Former Baltimore Colts general manager Ernie Accorsi has asked for a jury trial in a dispute with a Cockeysville apartment complex over $738.19.
Managers of the Rossbrook Apartment complex in Cockeysville filed a District Court small claims suit against Accorsi earlier this year, claiming he owned them the money for unpaid rent from 1988.
Accorsi, now executive vice president of the Cleveland Browns, denies owing any money and has refused to pay.
After a process-server posing as an autograph-seeker at the Sports Boosters Banquet at Martins West served him with the District Court papers last month, Accorsi asked for the jury trial, bumping the case up to Circuit Court.
The trial is scheduled for Jan. 10, according to court records.
"You're not talking about a lot of money," Accorsi said. "But it's a matter of principle."
Court records show that Accorsi rented an efficiency apartment from the Rossbrook Apartment complex from March 1986 to February 1988 for $342 a month. He renewed the lease for the year 1988-89.
But Accorsi, who said he kept the apartment because his children still live in Baltimore, moved out of the apartment in the summer of 1988.
Thomas Webb, his attorney, said his client did all that was required to legally terminate the lease early, including pay unpaid rent and giving proper notice.
"We gave the notice and mailed the check," Webb said.
The apartment complex claims Accorsi owes it rent for June, July and part of August 1988, in addition to late charges and penalties. The managers of the complex turned the matter over to their attorney, Baltimore County Council Chairman Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger 3rd, D-3rd.
Anthony Bartlett, who works for Ruppersberger, is handling the collection case. "There's really not a lot I can say about it. It's just not a big deal. It's a routine suit. We handle 50 to 60 collection cases a month."
Webb said his client will not budge an inch in the matter. "This will go to trial, unless they back down," he said.
Accorsi, a former sports writer for The Evening Sun and Philadelphia Inquirer, worked as the public relations director of the Colts between 1970 and 1975.
In 1977, Colts owner Robert Irsay hired Accorsi as assistant general manager, then promoted him to general manager in 1982.
Accorsi resigned from the Colts in February 1984, one month before Irsay ordered the team packed onto Mayflower vans in the dead of night and moved to Indianapolis.