Glen Burnie Bancorp executives and directors have dropped a lawsuit against a former director and Edwin F. Hale Sr., chairman of First Mariner Bancorp, that accused them of illegally soliciting proxies and votes from stockholders.
The lawsuit was filed last month, two days before Glen Burnie Bancorp's annual meeting, at which Susan Demyan, the former director, and stockholders backed by Hale unsuccessfully tried to oust management.
"Since we won, that claim is moot," Price O. Gielen, an attorney representing the $225 million-asset banking company, said yesterday. "We don't do litigation for the sake of litigation, so we dismissed it."
The lawsuit was filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court by F. William Kuethe Jr., president and chief executive of the company, and Chairman John E. Demyan -- Susan Demyan's cousin -- along with 10 other directors.
The lawsuit also alleged that Hale and Susan Demyan were working together to combine First Mariner illegally with Glen Burnie Bancorp's subsidiary, Bank of Glen Burnie.
"We thought it was a lawsuit without any foundation, without any substance," Hale said. "It was a PR stunt."
Hale said his attorneys are reviewing Maryland law to see if the Glen Burnie Bancorp lawsuit was filed in "bad faith." He might then seek to recover attorney's fees from Glen Burnie Bancorp, said David Hamilton, an attorney representing First Mariner and Hale.
First Mariner owns about 5,551 shares of Glen Burnie Bancorp stock, and it is waiting for Federal Reserve Board approval to buy 170,883 shares from a large stockholder. That would boost its stake to 19.5 percent.
Hale has criticized Kuethe and John Demyan, saying they have mismanaged the banking company.
He said that if his purchase is completed there are "certain things we can do to get them out.
"It is no more Mr. Nice Guy," Hale said. "It is time for a change."
Pub Date: 4/30/98