Balto. Co. says it won't sue Merrill Lynch

Potential claim centered on $21 million investment

May 01, 2012|By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County no longer plans to sue Merrill Lynch over a $21 million investment made in 2007, officials said Tuesday.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz had proposed a contract with two outside law firms to pursue a potential lawsuit, and County Council members were set to discuss the contract at a meeting Tuesday. The firms are Scott, Douglass & McConnico LLP, which is based in Austin, Texas, and Themis PLLC, which has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chevy Chase.

But Kamenetz chief of staff Don Mohler said the outside attorneys told the county late last week that they were no longer interested. He said they were "less than pleased" with publicity surrounding the case. News media reported on the proposed contract and some details of the investment loss.

The investment was downgraded to junk status less than a month after the county bought it through Merrill Lynch in 2007, and county officials later transferred it to a special pension account.

The county had been approached by the firms about the case and is unlikely to pursue a lawsuit on its own, Mohler said.

A Themis spokesman said the firm had no comment, and the lawyer handling the matter at Scott, Douglass & McConnico LLP could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon.

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