This is another chapter in a rather egregious story the Baltimore Post has been covering since its inception.
To summarize, John Vontran was acting as the supposed property manager of the Sea Horse Inn when he illegally evicted a tenant from an apartment located on the property. As a result, both Mr. Vontran and a Baltimore County Sheriff’s Deputy were arrested and charged with criminal offenses. They both were given PBJ (Probation Before Judgment) by the judge in the case.
Meanwhile, a civil suit was filed on behalf of the victim by the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian. The jury in the civil case awarded $65,000 to the plaintiff.
According to court documents and interviews, it was determined that Mr. Vontran acted in a rather malicious manner when attempting to carry out the “eviction.” Transcripts of the court documents show that Mr. Vontran and the deputy sheriff, once inside the victim’s apartment, began to throw the plaintiff’s property into the street, which damaged certain irreplaceable items.
To make matters worse, when the victim arrived on the scene and confronted Mr. Vontran and the deputy sheriff, she was told by Mr. Vontran that her pets were sent to be euthanized. (The victim later learned that her pets were safe.)
The Post obtained a comment from the plaintiff’s lawyer about the case, which is now being appealed by Mr. Vontrans attorneys. This statement directly addresses the character of Mr. Vontran:
“As evidenced by the facts of this case, Mr. Vontran believed that he was above the law and that he could trample on [the victim’s] rights. Fortunately, the jury, in this case, saw right through him and awarded a verdict reflecting that they were as repulsed by his behavior as any reasonable person would be. We are supremely confident that the jury’s verdict will ultimately be affirmed on appeal.”
Another interesting fact is that Mr. Vontran claimed to have no ownership or interest in the Sea Horse Inn property. However, that claim is not supported by the actual trail of evidence.
Court records also indicate that Mr. Vontran’s assertion that he was simply helping a friend with the eviction was not an accurate account of the facts. A constable from Baltimore County arrived on the scene and advised that the eviction was not legal. After hearing that information, Mr. Vontran began to put the victim’s property back into the apartment.
Also, court records revealed that Mr.Vontran reached out to Baltimore County Sheriff Jay Fisher in the days before the “eviction” to enlist the sheriff’s help. The actual legal eviction was scheduled a month after the illegal attempt, according to court documents.
The Baltimore Post attempted to contact Mr. Vontran to get his comments about this issue, but we have not heard back from the Dundalk developer.
Just to shed some more light on this matter, one of the owners of the Sea Horse Inn had been appointed as Baltimore County Director of Code Enforcement with the aid of by then-councilman John Olszewski Sr.
Mr. Olszewski Sr. also aided in the appointment of the other owner of the bar to an administrative law judge position.
Current Baltimore County Executive John “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. reappointed both men to their positions.
Connect the dots, folks.
Just remember the Yorkway development deal in which then Baltimore County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger who orchestrated the beginning of the $20 million landgrab of the old apartment complex. This eventually led to the PUD process involving John Olszewski, Sr. that allowed Mr. Vontran to move forward with his plans to develop the project.
The Post will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they are available.