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County Officials Discuss Recovering Lost Pension Funds in Secret Meeting

Officials ask the Baltimore County Council to hire an outside attorney for a lawsuit involving subprime mortgages.

Baltimore County pension officials are privately scrambling to meet a deadline to file a lawsuit in an attempt to recover tens of millions of dollars in county pension funds.

County Budget Director Keith Dorsey and County Attorney Michael Field met with Council members Vicki Almond, Cathy Bevins, David Marks and Ken Oliver and members of the county auditor’s office late Monday prior to the council’s voting session. The subject of the meeting was the approval of a contract to hire an outside attorney to pursue a lawsuit against Merrill Lynch, multiple sources tell Patch, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly.

Almond confirmed the meeting, but said the discussion was confidential.

“This will all be discussed at a future date,” Almond said.

Oliver, reached by phone Tuesday, declined comment.

“I won’t comment on it,” said Oliver.

Marks also declined comment.

“The discussions were confidential,” said Marks.

Bevins did not return calls seeking comment.

At issue was a $21 million investment made nearly five years ago by a county employee in a fund invested primarily in subprime mortgages. The fund, called Mainsail II LLC, collapsed when the economy tanked and the housing bubble burst.

The outside attorney, who would work on a contingency fee basis, would file a lawsuit similar to that filed by Kings County, WA, in July 2010. The law firm would be paid more than 33 percent plus expenses, if the county wins its case, sources said.

Don Mohler, a spokesman and chief of staff to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, acknowledged the meeting, but declined to answers questions about the subject.

"Mike Field had a confidential, closed, attorney-client briefing with the council about possible legal action that may or may not come before the council in the next couple of weeks," said Mohler.

Paul Amirault April 24, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Silly typo, tink is think.
Buck Harmon April 24, 2012 at 02:18 AM
The big question regarding Patch "upgrade failure" is ..will they realize the screw up and promptly make it right again..?
Ron Burgundy April 24, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Sapphire, you miss the entire point. Forget this bill, take any issue, when you commit to vote a certain way then back out speaks more about the Councilpeople, and their silence on the matter is deafening. Your so quick to condemn this Executive, why, you can't see the issue at hand? If your Councilman made a commitment to a community then totally changed their mind would you sit idly by? I believe someones word stands for something. Does yours?
Buck Harmon April 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Talk to us Tyler..whats the new game about?
thewarnock May 11, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Wthy would you have to hire an outside attorney to do this. Are the attorneys that work for the county admitting that they are too incompetent to do the job that the outside attorney would do. Or are the county paid staff attorneys too chummy with the repreresentatives at Merrill Lynch, and not want to to upset their drinking and golf buddies.

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