State’s Attorney drops hotel archeologist Mechelle Kerns case against Patrick Allen


Downtown Hotel archeologist Mechelle Kerns’ complaint against hotel critic Patrick Allen has been dropped by the state.  The state’s attorney in Anne Arundel County on February 10th filed a ‘Notice to Nolle Pros/Stet’ which in english is a Notice of No Prosecution. 

Allen had been summonsed to a Preliminary Inquiry Hearing in a Commissioner’s Office of state District Court in Glen Burnie February 24. Complaints by Kerns had led to the State’s Attorney issuing two Misdemeanor charges against Allen in Maryland District Court in Annapolis. One was a charge of Harassment; A Course of Conduct and the other Electronic Mail Harassment.  A Summons was issued January 24 and served on Allen February 3.

With the notice of No Prosecution the Preliminary Inquiry is cancelled, and Allen has no case to answer.

see Case Number D07CR17005770 in CaseSearch, the web-based service on the status of District Court cases

We wrote about Kerns’ complaint and the charges here:

Kerns and Allen were engaged in feisty arguments over the hotel site via the Frederick News-Post, a Facebook page and Allen’s website The Frederick Chronicles. (see cartoons nearby)

At one point Kerns claimed she had lost her job on the project as a result of Allen, but later admitted she had fabricated the news of her dismissal.

Allen questioned Kerns professionalism in injecting herself into a local controversy completely outside her area of expertise, archeology.

Ironically in the same week the State’s Attorney was dropping the charges initiated by Kerns against Allen, Kerns’ professional work on behalf of the downtown hotel was subject to scathing criticism by Elizabeth Hughes, State Preservation Officer and director of the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT.)  Hughes letter to the City’s hotel project manager Richard Griffin announced a
determination that the Birely Tannery building and the site are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and a contributing element of the downtown historic district.

This torpedoes plans for the hotel complex as specified by the City and bid by hotel developer  Plamondon Hospitality, because the plans depend on demolition of the Birely Tannery building.

Kerns’ archeology report on behalf of the hotel was deemed inadequate on 28 counts by Maryland Historical Trust.


COMMENT: The online brawling did get nastily personal and rather tasteless, if that’s the word for, for example, the BURGERS cartoon! But there was never any basis for harassment charges by Kerns who at the time gave every impression of relishing her online punch-up with Allen. Someone who feels harassed does not match insult with insult to continue a running public argument, and does not provoke opponents with false claims they cost her her job.  2017.02.15


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