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Sheriff’s sale could impact suit against OPA

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 2, 2018) A sheriff’s sale of 3 Windward Court in Ocean Pines, scheduled Aug. 20, could play a role in the Brett Hill lawsuit against the Ocean Pines Board of Directors.

Hill, who listed the property as his home address in a petition for writ of mandamus filed June 6 and in an amended petition filed June 27, is alleging that the Ocean Pines Board of Directors violated association bylaws when they rejected his application to run for the board this year.

Owning property in Ocean Pines is a requirement of serving on the board.

The upcoming sheriff’s sale is related to two recent court cases: a judgment of $108,120.90 against Hill in favor of Gary Sierk ordered on Oct. 31, 2017, and a judgment of $57,402 against Hill in favor of Kenneth Lawhorn ordered on Jan. 3, 2018.

Both Sierk and Lawhorn are former business associates of Hill and FTS Fiber. Hill resigned as CEO of the company last September.

Lawhorn said last Tuesday that the sheriff’s sale would be an attempt to collect money based on lawsuits concerning unpaid loans to Hill.

“They were personal loans given to Brett for the FTS Fiber Inc. company, because he said he was having a hard time making payroll. The loans were given to him to be able to keep the operations of the business going,” Lawhorn said.

Supporting exhibits in Hill’s original petition against Ocean Pines included his application for the board of directors, which listed his addresses as 17413 Prettyboy Dam Road in Parktown, Maryland and 102 Port Arthur Court in Ocean Pines.

Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation records indicate Build Pines LLC, a company in which Hill has said he is an equity member, owns 102 Port Arthur Court.

According to records, Build Pines LLC has a mailing address of 30 Harlan Trace in Ocean Pines, which is owned by Robert J. Short and Judith C. Short.

Presently, Lawhorn said he and Sierk were not pursuing the property on 102 Port Arthur Court, “Because it’s an LLC and we don’t know what the ownership of the LLC is.”

“To me, if we could understand who actually owns it, then we certainly would try to see if there’s a way to pierce that LLC to be able to file against that,” he said.

Lawhorn said a July 10 lawsuit he filed and a March 15 suit filed by Michael Mueller were also related to loans given to Hill and FTS. Both cases are open.

As for whether the sheriff’s sale would play a role in the lawsuit against Ocean Pines, Association President Doug Parks said, “Given that the lawsuit is still currently active, per the advice from our attorney we must refrain from any comment on the matter at this time.”

Hill did not respond to requests for comment on this story as of press time, Tuesday.