Peter Angelos is a charitable man who shouldn't be...


October 16, 1999

Peter Angelos is a charitable man who shouldn't be vilified

In the Sunday Sun Oct. 10, a man I've been privileged to know and work with for more than 34 years was as vilified and excoriated as was Saddam Hussein in the days following his invasion of Kuwait.

Not content to trash this decent and charitable man in the sports section, The Sun found it necessary to continue piling on in a lead article on page 1 (" `99 Orioles: a season of turmoil at the top," Oct. 10), as it had in an editorial the previous day ("Mount Angelos erupts," Oct. 9).

Because of my long relationship with Peter G. Angelos and his family, I can state without qualification that the citizens of the Baltimore area have been blessed to have this family among them.

I don't claim to know all they've done for the community, but I know they've done scores of acts of charity and good will, often anonymously.

Mr. Angelos' fortune was hard and fairly earned representing working people against industrial malefactors who pollute and poison citizens for profit.

He has shared this fortune with associates and with the community, through innumerable charitable contributions, as well as in his commitment to redeveloping Baltimore's Charles Center and by snatching ownership of the Orioles from out-of-town interests.

Mr. Angelos and his family could easily have taken their money and lived a life of luxury. Ironically, the fact they chose instead to give back to the community in so many ways has allowed the naysayers to descend upon them.

Mr. Angelos is as human and fallible as any of us. But the fact that he strives to do what he thinks is right and honorable at all times makes him, I submit, a better person than those who so freely demean and criticize him and his family.

Thomas Minkin, Baltimore

The writer is a principal in the law offices of Peter G. Angelos.

State should uphold its tobacco-suit bargain

In The Sun's article "Issues brewing over lawyer fee" (Oct. 12), Del. Robert L. Flanagan criticized Peter G. Angelos' efforts to obtain his contingency fee from the tobacco settlement. Mr. Flanagan's attack has no basis in fact and is transparently aimed at raising his stock in the Republican community.

The state of Maryland and Mr. Angelos' law firm negotiated a contract, under which the firm would receive 25 percent of the funds the state won from any tobacco verdict or settlement.

Mr. Angelos took the risk. His firm paid the expenses and spent many hours preparing the case. This investment was no sure thing; prior to the settlement, the tobacco industry had won virtually every case filed against it.

Now that the industry has settled, the state has breached its contract with Mr. Angelos, passing legislation unilaterally reducing his fee to 12.5 percent.

Still, Mr. Flanagan wants the public to believe that Mr. Angelos should have to go to an arbitration panel and battle the tobacco companies for his fee.

Whatever happened to a contract having meaning?

Mr. Angelos does much good for the area. He pays for extra police downtown. He's kept the Orioles here. He's trying to build a true convention hotel.

But apparently being a success makes one a target in these strange times. And keeping a bargain is no longer an honorable thing.

Richard B. Stofberg, Baltimore

Del. Robert L. Flanagan criticizes Peter G. Angelos for asking for the fee the state had agreed upon from the tobacco settlement.

What a low blow. I wonder what Mr. Flanagan teaches his children about making promises?

I hope he tells them that when a promise is made, it should be kept. I hope he teaches them that a deal is a deal.

Mr. Angelos kept his end of the deal. I hope the state does the same.

James O'Conor Gentry Jr., Towson

Push for huge fees shows lawyers' greed

The negotiations going on over attorneys' fees in the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry again demonstrate how greedy the legal professional has become.

How can upstanding members of the bar allow this travesty to continue? When are they going say, enough is enough?

Until they do, I can only believe that the entire legal profession is in collusion with the robber barons in its midst.

Otto C. Beyer, Ellicott City

Killing the deer is not the answer

The idea that a permit was issued to kill a family of five deer because a woman "had such gorgeous hostas" is absolutely ludicrous ("Neighbors concerned by deer hunt permit," Oct. 11).

In our opinion, deer sharing a few flowers does not amount to "economic loss to commercial agriculture."

Are we now to be startled by men shooting bows and arrows and dead animals on front lawns, and not be able to enjoy our morning or evening walks?

What a wonderful vision for children on their way to and from school.

We've taken away the deer's habitat. Humans are the ones who need a supermarket every mile and fast food on every corner, who tear down the woods for tennis courts and swimming pools.

It's time to accept that we must find a better way to manage our environment. Killing is not the answer.

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