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PenMar board delays plan vote

October 26, 2004|by TARA REILLY

The PenMar Development Corp. board of directors on Monday voted to give itself more time to resolve ongoing legal issues before it votes on a Columbia, Md., developer's plan to revitalize the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base, PenMar board Chairman George Griffin said.

The PenMar board of directors met Monday for about an hour and 45 minutes - all but about 10 minutes were in closed session - to discuss the development plan.

PenMar has agreed to sell the approximately 630-acre base to Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT). PenMar was created by the state in 1997 to redevelop the base, which the Army shut down in 1998.

The Army must first transfer the property to PenMar before PenMar can sell it. The transfer is on hold because of a court injunction blocking the action. A court decision ruled PenMar violated legal requirements because an ad announcing the property's availability was faulty.

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In addition, Role Models America Inc., a military-style school for dropouts that once operated at the base, sued PenMar for $304.5 million in January.

Role Models alleges that the defendants engaged in a "collaborative scheme of discrimination, sabotage and conspiracy orchestrated to disrupt, discredit, defame and bankrupt and destroy" Role Models.

Griffin said those issues must be resolved before the sale can go through.

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