In an escalation of a business dispute that includes charges a state lawmaker may have unethically traded on his elected position, a Hunt Valley insurance brokerage yesterday sued Del. Alfred W. Redmer Jr.
The suit in Baltimore County District Court comes in a business divorce between Client First Brokerage Services Inc. and
Redmer, the company's chief executive officer until last year. The suit demands that Redmer surrender company-owned computer equipment and files.
Client First officials said yesterday that they requested, and received, Redmer's resignation last year amid claims that he had acted against the interests of the company and its clients.
Also, Client First board Chairman Rodger A. Bayne has asked a legislative ethics commission to decide whether Redmer inappropriately cited his position in the House in a letter written .. under the letterhead of his new employer.
Redmer, a Perry Hall Republican, said he was not ousted from Client First. And while promising to return Client First's equipment, Redmer said the company failed to give him enough time to meet a deadline last week for its return.
He called the allegations unfounded -- "a professional and personal vendetta" motivated by Redmer's decision to jump to a competitor, The Mather Cos.
Referring to the disputed letter, he said that mentioning his role as delegate was "incidental" to an offer for free classes for insurance trade groups.
"If anybody from the joint committee of ethics has any different point of view, I will be more than happy to comply," he said.
hTC Redmer, a member of the House of Delegates since 1991, was a founding member and stockholder of Client First.
According to a source with knowledge of the dispute, his activities came under scrutiny after he urged the company to buy an Eastern Shore-based insurance agency -- and acquired an ownership stake in that agency after his proposal was rejected.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Client First officials rejected his proposal because they did not want to own an agency that might compete against existing clients.
Bayne said Client First tried last autumn to persuade Redmer to stay with the company in a redefined role, but negotiations collapsed.
Pub Date: 1/28/97