SUNBURY - An attorney for Shamokin filed to have one count dismissed from the lawsuit brought against the city by ex-clerk Stephen D. Bartos. Less than two hours earlier, though, the plaintiff's own attorney dropped the disputed count.

Maybe it was a preemptive strike by attorney Douglas N. Engelman, who filed an amended complaint on behalf of Bartos at 10:35 a.m. Aug. 7 in Northumberland County Court. It dropped all references to an allegation that Shamokin violated the state's Wage Payment and Collection Law. In its place was a count of breach of contract.

At 12:15 p.m. Aug. 7, attorney Robert Seiferth filed a preliminary objection to Bartos' original June 3 complaint, saying the statute doesn't apply in this case since Shamokin is a municipality and not governed by the Wage Payment and Collection Law. He asked that the court dismiss the count.

The city's filing, its first in the lawsuit, does not address Bartos' claim that Shamokin violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Bartos seeks $59,475.05 and other damages, claiming he was uncompensated for 1,116.4 hours prior to his Feb. 7 resignation. Those hours are allegedly documented and can be substantiated by witnesses, the lawsuit states.

Wages and compensation sought are $49,807.05 in compensation time at an hourly rate of $55.75 for 893.4 hours related to the federal flood wall project along Shamokin Creek and Carbon Run; $2,230 for 40 hours at $55.75 hourly for the federal grant program to demolish flood-damaged homes along Rock Street; $1,730 for 70 hours of unused vacation time; $579 for three unused personal days, and $5,129 for 92 hours worked during medical leave.

Bartos was receiving unemployment benefits from the city at the time the lawsuit was filed in June. An initial dispute from the city was withdrawn, the lawsuit states.