June 12, 2012 7:00 pm ET
Court suit filed in quest to find reason for $21 million in missing pension funds and why they ignored the law.
This blogger filed a request for public records, pursuant to the Public Information Act, with Baltimore County on May 6 seeking information on the county’s $21 million investment and subsequent loss into Mainsail LLC.
The county failed to respond in the required 30 days, a violation of the law. Why would they do that over a very serious matter such as this? What are they hiding?
In case you haven’t noticed, the with no outcry over the issues leading to this large loss of money—money that the county had a fiduciary responsibility to protect and account for.
I instructed my attorney Michael Stelmack to file suit (see attached PDF) in Baltimore County Circuit Court, which he did, to require the county to produce records of the transaction.
Here is a copy of the Public Information Request :
“Mr. Fred Homan, County Administrative Officer
Records Request Officer:
Pursuant to the Public Maryland Records Act, State Government Article §§ 10-611 to 628, I request access to the following information as related to Baltimore County’s $21 million investment into Mainsail LLC.
The following information may be scanned an e-mailed.
I am willing to pay reasonable duplication fees up to $50.00. If there are additional fees, please contact me.
If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemption of the act in writing.
I am a community blogger and this material will be used for a blog.
Thank you for your time in this matter and I await you anticipated prompt reply.
- The name of the licensed broker and full disclosure of any relationship with that broker to any member of county government.
- A copy of the signed contract regarding the investment including the total amount and copies of canceled checks pertaining to the investment and checks related to any broker fees.
- All related letters, correspondence, memos, related to the business transaction.
- Disclosure of any campaign donations by anyone related to this business transaction.
- Copies of any correspondence related to the county council members and the county executive pertaining to this transaction.
- Copies of any correspondence to the county office of law.
- Copies of any correspondence which initiated the original concept related to this transaction.
- Copies of related council documentation concerning this transaction.
- Copies of any correspondences of said investment pertaining to the review by the appropriate county agency.
- A clean copy of Baltimore County Resolution 44-95.
- A copy of the correspondence indicating the county would not pursue legal action in this matter.
Regarding this filing, the county is required by law to respond in a timely fashion within a maximum of 30 days. If they fail to respond they are required to notify you in writing as to why. This is the second time the county has failed to respond within the required 30 days to a Public Information Act request filed by this blogger. The previous violation dealt with the PUD process and the Yorkway LLC development. I had to call and remind them of the law before I received the information.
Where is Baltimore County’s Scott Schellenberger, or the State Attorney General Doug Gansler, or anyone with authority to scrutinize these deals? We’re not talking pocket change here; $21 million is a lot of money that ain’t theirs. Come to think of it where is the council on this issue? Get the picture. The county is not made of Teflon.
Where is the outrage when the county announced they were going to file the civil suit that suddenly went kuputski. All talk and no action.
The Public Information Act suit was filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Thursday, June 7. It is now a matter of public record.
Somebody has to find the answers to these questions. If not, the administration becomes more emboldened in the arrogance of power.
As taxpayers and citizens we have a right to know how this evaporation of $21 million of our money disappeared in so short of a period. If the council won’t act, and those with the power to investigate choose not to, I will act on their behalf.
A quote from a prompted me to file this suit regarding their refusal to answer the Public Information Act request. This quote was troubling: “County officials met April 13 in secret with members of the council to discuss a possible lawsuit against Merrill Lynch related to the bad investment in a fund known as Mainsail II LLC, which was backed by subprime mortgages.”
The law suit was never filed.
Why not? That is one of many questions I have.