|Queen Anne's official
joins lawsuit against QA
By JULIA HOCKENBERRY, For The Capital
Queen Anne's County Commissioner Michael Koval has joined a group of slow-growth residents who are suing the Board of County Commissioners.
Mr. Koval, R-Chester, sides with the residents who claim the board had no legal right to sign a $20 million deal with the would-be developer of the 1,350-home Four Seasons community on Kent Island.
He was one of two commissioners who refused to sign the settlement in October.
Mr. Koval, who filed a motion to intervene Friday in Queen Anne's County Circuit Court, said the settlement includes language that ties his hands in any attempt to contest the project.
"As a county commissioner, they signed away my rights to say anything in relation to this case," he said.
John C. Murphy, Mr. Koval's attorney, explained the argument further in a memo last week.
"If Commissioner Koval engages in any action which affects the validity of the settlement agreement, the county is liable to K. Hovnanian for any damages it suffers even if it turns out that the settlement agreement was invalid," he said.
Rick Moser, a plaintiff in the existing lawsuit, said Mr. Koval's actions add weight to his argument. "They gave Hovnanian special treatment and prevented any commissioner from doing anything about it," he said. "I'm encouraged to know a county commissioner is standing up for us and what's right."
The case is expected to go before the state Court of Appeals in May.
Published February 2004
Capital, Annapolis, Md.
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