Frederick County delegation to Annapolis — please encourage Governor Hogan and Board of Public Works to withhold state-$s for City’s boondoggle hotel LETTER

Delegate Kathy Afzali and colleagues:

Recent developments confirm the good judgment of the majority of the Frederick County delegation in opposing state funds for the City’s boondoggle hotel. The case against state support is stronger than ever.

1. New proof that City officials knowingly minimized competition

In September this year an October 2013 report by the City’s lead consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) surfaced showing that the City Continue reading

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Mark Gaver’s arrest on fraud charges — what it means for the hotel project OPINION

Downtown hotel proponents are in denial about the importance of the fraud indictment of Mark Gaver, the City’s first Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC)

Mark Gaver

chair. Consider that scores of people might have been asked by Richard Griffin and the incoming Mayor McClement to head up the City takeover of the Chamber of Commerce’s push for the downtown hotel, and who do they choose: not a senior salaried officer, not an accountable elected representative, not a hotels professional, but a smarmy crony ‘businessman’ who was everywhere. A brilliantly wrong choice. Continue reading

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First HAC chair’s arrest and charges — Full text of US Attorney’s news release


Sent to Baltimore and Washington media.

December 5, 2017                                                                             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact ELIZABETH MORSE                                                                 at (410) 209-4885


Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has charged Mark Ian Gaver, age 56, of Bonita Springs, Florida, with eight counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering arising from an alleged scheme to obtain $50 million in bank financing for his company using false and fraudulent financial statements, balance sheets, and certifications of outstanding accounts receivables.  The indictment was returned today, although Gaver was previously arrested on a criminal complaint when he entered the United States from Canada on November 15th. Continue reading

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First HAC chairman Mark Gaver arrested and charged with $50m bank fraud – FNP

Gaver in 2010

The Frederick News-Post is reporting that Mark Gaver the first City-appointed chairman of the Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC) has been arrested and charged with $50 million of bank fraud. Gaver is accused of misrepresenting the value of his contracts with federal agencies in Frederick and in Washington DC to defraud banks going back to November 2008.  Continue reading

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Discussion of hotel contract change must be conducted in open meetings — State AG compliance panel

Mayor Randy McClement and his director of economic development Richard Griffin may have violated state law in the spring of this year by conducting behind-closed-door discussions on changes to the City contract with Plamondon Hospitality Partners (Plamondon), a legal expert tells us. The state Open Meetings Act requires officials to conduct all discussion of proposed changes to a City contract at open public meetings. Continue reading

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What if the City Attorney’s right and it is the Chamber of Commerce HAC — THOUGHTS ON CITY CLAIMS AT OMCB

The facts are heavily on my side, I think, in contending that the Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC) under Mayor McClement  has been violating state law (the Open Meetings Act) for seven years by meeting behind closed doors.   But what if I’m wrong and the State’s Open Meetings Compliance Board finds for the City Attorney?

The big issue in contention is whether the HAC is a City (public) body, or whether as the City Attorney contends it is a Chamber of Commerce (private) body. Continue reading

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City says it has no power over Hotel Advisory Committee — response to Open Meetings Compliance Board complaint

The City Attorney Saundra Nickols is trying to persuade the Open Meetings Compliance Board (OMCB or Board) of the State Attorney-General’s Office that the City is not responsible for the behavior of the downtown Hotel Advisory Committee (HAC) and therefore it was alright for it to operate behind closed doors over the past seven years. “The HAC is a committee of the Chamber of Commerce and as such is a private entity,” claims the City’s official response (Response) to my complaint. Continue reading

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Maryland Historical Trust acting powerless

At the consulting parties meeting in Frederick October 18 and November 14 state officials have said the purpose of the consultations was to focus on mitigation of an assumed demolition of the Tannery building, and that the state does not see a need to comply with the Section 106 process. Sec 106 was dismissed by Ms Archer as merely a federal procedure that the State does not need to follow. Continue reading

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60 room boutique hotel being proposed on old Visitation Academy site

An Annapolis developer James O’Hare and architect Lance Jaccard from DC are developing plans for a boutique hotel and a mix of flats and townhouses on the site of the Visitation Academy on East 2nd St. They described their plans at the regular monthly meeting of the downtown Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC11) at Brewers Alley this evening (Nov 21). Continue reading

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Listen to closed door meeting on the boondoggle hotel — 199Mb m4a file

This is a recording of a closed meeting doing public business — closed to elected officials, closed to the press, closed to the public — all designed to clear the path to demolition of a building found Eligible for Listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Listen to state officials misrepresent the law in claiming they have no say in demolition of the Birely Tannery. They claim that all they can do is discuss ‘mitigation’ measures after demolition.

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