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Week in review: 11/30/12

ACC wants UM’s exit fee

The Atlantic Coast Conference has filed a lawsuit against the University of Maryland seeking full payment of the approximately $53 million exit fee for its move to the Big Ten. According to the 10-page lawsuit, the ACC said the school must pay $52,266,342, which is three times the league’s annual operating budget for the 2012-13 season. In a statement, Commissioner John Swofford said the ACC’s council of presidents unanimously decided “to file legal action to ensure enforcement of this obligation.” “We continue to extend our best wishes to the University of Maryland; however, there is the expectation that Maryland will fulfill its exit fee obligation,” Swofford said.

Court of Appeals affirms $40M real estate verdict

Defendants alleged to have acted in bad faith in a failed Montgomery County development deal waived the attorney-client privilege when they cited private conversations with their lawyer as part of their defense, Maryland’s highest court held. The Court of Appeals upheld $40 million in damages against the two defendants, Camalier L.P. and Davis Brothers Montgomery Farm L.P. In upholding the ruling, the court also said that the decline in the real estate market in 2008 was irrelevant to the assessment of the plaintiff’s lost-profit damages from the 2006 breach.

Del. Cardin launches exploratory bid for A.G.

State Del. Jon Cardin has launched an exploratory committee to consider running for Maryland attorney general in 2014. Cardin, a lawyer and Democrat, announced the committee’s formation Monday. He joined the state House of Delegates in 2003 and is serving his third term. He holds the Baltimore County seat once occupied by his uncle, now-U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, who served from 1967 until he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986. Ben Cardin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and re-elected to a second six-year term earlier this month.

Former police commissioner joins faculty at Stevenson

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III has traded in his badge for a tweed jacket. Bealefeld, who retired from the police force this summer after 31 years, has joined Stevenson University’s faculty as a full-time Distinguished Professional in Criminal Justice, the school said. Bealefeld said his top teaching priorities will include disabusing his students of the notion — borne of television police dramas like “CSI,” “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order” — that crimes can be neatly solved before the final commercial break.

City councilman wants wind turbines in Baltimore

Wind turbines could dot portions of the Baltimore skyline if one city elected official gets his way. Baltimore City Councilman James B. Kraft said Wednesday he has proposed that the city’s zoning code be amended to allow the installation of energy-producing wind turbines, both near the harbor and in some residential areas. The city is working on its first zoning overhaul in 40 years, a project officials are calling “Transform Baltimore.”

Westport project’s future unclear with foreclosure filing

City officials say they are monitoring the fate of a planned mega-development at Westport after a foreclosure lawsuit was filed against developer Patrick Turner last week in Baltimore City Circuit Court claiming he owed a bank $31.8 million in delinquent payments and interest for the project. City Councilman Edward Reisinger, whose district includes the 50-acre parcel along the waterfront on the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, said Wednesday that he and the city’s deputy chief of economic development, Kaliope Parthemos, had held meetings with officials of Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. this month to discuss the lawsuit and its impact on the proposed $1.4 billion development. “He is trying to get another group together,” Reisinger said of Turner’s attempts to add new partners and financing.

Mortgage firm liable for employee’s scam

An Annapolis-based mortgage broker owes the victim of a foreclosure-rescue scheme $300,000, including $150,000 in punitive damages and $80,000 in attorney’s fees, an appellate court has held. The Court of Special Appeals rejected Fidelity First Home Mortgage Co.’s argument that it should not be liable for what it called the unauthorized actions of a loan officer and his accomplice, whose criminal acts cost Charlene Williams the title and equity in her Capitol Heights home. The intermediate court said Fidelity First, not the officer, had solicited Williams’ business in a letter that promised help in reducing her mortgage.