Association, 2 ex-officers reach accord

Vice presidents left CA during McCarty's tumultuous tenure

Issues are `resolved'

King, Mack retained lawyers, threatened to sue, source says

Columbia

July 26, 2000|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

The Columbia Association has come to an undisclosed "resolution" with two officers who left the organization during a period of turmoil last spring.

Shelby A. Tucker King, who served as the association's general counsel and secretary, and Pam Mack, who was vice president for community relations, left after then-President Deborah O. McCarty ordered all six of the association's vice presidents to submit letters of resignation in March.

King resigned after refusing to sign the letter, a source familiar with the situation said. It was not clear if Mack was fired or resigned.

King and Mack had retained lawyers and threatened to sue, according to another source involved in the matter.

Columbia board members, who also comprise the Columbia Council, declined to say whether they had, in fact, settled a lawsuit. But the board did issue three cryptically worded written statements related to the resignation letters yesterday.

One statement said that Mack and the board "have amicably resolved all outstanding issues between them."

Another statement said "the events of March and April have been resolved and neither CA nor Ms. Tucker King intends to make any further comment upon the events insofar as they relate to Ms. Tucker King."

King, a lawyer with Brown, Diffenderffer & Kearney of Baltimore, declined to comment. She had been with the association for three years. Mack, who had served for 13 years, could not be reached for comment.

The third statement issued yesterday said that the board of directors had rescinded the resignation letters submitted by the other four vice presidents.

The four, who still work for the association, are: Charles Rhodehamel, acting president and vice president for open space; Maggie Brown, vice president for community services; Rob Goldman, vice president for sports and fitness; and Rafia Siddiqui, vice president for administration.

After raising questions about the vice presidents' loyalty, McCarty told them March 10 that they had less than 24 hours to submit letters of resignation, The Sun reported at the time.

The action intensified opposition to McCarty, who faced questions about her leadership and commitment to Columbia. She resigned under pressure in May after 20 months in the association's top job.

By rescinding the four letters, board members said they hoped to put the matter behind them - and put the vice presidents at ease.

"Clearly, before the new council came on, there was this ax hanging over their heads," said Council Chairman Lanny Morrison of Harper's Choice.

Brown said she and the other vice presidents who remained with the Columbia Association are relieved that their resignation letters are no longer an issue.

"It was something that allows all of us to go forward without those being present ... letting people know we're all working very hard here, we've crossed a period of time here and it's behind us," she said.

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