The chairman and chief executive officer of Baltimore Bancorp denied a request by Edwin F. Hale Sr. to hold a directors' meeting today to allow Hale and five other dissident shareholders to assume positions on the board.
In a letter to Hale released yesterday by the bank holding company, Baltimore Bancorp Chairman Harry L. Robinson says that no board meeting will be held until a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore is settled.
The suit Robinson refers to, initiated by Baltimore Bancorp, challenges the results of a recent vote by shareholders giving the Hale group six seats on the board of directors.
A board meeting was originally scheduled for next Wednesday. But Hale sent letters to Robinson this week urging him to convene the board immediately following a stockholders' meeting that was to be held today in Baltimore. The session is an extension of the recent annual meeting with the sole purpose of considering the need for a stockholders' advisory committee.
The latest disagreement in the long battle between current Baltimore Bancorp directors and Hale centers on the shareholders' vote and charges of misconduct by both sides.
Another 10 dissidents led by Hale also won that vote but cannot be seated under Baltimore Bancorp bylaws because to do so would enlarge the board beyond its current 18 members.
The Hale group has legally challenged those bylaws to get the 10 additional members seated.
Dan Burch, a spokesman for Hale, yesterday said the dissidents believe that Baltimore Bancorp should allow the six to begin serving on the board.
Burch charged the current board of directors with "trying to maintain control of this banking institution for themselves," adding that they "do not want to deal fairly and openly."
Burch said he did not know whether Hale planned to attend the shareholders' meeting today.