First Mariner will rescind 'ridiculous' filing with SEC It didn't mean to say it would be buying 19% of Glen Burnie Bancorp


November 15, 1997|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Lawyers for First Mariner Bancorp mistakenly filed a draft document yesterday with federal regulators stating that the bank has agreed to acquire nearly 20 percent of Glen Burnie Bancorp and seek control of the $225 million-asset banking company.

"It was a clerical error," said Christopher D. Olander, a partner with Shapiro and Olander. "It was a ridiculous clerical error. There is no purchase. Frankly, someone in my law firm made a mistake." Olander said the filing will be rescinded Monday.

Edwin F. Hale Jr., chairman of First Mariner, could not be %J reached for comment.

The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said First Mariner had agreed to buy 170,883 shares of Glen Burnie Bancorp stock for $4.2 million in cash from Ethel Webster, a large shareholder of the closely held bank.

The document was filed electronically at 12: 08 p.m. yesterday. A news report on the Schedule 13D filing was transmitted by Bloomberg News, a business news service, at 2: 02 p.m.

Webster said yesterday she has no agreement with First Mariner to sell the shares. "I haven't sold anything," she said. She declined to comment further.

First Mariner already owns 4,580 shares of Glen Burnie Bancorp, all but 89 of which were bought in April for $110,736.

As detailed in the document, the purchase would have raised First Mariner's stake in Glen Burnie Bancorp to 19.8 percent.

The filing, which was dated yesterday, also said First Mariner "intends to seek control of the company" and detailed possible actions it could take, including enlisting the cooperation of other shareholders to form a committee to "improve or replace" management; acquiring additional shares; proposing its own slate of directors for election at the company's next annual meeting on March 12, 1998; and calling a special meeting of stockholders to consider merging the two companies.

Olander declined to comment on any of the specifics of the filing, saying only: "If you report what is in that 13D, it is not accurate."

The document caused some confusion at the Bank of Glen Burnie.

"I have not heard from Mr. Hale and I don't know what he wants to do. [Thursday], he told our lawyer he was buying the stock as an investment," F. William Kuethe Jr., president and chief executive of Glen Burnie Bancorp, said yesterday before Olander said the filing was made in error. Kuethe could not be reached later.

Kuethe has presided over the bank during a tumultuous time in which it has suffered heavy losses and the resignation of directors who have accused bank executives of mismanagement.

Pub Date: 11/15/97

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