savings of $21,169.50. Compared to the Cornerstone rate, that resulted in a savings of $39,547.50, as illustrated below.
SEE: Image labeled IMAGE 3.
IMAGE 1: Schnee is blatantly distorting the true extent of our township's legal expenses.
Legal costs can indeed be unpredictable, but it's generally the case that for a township of our size, legal representation and associated costs are minimal under normal circumstances, typically involving the review of bids and contracts. Yet Schnee is not only distorting the legal costs but also audaciously claiming that he is saving us money. This is a gross deception.
To clarify, in 2019, the township was embroiled in an exceptionally unusual and incredibly expensive litigation with Viva, resulting in a million dollars in legal fees. This was a one-off situation, not anticipated to recur. Schnee, however, persists in his attempts to deceive us by ignoring that the subsequent year also involved additional, non-recurring legal fees.
In 2021 and 2022, we made a concerted effort to rein in legal fees, even though it necessitated a change of solicitors.
Schnee then expects us to buy into his fiction that he is currently billing us for only 17 hours a week. This is patently untrue, and it is exceedingly difficult for me to ascertain the extent to which the township is incurring costs above his $15,000 monthly salary. Schnee is going to great lengths to obstruct my access (and by extension, the access of the people of Exeter) to his itemized time sheets.
Despite our best efforts, we have only managed to secure the sheets for April and May. Schnee is vehemently resisting the release of the June records and beyond. What, one must wonder, is he so desperate to conceal? Overbilling? Undertaking unauthorized work? Both?
IMAGE 2: Schnee is deliberately obfuscating the truth about fixed retainer fees as opposed to hourly charges
For clarification, Schnee's existing contract—crafted by himself and approved by the supermajority of Gardella, Bell, and Vollmer—claims a flat monthly salary of $15,000, while deceptively implying unlimited billable hours.
Let's dispel that illusion right now. Numbers can be twisted to serve deceptive narratives, and Schnee is doing precisely that. His self-constructed graph is an outright fabrication. I managed to secure time sheets for his work in April and May (he's stonewalling the release of June and July records), and these documents strongly suggest the likelihood of overbilling—echoing his previous tenure working alongside Tucker Hull.
Consider this glaring example: in April, Schnee billed for nine emails sent to an individual who filed an ADA complaint, at a minimum charge of $21.50 per email. Yet there were zero responses. Why persist in a futile endeavor? The answer is that the individual couldn't respond—something Schnee was fully aware of. That's because when an ADA complaint is in mediation and a confidentiality agreement hasn't been finalized, the defendant's attorney—Schnee, in this case—is prohibited from directly contacting the complainant. He should be communicating with the mediator. This is just one of several instances of unwarranted charges incurred, thanks to a slipshod contract that doesn't even include page numbers.
So what's the supermajority of Bell, Vollmer, and Kirscher doing about this egregious situation? Absolutely nothing. In their eyes, Schnee can do no wrong—we even have this absurd sentiment documented. But let's not forget: the quality of work should matter, Chadwick!
Fantasy-Based Comparisons, Brought to You by Schnee Legal Services.
More fabrications from Schnee—it seems deception is second nature to him. Contrary to his public claims and communications, I never put forth Cornerstone as a prospective township solicitor. What I did say was that Cornerstone would represent me personally should the township, under Schnee's guidance, decide to take legal action against me. And let's be clear: Schnee would never dare do that; he's fully aware he'd face yet another humiliating loss, akin to when he recklessly sued a journalist and was forced to withdraw his lawsuit in shame within a fortnight.
To set the record straight, Cornerstone was never in the running when we were searching for a solicitor firm and chose Tucker Hull. Schnee's comparison is utterly baseless; we never even negotiated rates with the firms he's contrasting with his own.
Moreover, Schnee conveniently overlooks that he runs a one-man operation—without support staff, with a mere three months' existence, and led by an inexperienced, self-employed attorney. He has no paralegals; he works from home; his limited experience lies in Right-to-Know (RTK) law as a clerk. Approximately 30% of his billings stem from RTK because he routinely rejects requests and obscures his correspondence under the guise of attorney-client privilege—a blatant ruse enabling him to rack up thousands of dollars in additional billings. Rest assured, Schnee's tactics will be progressively exposed, both to the public and, eventually, to disciplinary authorities.
When it comes to RTK requests—often straightforward to process—other, more reputable firms utilize paralegals at significantly reduced rates, around $80 an hour. And let's not forget that Exeter Township already employs an RTK officer. So, what is Schnee actually doing? The answer is clear: inflating his billings!
With a fully staffed law firm, not only would we benefit from greater service availability, but we'd also undoubtedly enjoy a markedly higher standard of quality, AT A FRACTION OF SCHNEE LEGAL SERVICES COST!
In closing, here's yet another glaring testament to Schnee's relentless deceit and staggering incompetence. How much longer will we, the taxpayers, put up with this costly charade? Wake up, Exeter Township—enough is enough!
In my Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
A glaring two minutes of sheer absurdity courtesy of Schnee Legal Services. The TL;DR: The roles of Chairman and Vice Chairman on the board aren't elected positions. They're designated solely at the Board of Supervisors' discretion. Hence, it's absolutely permissible for any supervisor to put forth a motion to remove the Vice Chairman during a public meeting, regardless of whether it's listed on the published agenda. This is elementary knowledge for even a novice attorney acquainted with the 2nd class township code. And yet, here we have Solicitor Schnee Legal Services, muddying the waters and contradicting himself in an extraordinary display of incompetence
EXETER TAXPAYERS ALERT: SHOCKING REVELATIONS ABOUT YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY FUELING J. CHADWICK SCHNEE'S CONTINUAL VENDETTA AGAINST A SINGLE SUPERVISOR!
In my Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
Buckle up folks, it's time to dive into the intriguing world of Schnee Legal Services! This is a place where subtlety takes a backseat as direct and indirect bullying, intimidation, and retaliation become the flavor of the day, especially against those bold enough to voice opinions they don't fancy. The irony? This negatively impacts the open conversation between citizens and their government, all while the spotlight-hogging, Chadwick Schnee plays the victim card, despite being the main instigator. Oh, and let's not forget, all of this drama unfolds while your hard-earned tax dollars keep his pockets lined.
The image you see above is a screenshot from Facebook, illustrating an event as commonplace as posting a review about Schnee Legal Services on Google - an activity within the right of every citizen. However, it appears that any review expressing an unfavorable opinion towards Schnee Legal Services triggers an immediate impulse in them to silence differing perspectives. This persistent trend is omnipresent, whether it pertains to a Google review or ensuring the citizens are adequately informed about their local governance. Schnee Legal Services seem to exert extraordinary effort, even working beyond regular hours, to suppress any content they deem as contrary. Such actions are inappropriate for a public forum and shouldn't be financed by Exeter taxpayers.
And now, for the pièce de résistance (drumroll, please)... below you'll find a message from Mr. Schnee himself, dated August 4th, 2023, served to you verbatim, fresh and unedited!
I'll hold my peace for now, choosing not to comment on his bewildering and erratic allegations.
It's important to highlight that Mr. Schnee appears to overlook the fact that his role is within a local government, not a private entity. As such, Mr. Schnee should be aware that the standards and scrutiny applied to an average law practitioner and his firm are indeed high, extensively shared, and aimed to inform the public, who are footing the bill for his lackluster services. Needless to say, the bar is set much higher, Chadwick... And that's without intending a pun.
As you are aware, the Township’s agreement with my firm contains the following non-disparagement provision:
Non-disparagement: You, on behalf of the Township, its public officials and employees, agree to not disparage or make any defamatory or slanderous statements about this firm and/or Attorney J. Chadwick Schnee, Esq. through any means, including but not limited to social media postings, conversations or written materials. Any violation of the non-disparagement provision of this Agreement shall entitle the other party to bring a legal action for appropriate equitable relief as well as damages. In addition to any other rights or remedies available at law, in equity, or by statute, the parties consent to the specific enforcement of the non-disparagement provision of this Agreement through an injunction or restraining order issued by an appropriate court, without the requirement of posting a bond. Further, we agree that this firm may assess an additional fee up to $1,000.00 per violation, up to an annual maximum of $10,000.00, of the non-disparagement provision of this Agreement.
On Sunday, July 30, 2023, I became aware of a Google Review that you listed on my business page stating as follows:
I have watched this "attorney" and his work at Exeter Township. Don't ever consider hiring this "attorney". Exeter is like a mess. I am familiar with how Solicitors operate in township environments and this guy is still in school. If I could give less than one star, I would. I am a supervisor in this township and have had the unfortunate experience of working with this biased, hypocritical, passive/aggressive unprofessional so-called "attorney." He should never have been hired after he left the firm we originally contracted with, Tucker Hull, LLC. If you want to WASTE money on unnecesary legal fees, if you want your solicitor to participate in your politics and if you want your solicitor to insert himself in management ....hire Schnee. Otherwise, hard pass.
Attached is a screenshot from your Facebook page where you chose to further disseminate your musings. While Google removed this review, others have seen this review and re-published it on the Exeter Examiner Facebook page.
On Monday, July 31, 2023, I learned that you had filed an appeal with the Office of Open Records (a copy of which is attached here) in which you published the following statements to the OOR as part of its official public record:
a. The Solicitor “exhibits corrupt practices and incompetence;” see Official Notice of Appeal at 15;
b. The Solicitor “has entangled himself in both the administrative and political spheres of the township’s operations;” id. at 13;
c. The Solicitor’s “actions are driven by personal financial motives;” id.;
d. The “three appointed, as opposed to elected, supervisors [have] ceded unchecked control of our township’s operations to [the] Solicitor…;” id.;
e.The Solicitor was “dismiss[ed] from his previous position at Tucker Hull due to alleged malpractice and overextension involving Exeter Township;” id.;
f. The Solicitor has a “under-resourced, nascent legal practice, lacking in experience, capital, and supportive infrastructure…”, id.; and
g. The Solicitor has “manupulat[ed]… public records like meeting minutes … turning these factual records into politically biased commentary and tools for character defamation.”
As a result of your false, disparaging, unconscionable and entirely irrelevant statements, the Township was forced to file a Motion to Strike these odious allegations. What makes these statements all the more troubling is that (1) you are aware that these statements (in particular, the fiction that I was “dismissed” from Tucker Hull or that there was ever any allegation of “malpractice” or “overextension involving Exeter Township”); (2) you are aware of the existence of the non-disparagement provision of the contract with Schene Legal Services; and (3) you actively decided to violate it anyway.
Your comments are unquestionably disparaging and defamatory in nature, especially where such comments are clearly intended to harm the reputation of Schnee Legal Services and discourage potential clients from engaging in services with my firm.
Accordingly, your Google Review and published statements to the OOR are in violation of the non-disparagement provision of the Township’s agreement with Schnee Legal Services. I want to provide you with an opportunity to immediately retract your statements to the OOR so that the Township taxpayers can avoid being assessed an additional fee of $1,000.00 solely due to your disparaging and defamatory remarks.
I’d also note that, under Section 907 of the Second Class Township Code, the Board of Auditors has the power to “surcharge any elected … officer for the amount of any loss to the township caused in whole or in part by the officer’s act or omission….” I would respectfully suggest that you should consider refraining from making disparaging comments about or my firm in the future.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
J. Chadwick Schnee, Esq.
Schnee Legal Services, LLC
74 E Main Street #648
Lititz, PA 17543
In my Opinion, As an Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
I fully acknowledge the existing concerns surrounding our escalating water costs. Unfortunately, due to the industry's heavy governmental regulation, our direct control over these costs is minimal. In 2019, I submitted a detailed 63-page document advocating against the sale of Exeter's sewer plant. However, at that crucial time, participation from our residents was noticeably sparse, with only a handful of individuals offering support.
The primary reason for the plant's sale was rooted in years of financial mismanagement by our township supervisors. They, unfortunately, drove us into a position where the only option left was to sell our most significant and profitable asset owned collectively by our community.
Alarmingly, history seems to be repeating itself, as the same financial mismanagement appears to be resurfacing. For example, we are budgeting for our golf course to incur a loss of $400,000, and our banquet business, a for-profit venture, is being subsidized, causing us to lose another $100,000.
In the board of supervisors held on Monday, July 10th, four supervisors, our solicitor, and our short-term manager censured me, alleging disruptive behavior in meetings, which is categorically untrue (please refer to the video footage). They also claimed I was consuming excessive staff time by asking pertinent questions and seeking information.
As a representative of this community, I believe it is my duty to work tirelessly for you. To succeed in this mission, I urgently require your continued support and active involvement.
The handling of our township's affairs by these unaccountable individuals, whom I regard as inexperienced, has resulted in the mockery of our local government. They have perpetuated false accusations and have essentially controlled our township for a year now.
Key questions that need answering include:
These costs could have been averted since 2019, but were instead met by the sale of our sewer plant. I urge you all to consider the implications of these decisions, for this is your hard-earned money.
Here's My Opinion as An Elected Supervisor of Exeter Township:
A year ago, Gardella, Bell, and Vollmer engaged in a series of deliberate lies, publicly accusing me of sexual harassment against an employee. They were fully aware that these accusations were baseless and motivated by retaliation from a disgruntled employee. This employee sent an email the day after I took office. Further, a thorough investigation conducted over the course of a month, which included numerous testimonies from employees, cleared me of any wrongdoing. Despite knowing the truth, Gardella, Vollmer, and Bell still censured me, while Schnee took no action. They all participated in spreading these false allegations for political gain, and Schnee potentially for financial motives.
Throughout the past 12 months, Gardella, Vollmer, and Schnee utilized these fabricated lies and the censure to continuously harass and defame me in public meetings and online. They employed various methods, including exploiting the township website, Facebook page, and providing false information to the Reading Eagle, with the malicious intent of damaging my reputation and character. Gardella, Vollmer, Bell, and Schnee intentionally concealed the investigation report, as its release would have exposed their deceitful scheme. It was only after parts of the report were brought to light by Jerry Geleff and The Exeter Examiner, followed by an anonymous individual publishing the entire report, that the false accusations of sexual harassment miraculously ceased.
In the meantime, armed with absolute power and a majority of votes, and with Schnee's complicity, Gardella, Vollmer, and Bell continued their campaign of harassment, passing one motion after another to unlawfully impede me from fulfilling my supervisor duties. They managed to turn the entire township staff, including the township supervisor, against me, despite my never having set foot in the township offices. I was officially prohibited from entering any township office and subsequently prevented from communicating with any township employee. Whenever I requested information crucial for my supervisor responsibilities, such as invoices, bills, or budget reports, they deliberately delayed or outright denied my requests, using false claims of confidentiality. Eventually, they compelled me to resort to right-to-know requests, further obstructing my understanding by intentionally slowing down the process. Even with these requests, the documents were returned to me heavily redacted, rendering them incomprehensible. Later on, I was forced to channel all my questions and document requests through Gardella, who maliciously and passively denied nearly all of them. Bell exhibited the same unprofessional behavior. Schnee's electronic communications were not only unprofessional but also filled with passive-aggressive language, which amounted to fabricating additional lies for the record.
In summary, Gardella, Vollmer, Bell, and Schnee have conspired over the past year to systematically defame and harass me in public and on social media. They have retaliated against me by effectively blocking me from any opportunities or access to personnel and documents required for me to fulfill my duties as an elected supervisor. Their collusion has rendered me entirely ineffective and useless in my role as a supervisor.
Review full investigation report here.
Why are Gardella, Vollmer, Bell, and Schnee subjecting me to this treatment? What is the motive behind their intense hatred, malicious slander, relentless bullying and harassment, passive-aggressive vindictiveness, and the continuous infliction of emotional distress in public, on social media, and through email for over a year?
The reason behind their actions is simple: I am asking the right questions about the township's governance and exposing their complete incompetence, laziness, lack of transparency, and their role in destroying the township's finances while promoting unprecedented corruption. Additionally, I have dared to criticize their pet project, the municipal golf course, which is both expensive and unprofitable, benefiting only a tiny fraction of the township's residents. I have shed light on their lack of intelligence, business experience, misguided views on governance, absence of a plan, and their ignorance of fiscal responsibility and budgeting.
All I do is calmly and rationally ask questions, and they are terrified of facing those questions.
Dear voters, this is the consequence of allowing corrupt, incompetent, unscrupulous, lazy, and, most importantly, incredibly stupid, vindictive, and despicable individuals to attain power through deceit rather than merit. They leave nothing but destruction in their path. And now, as this malicious clique prepares to launch another coup and censure me using new fabricated lies, I have a question for you: what have they accomplished in the past 12 months? They have held complete power with a majority vote, so what tangible achievements can they claim?
Here is a short list of top issues Gardella, Vollmer, and Bell must respond to.
As they censure me once again, be prepared to witness another narrative, most likely built on psychological projection, in which they will falsely claim that I am creating a hostile environment, solely focused on slandering them and ruining the reputation of our township. They will go to great lengths to propagate this narrative across the township's websites, inundate official meeting minutes with relentless attacks against me, and spread further slander about Supervisor Hughes, calling me the “Trump of Exeter," on platforms like the Reading Eagle and various social media outlets.
At this juncture, it becomes essential for you to question how I can be responsible for all these alleged wrongdoings when my access to information has been completely severed, my freedom of speech forcefully suppressed, and my vote as a minority reduced to insignificance, while Gardella, Bell, Vollmer, and Schnee have enjoyed uninterrupted power for over a year. Do you truly believe that all this spectacle and smoke and mirrors will deceive anyone?
Let me make one thing abundantly clear to Gardella, Vollmer, Bell, and Schnee: The more you spread lies about me, the more resolutely I will expose the truth about each of you.
I will never resign.
Dave H. Hughes, BS, CMA, CFM