Delaware County emergency services director placed on administrative leave following ageism, sexual harassment claims

Delco’s director of emergency services, Timothy Boyce, is out on administrative leave. A female employee accused him of ageism while another alleged he sexually harassed her.

Timothy Boyce

Two female employees have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, alleging Delco's director of emergency services fostered a hostile work environment. (Kenny Cooper/WHYY)

Timothy Boyce, director of Delaware County’s Department of Emergency Services, has been placed on administrative leave following claims of ageism, gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Two female employees have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, alleging Boyce fostered a hostile work environment.

“Women went to work for their government, expecting there to be a safe working environment — it’s been anything but,” said Bryn Mawr–based attorney Mark D. Schwartz, who is representing both complainants.

The county’s HR department is conducting an investigation, as is the county District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

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Boyce did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment. Dr. Monica Taylor, chair of Delaware County Council, said deputy director Ed Beebe is now leading the department while authorities investigate the complaints against Boyce.

“We are cooperating fully with the investigators and trying to ensure that our employees feel that they are in a safe environment and encouraging individuals to come forward if there’s any additional information they can provide,” Taylor said.

Boyce manages a 125-person department, which operates the county 911 center. He is in charge of coordinating emergency responses between Delaware County’s 65 fire departments, 42 police departments and 31 emergency medical service providers. He’s held his current position since 2016.

He previously served stints as deputy chief of the Upper Darby Fire Department and as a homeland security coordinator with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.

Schwartz filed his first complaint on behalf of one of his clients in January. In the written EEOC complaint, the 67-year-old woman alleges she’s endured “harsher working conditions” under Boyce.

She said despite 47 years of experience, her hours were slashed and she was forced to share a cubicle and computer with another older, female employee. The woman claims Boyce “has exhibited a well-known preference for attractive younger women” when hiring.

The first complainant listed redacted names of younger, female employees who received preferential hiring. One of the employees ended up being Schwartz’s second client.

The second woman said in her complaint that she considered Boyce to be a family friend. Boyce hired her as a coordinator in December 2023. Just one month later, Boyce promoted her to be his “executive assistant.”

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“I now realize that my hiring was consistent with his practice of hiring and promoting attractive young women, regardless of job description or ability,” she said in the complaint.

In addition to a higher salary, the complaint said she was moved to an office physically connected with Boyce’s. She claimed he continually made “sexually inappropriate comments.” According to the complaint, Boyce’s comments ranged from describing the woman as “very intriguing” to saying she “had a nice ass.”

On Jan. 30, the complaint said Boyce forcefully groped and kissed the woman without her consent. The woman said she left work crying and later quit. In a text exchange a month later, the woman said she confronted Boyce — prompting him to apologize.

Schwartz said the allegations are troubling and that he’s preparing to file a third complaint on behalf of another employee. He wouldn’t go into detail.

“They make my stomach churn,” Schwartz said. “I am working on this third EEOC charge and I have to stop working on it periodically because it makes me sick.”

Boyce was placed on administrative leave April 25. Schwartz said the county should’ve known earlier and should have acted sooner.

“You would think if a person who had recently been hired just doesn’t show up one day and the whole office has questions — like where is County Council?” he said.

Taylor said the county’s HR department was aware of the first allegation, but County Council didn’t know about the second incident until external investigators notified the county April 25. She said the county acted the same day.

“We take accusations of harassment, retaliation, discrimination — we take all of these very, very seriously and have moved forward accordingly once we became aware of the allegations,” Taylor said.

No timeline was given on when either of the investigations would be resolved.

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