October 30, 2014 9:36 pm ET
Well-known local developer charged in eviction gone awry. Matter referred to City State’s Attorney for review.
Let it be said that there is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. And, unfortunately, this time the wrong way was chosen.
According to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search, local developer and political operative John Vontran was charged in a criminal summons with 4th Degree Burglary (a misdemeanor) in an apparent eviction gone awry. Mr. Vontran, as you may know, is currently involved in the PUD process to build housing on the old Seagram’s property. In addition Mr. Vontran is rumored to associated with the campaign to reelect Mr. Kamenetz the current county executive.
The eviction incident took place at 710 Wise Avenue, which is the same address as the Sea Horse Inn, on July 11, 2014.
Here is the story from the victim, who will remain anonymous for privacy concerns.
The victim received a phone call from the company she rents from asking if she was at work. Since this seemed quite unusual, the victim returned home and found Mr. Vontran inside her (formerly) locked apartment, removing all of her items. The victim asked what was going on, and Mr. Vontran told her that she was being evicted.
Now, in case you were wondering, Mr. Vontran said he entered the domicile with a key because he was the property manager.
However, here is where things started to go south, so to speak, and I don’t mean sunny Florida.
The victim advised Mr. Vontran that she had not been served any paperwork regarding the matter.
Folks, that paperwork is a necessity.
At that point, one of our friends in blue got involved. A Baltimore County Deputy Sheriff identified as Sgt. Weiss #1058 advised the victim that, if she did not leave, she would be considered trespassing. The victim also advised that she observed Sgt. Weiss enter her apartment and remove her belongings.
Then, feeling that she was being wronged, the victim called 911 and summoned the police. The investigating officer noticed that the victim’s property was on the balcony and in the parking lot.
Mr. Vontran explained to the responding officer that he was the property manager and said the victim was 90 days in arrears. Mr. Vontran then produced a court document regarding the eviction.
However, as the saying goes, “Houston, we have a problem.”
You see, the paperwork was not signed by a judge, which is required for the eviction to take place legally.
Sgt. Weiss then advised the responding officer that the paperwork provided to him was not from the court, but rather by the Sheriff’s Office. The responding officer contacted the Towson District Court, which advised that the eviction was not scheduled to take place until July 24.
But wait, it gets better…
The court then contacted the Constable for the Dundalk area, and he responded to the scene. Another Constable also responded, and both Constables indicated that the paperwork was not valid—rather, it was just a copy that was not signed by a judge.
In plain speaking, that meant that the paperwork was invalid.
When confronted with this information, Mr. Vontran proceeded to place the victim’s property back into her apartment, but by then the damage had been done.
I contacted the Office of the Baltimore County State’s Attorney, and I was told that the case was submitted to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney for an independent review. I will contact the City State’s Attorney’s Office regarding a follow-up to this matter.
Meanwhile, Mr. Vontran did not respond to an e-mail requesting a comment, and I have not been able to find any information on the situation involving Deputy Sheriff Weiss.
As I stated before, there is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. And, sometimes, choosing the wrong way ends up causing more problems.
This, folks, was one of those times. Hopefully, this lesson doesn’t turn out to be too painful for Mr. Vontran.