A former state employee filed suit against Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration yesterday, alleging that he was fired as part of a purge of white Republicans from the Department of General Services in favor of black Democrats.
Nelson Reichart, a 29-year state employee who was elevated to the head of the department's real estate division by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., was fired June 29, the day after he was quoted in The Sun discussing a Queen Anne's County land deal.
He contends in his suit that the quote hastened his firing but that his termination was part of a pattern in the department.
"Few can fail to note the purge of white Republican appointees," the lawsuit says.
DGS spokesman David Humphrey said he could not comment on the details of Reichart's firing because it was a personnel matter.
But Humphrey said the department did nothing wrong.
"The Department of General Services acted legally," Humphrey said. "The state will vigorously defend the lawsuit."