And You Thought Your Workplace Was Weird…
An article in the Baltimore Sun highlights the continued fight over the dismissal of a state employee who was fired the day after being quoted in The Sun about a land deal that saw the state overpaying for farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The kicker? The owner of the land was a for-profit company that counted among its owners David Sutherland, a member of Governor Martin O’Malley’s transition team.
The most recent twist in the battle saw a Baltimore County judge ruling that the dismissal was inappropriate and ordering the state of Maryland to reinstate the fired employee, Nelson E. Reichart. The state has countered by asking the judge to reconsider the ruling.
In other words “We object your honor” OVERRULED. “No, no, no, we STRENUOUSLY object”. Oh, well in that case, perhaps I should take some time to reconsider.
And just so we’re all sure that Reichart did nothing wrong and is being royally screwed by O’Malley and his cronies, here are the details of the “land deal” (wink, wink) that was to go down. The land, located in Queen Anne’s County and, again, owned by a company including a gentleman close to O’Malley, consists of 271 acres. It was to be purchased by the state as part of the “Program Open Space” which is intended to preserve land for recreational use and to keep it from being developed. Two separate appraisals of the land came back at $3.6 Million and $4.6 Million. The land was then sold to the state for $5 Million, using the little known “take the highest appraisal and add 8%” formula for determining fair pricing. SIDE NOTE: Marty O., I have some real estate I’d like to sell to the state. Give me a call.
Reichart said that in such a situation, the state often would pay the average of the two appraisals, which in this case would have been $4.1 million. Reichart had “substantial knowledge” about the land purchase because the “state once considered buying the farm outright,” according to Reichart’s lawsuit.
To add the final insult, Reichart has worked with the state of Maryland for 29 years and was one year away from being able to retire with full benefits.
Welcome to Maryland!…check your sanity at the door, please.