The county economic development director has agreed to pay $16,000 to the Bank of Maryland for unpaid loans he guaranteed for a Bel Air radio station he owned two years ago.
James D. Fielder, appointed to the county post in May, reached the settlement with the bank duringa Harford Circuit Court hearing Thursday.
"(Fielder) is paying this money because it's a nuisance to him," said Avrum Kowalsky, a Bel Air attorney representing Fielder.
"He's basically paying this to get out of the case."
Loans totaling $213,000 were made by the bank to two Baltimore County men who bought WHRF-AM -- which has since gone off the air -- from Fielder in 1989.
The Bank of Maryland has "compromised" to accept $160,000 of the amount owed on the loans, Kowalsky said.
At the time of the transaction, Fielder and his wife, Patricia, agreed to serve as guarantor of the loans. Loan guarantors are ultimately responsible for repayment.
In addition to Fielder, the partners who bought the radio station in 1989 and the prospective buyers will share in the repayment of therest of the loans, according to the settlement.
The bank filed court judgments for repayment when the new owners, Stephen Zachary and David Green, defaulted on two loans.
In the settlement, reached before Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill, the prospective buyers of the station will pay Zachary and Green $80,000 that will be used to repaythe loans.
The buyers were not named during the hearing.
In addition, Zachary will pay the bank $7,000 within 30 days and sign a $25,000 mortgage for his home to be paid to the bank over a 10-year period.
Green will pay the bank $12,000 within 30 days and sign a $10,000 mortgage for his home to be paid to the bank over 15 years, the settlement says. Green also will sign a judgment for $10,000 to be paid to the bank in two years.