Leonard Engineering sues Wilkes-Barre Area School District

By Mark Guydish and Patrick Kernan - staff writers

WILKES-BARRE — Several months after Leonard Engineering initially claimed they’re owed money on several invoices from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, the firm filed a suit on Friday, seeking over a million dollars in damages.

But the district’s solicitor is claiming the dispute is truly between the two heads of the company.

The suit was filed by Robert Brannon, who state records suggest is the the firm’s vice president and treasurer, by his attorney, Edward J. Kaushas.

Brannon’s suit, which names both the district and its solicitor, Ray Wendolowski, as defendants, claims the district has failed to pay $32,400 to the engineering firm after the firm’s then-president, Thomas Leonard, renamed the company.

An email sent to the district on Dec. 23, 2015, by Leonard informed the district that the company would be renaming itself TGL Engineering Inc.

In the suit, though, Brannon claims that he was never informed of the name change, despite the fact that he was a 50 percent shareholder in the company. After the change, Brannon’s suit — along with agendas of the district for approving bills — suggests that the district began paying TGL Engineering.

Brannon is seeking a total of $864,800 from the district in restitution, along with attorney fees and any other relief the court deems appropriate, for the district’s alleged breach of contract.

Additionally, Brannon is also seeking a total of $532,400 from Wendolowski, claiming that he “aided and abetted” the name change.

Asked about the suit Friday afternoon, Wendolowski said it is clearly a legal matter between the two principals of Leonard Engineering.

“The district was made aware of this dispute, and has repeatedly advised Mr. Brannon that his dispute is with Mr. Leonard and that he should pursue any claims with him. We have made full payment for all invoices received.”

Asked about one statement in the suit alleging that he had told Brannon “we have a big problem here for the school district,” Wendolowski flatly denied ever making such a statement. “I told (Brannon) at least a dozen times this has nothing to do with the district.”

Wendolowski also said that he first saw the suit when it was emailed to him by a reporter, and that it has not been officially served yet.

The TGL Website lists Thomas Leonard as a principal in the company. He had also often been the primary contact for the district with Leonard Engineering. State records show Leonard Engineering Inc. incorporated in 2006 with Thomas Leonard listed as president and Robert Brannon as vice president and treasurer.

Meanwhile, TGL was incorporated in 2012 and lists only Thomas Leonard as president, with no other officers listed in the online posting.

Leonard Engineering has also been involved with other projects of the school district, including being one of the firms that recommended the closure of the district’s Memorial Stadium at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

Leonard Engineering seeks over $1M in damages

By Mark Guydish and Patrick Kernan

staff writers

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan