Columbia settles with ex-officials

Two officers forced out of association are given payout, attorneys' fees

August 12, 2000|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

Two Columbia Association officers forced out of the organization last spring were paid nine months' salary and a total of $12,000 in attorneys' fees to settle claims against the organization, a source said.

The association paid Shelby A. Tucker King, who served as the association's general counsel and secretary, $80,762 plus $6,000 in attorneys' fees, the source said.

It paid Pam Mack, who was vice president for community relations, $58,026 plus $6,000 in attorneys fees, the source said.

King and Mack left the Columbia Association after then-President Deborah O. McCarty ordered all six of CA's vice presidents to submit letters of resignation in March. It was not clear whether King and Mack resigned or were fired.

The action intensified opposition to McCarty, who faced questions about her leadership and commitment to the Columbia Association, a property owners' group that provides recreational amenities and other services to the community's 87,000 residents.

McCarty left the $130,000-a-year post under pressure in May, after 20 months, receiving a severance package of $200,000.

The Columbia Council, which governs the association, announced last month that it had reached a "resolution" with King and Mack, but declined to provide details. Council members said terms of the settlement required confidentiality.

"I'm astounded and angry that someone would disregard their responsibility and divulge confidential information," Mack said yesterday.

King could not be reached for comment.

Council Chairman Lanny Morrison of Harper's Choice declined yesterday to discuss the details of the settlements but said the current council is not to blame.

"The settlement with former officers of CA is just one item this Columbia Council is cleaning up from past and prior councils," Morrison said.

After raising questions about the six vice presidents' loyalty, McCarty told them on March 10 that they had less than 24 hours to submit letters of resignation, The Sun reported at the time. It was not clear whether Mack and King submitted the letters.

The other four vice presidents submitted the letters and were allowed to stay on with the organization. The Columbia Council announced last month that it had rescinded the four letters, removing what Morrison has described as an "ax hanging over their heads."

King, now a lawyer with Brown, Diffenderffer & Kearney of Baltimore, had been with the association for three years. She made about $107,000 a year, the source said.

Mack, who had served for 13 years, made about $77,000 a year, the source said.

Association officials did not respond yesterday to inquiries about King's and Mack's salaries at the time of their departures.

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