The embattled owner of Thacker Oldsmobile-Cadillac is selling the Annapolis dealership, effectively ending a state attempt to revoke his dealership license.
Joseph Thacker had been the target of pickets and of action by the Motor Vehicle Administration for alleged improprieties in used-car sales.
He is selling his Annapolis dealership to a Kensington company and the dealership is then to be known as Fitzgerald Oldsmobile-Cadillac. Thacker plans to retire.
"I never thought I'd see the day I'd be so glad to get out of this business," Thacker said.
In March, the MVA charged Thacker with 11 counts of fraud involving the sale of 69 cars. The vehicles allegedly were sold as "used" or "demonstrator" without the disclosure that they had been owned by rental companies.
Thacker vigorously defended his name, saying the state law on sale of rental vehicles was vague and unenforceable.
A hearing that started in May before an administrative law judge was suspended last month.
Assistant Attorney General Risselle Rosenthal Fleisher said the hearing more than likely would be moot if Thacker's license was turned in voluntarily.
Thacker bought Cuccia Oldsmobile-Cadillac in 1980. His lawyer, Samuel J. Brown, said Thacker would still be in business if not for the negative attention.
Problems apparently started for Thacker in 1989, when Richard and Patricia Laughery of Linthicum began picketing his lot and sued him for $1.3 million. They said their "demo" Cadillac had in fact been owned by Avis Rent A Car. An MVA investigation found 68 similar instances.