CEO fired at Air-Cure 5 directors dislodged

Six shareholders force the changes

Pollution control


Air-Cure Technologies Inc. said yesterday that it fired Michael Lawlor, its chairman, president and chief executive, and removed from its board five of seven directors, including Mr. Lawlor.

Mr. Lawlor was replaced by Mark Johnson, chief executive and president of the company's Allied Industries Inc. unit.

The new management plans to evaluate all of the assets and business operations of the Annapolis-based maker of air pollution and air treatment systems to improve its value to shareholders, Mr. Johnson said in a statement.

He said a group of six shareholders who own 55 percent of the company's stock voted out the directors to make a management change. The other directors removed were John Drury, chief executive of USA Waste Services Inc.; Richard Heckman, chairman and chief executive of U.S. Filter Corp.; James Rainey Jr., former chief executive and president of Farmland Industries Inc.; and Lawrence McAfee, Air-Cure's chief financial officer.

Mr. Johnson said Mr. McAfee, Mr. Rainey, Mr. Drury and Mr. Heckman will be asked to rejoin the board. Air-Cure already had added Mr. Johnson; Pierre Melcher; and William Porter, of Porter & Hedges LLP, to the board.

Air-Cure Technologies also said its offices are being moved to available space at its Allied Industries unit in Houston. The company said it asked four of the six employees in its Annapolis office to move to Houston.

Air-Cure Technologies shares closed down 56.25 cents at $3.875 with 134,800 shares changing hands, more than eight times the three-month daily average.

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