Saturday, June 10, 2023

Litigation between sons of Peter Angelos sparks open secret conflict over future of Baltimore Orioles, possible sale of team

The sons of Orioles owner Peter Angelos are fighting over the ailing patriarch’s multi-million-dollar fortune, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Baltimore County Circuit Court, which suggests the family intended to sell the team for several years. has done.

52-year-old Louis F. Angelos is suing 54-year-old John P. Angelos, which he portrays as his brother’s attempt to take control and ownership of family property, including the Baltimore Orioles and $90 million worth of real estate. The suit also names his mother, 80-year-old Georgia Angelos, as a defendant, which the filing portrays as confusing and agreeing to transfer real estate to John Angelos at her request.

Louis Angelos told his lawyer, Jeffrey E. Nusinov, who said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that his client was “forced to bring this action to fix things.”

John Angelos, who is listed by the Major League Baseball club as its president and CEO, did not respond to text messages seeking comment.

Nusinov said that Peter Angelos, who has been in declining health for nearly five years, had sought to ensure that his two sons would “share equally in the decision-making and inheritance of the family property, including the Orioles”. is included.

“However, John is working in secret to undermine his father’s intentions,” Nusinov said.

Louis Angelos is seeking the removal of his brother and mother as co-trustees of the trust in which the Orioles were placed, and Peter Angelos as co-agents of the power of attorney.

The suit gives an ugly battle in the twilight years of its patriarch, 92-year-old Peter Angelos, within one of Baltimore’s most prominent families. While the turmoil continued, it escalated as the psychic faculties of the owner of the Orioles began to fade.

He collapsed in October 2017 due to failure of his aortic valve, and although he recovered quickly from subsequent surgery, he began to take steps to manage the future of his holdings, according to the suit. The suit states that he set up a trust and power of attorney to ensure that his wife is looked after and that his sons make decisions together.

This was when John Angelos “began to reverse his father’s policies, acted in secret and conspired to acquire his father’s property,” the lawsuit states. It describes John Angelos as working to get rid of people loyal to his father, including then-team vice president and former center fielder Brady Anderson, and excludes Louis Angelos from decisions.

With Peter Angelos “no longer able to manage his affairs,” the lawsuit states, his wife determined that it was in the best interest of the trust to sell the Orioles.

But, according to the suit, John Angelos stalled and thwarted plans to sell the team — currently valued at $1.37 billion by Forbes — to unilaterally torpedo, according to the lawsuit, interest from “a highly credible group of buyers.”

“John intends to retain complete control over the Orioles,” the suit charges, “to manage, sell, or, if he chooses, to move to Tennessee (where his home is and where his Wife’s career headquarters) answer anyone.”

Publicly, the Orioles and John Angelos, in particular, have long maintained that they are committed to keeping the team in Baltimore. John Angelos was silent on whether he might consider selling the club, and the club has been in protracted talks to extend its lease at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Alan Rifkin, a longtime former attorney for the Orioles, expressed his dismay at the news of the trial.

Rifkin told The Sun in an interview, “After witnessing many of these events for the first time, it is my view that it is more than unfortunate that Peter’s extraordinary legacy on the public stage is being treated in this way. ” “I hope this family, whom I greatly respect, can resolve their differences.”

Selling the team while Peter Angelos is alive would result in a hefty capital gains tax, but a sale after his death could save the family hundreds of millions of dollars.

Major League Baseball will monitor any sales, investigating potential new owners, but that doesn’t stop potential buyers from discovering such purchases.

Major League Baseball and the Orioles have a tumultuous history, although both sides have said the relationship has practically gotten better.

During the 1994 work pause, Peter Angelos, based on his past representation of union workers and concerns about jeopardizing team legend Cal Ripken’s pursuit of a major league record for the number of consecutive games played, called for replacement players. Refused to accept MLB’s plans to use A decade later, Angelos opposed the move of MLB’s Montreal Expos (now the Nationals) to Washington, a city whose residents had long supported the Orioles and were in their exclusive television and marketing area.

In 2020, The Baltimore Sun reported that potential bidders began to line up in the belief that Orioles could be put on the market for the first time in a generation. Amid signs of interest in the team, former Orioles chairman and CEO Larry Luchino told The Sun that he had been approached about creating an ownership group, though he said it would not be appropriate to consider at the time.

The Sun reported that year that Major League Baseball team owners privately voted to approve John Angelos as the “controlling person” for the Orioles, meaning he would serve as the executive responsible for the team. succeeded his father. The approval signaled an official transition from the leadership of Peter Angelos.

The lawsuit also reveals a family rift in the early 2000s that was never made public. Louis Angelos alleges that the split occurred in part because John Angelos “openly displayed his disregard for his father’s privileges as a managing partner of the ball club.” The petition also states that John “never satisfied Mr. Angelos’ wish that John,” who had attended law school, “become a member of the bar.”

Louis Angelos, a resident of Baltimore County, manages the law firm founded by Peter Angelos and from where he derived his fortune from representing workers damaged by asbestos.


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