State worker who sued is among the 40 laid off

The Baltimore Sun

Among the 40 state workers laid off this week because of budget cuts was an employee who sued the O'Malley administration last year for wrongful termination and got another state job - temporarily.

Nelson Reichart, until this week a real estate manager with the Maryland Aviation Administration, said he "can't say one way or another" whether he believes his layoff was connected to his 2007 firing and subsequent lawsuit. "I was let go, and I'm letting it go," he said.

Jack Cahalan, a Transportation Department spokesman, said Reichart held one of two aviation administration positions eliminated in a "consolidation of real estate functions" and that the action was not connected to the lawsuit.

Reichart, a three-decade state worker, was fired in 2007 from the Department of General Services a day after he was quoted in The Sun criticizing an Eastern Shore land deal. He suggested in the article that the state did not follow normal procedures when it agreed to pay more than the highest appraised price for the preservation land. In a lawsuit appealing his firing, Reichart alleged that he was fired for the quote and as part of a purge of white Republicans from his department in favor of black Democrats.

In February, a Baltimore County judge upheld Reichart's firing. Two months later, he was hired by the aviation administration.

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