Court upholds dismissal of Cwalina lawsuit
HARRISBURG - Commonwealth Court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by former state Deputy Labor Secretary Allen Cwalina filed against the state, after he was convicted of crashing his state car while drunk, the Patriot News reported.
Cwalina claimed in his breach of contract lawsuit that he was forced to quit after his 2009 conviction in Cumberland County even though he had entered a program that he was told would help save his $122,000-a-year job.
He sought payment for lost wages, sick leave, vacation and retirement benefits.
Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis dismissed Cwalina's lawsuit last year after the Labor Department and governor's office argued that the state was immune from his complaint.
Commonwealth Court concluded that Lewis' dismissal was proper and that, in any case, Cwalina had missed the window for filing a breach of contract lawsuit against the state, the newspaper reported. That window is six months from the time of an alleged breach, and Cwalina waited more than 20 months to sue, the court noted.
Cwalina is a former Northumberland County commissioner.