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Saturday, July 2, 2022

The wife of Orioles owner Peter Angelos says she has “total confidence” in her son John Angelos as the head of the team.

Peter Angelos’ wife Georgia on Wednesday was the latest and arguably the most important voice to side with her son, John Angelos, as head of the Orioles against a lawsuit filed last week by her other son.

With family patriarch and O owner Peter Angelos ill and no longer managing his assets, Louis Angelos, 52, sued his older brother and mother last week for what he says was an attempt by John Angelos to seize control of the team. and other assets.

But in a statement released by the Orioles on Wednesday, Georgia Kousouris Angelos reaffirmed her role as her husband’s voice and voiced her support for eldest son John, 54.

“I alone have the right to manage the family’s assets and make decisions,” Georgia Angelos said.

“Since I appointed John Angelos as Chairman and CEO of Orioles in 2020, he has led the organization thoughtfully and effectively, including through unprecedented difficult times,” said the 80-year-old head of the family. “John has complete confidence in me and also in Major League Baseball.”

Peter Angelos, now 92, instructed his wife to act on his behalf, according to a power of attorney that was among the documents Louis Angelos included when he filed his lawsuit. The document, signed in October 2017 as Peter Angelos’ health began to fail, stated that if his wife was no longer able to manage her affairs, the power of attorney would pass to the couple’s two sons, acting “jointly or separately”.

In a lawsuit filed in Baltimore County District Court last Thursday, Luis Angelos said his mother wanted to sell the Oriole, adding credibility to a rumor that has long swirled around the team, especially since Peter Angelos stepped down from the helm.

The suit alleges that John Angelos “did everything in his power to stall and ultimately thwart plans to sell the club” by single-handedly torpedoing “one highly credible group of buyers”.

The lawsuit backed up another rumor with the conclusion that John Angelos’ consolidation of control over the team could allow him to relocate the team to Tennessee, where he lives in Nashville with his wife, a country music singer-songwriter.

But on Monday, John Angelos denied that the Orioles were going anywhere. In a statement also released by the team, John Angelos reiterated the previous assertion that the O’s would remain in Baltimore “as long as Fort McHenry stands guard over the Inner Harbor.” The statement said nothing about the sale of the team, as well as the fact that his brother sued him.

But Georgia Angelos’ statement began by condemning “the false and painful claims that were made in the lawsuit my son Louis filed against me and my eldest son John.

“I want to be clear,” she said.

In addition, the Maryland Stadium Authority, owner of the team at Camden Yards, told The Baltimore Sun that it had recognized John Angelos as the team’s general manager. Citing their “excellent working relationship”, authorities said they were continuing negotiations with John Angelos for a new lease to keep the Orioles in the city.

The team is in the final year of a lease that includes a clause expressly banning “the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball team from moving out of Baltimore, Maryland,” sweet words in a city haunted by its loss on a snowy night in 1984. favorite football team Colts.

There are now $600 million in bonds that the General Assembly has authorized and Gov. Larry Hogan has signed into law to improve Camden Yards, as well as a similar amount for Ravens Stadium. No bonds can be issued without a lease, and the lease must last long enough to pay off the longest-term bonds.

While there is no guarantee that the new lease will contain the same no-relocation clause as the current one, the stadium management has stated that such clauses are common to such contracts. The terms of the lease will apply to the new owner if the club is sold, authorities said.

The family fireworks show attracted a lot of attention as the Orioles Nation reflected on what it means for a team that, despite all its setbacks in recent years, manages to maintain control over the local hearts.

Georgia Angelos noted her deep roots in the city, saying she was “born and raised in northeast Baltimore, within walking distance of Memorial Stadium, and attended the city’s public schools: PS 50, PS 49, and East High School.”

“I attended the first Orioles vernissage in 1954,” she said, going on to thank her husband and his partners for restoring local property when they bought the team four decades later. According to her, this avoided “the constant threat of relocation, which caused the Colts to leave Baltimore.

“Any suggestion that Peter, John or I might consider moving the club is false and deliberately divisive,” she said.

Fans should be reassured by this statement, said Alan M. Rifkin, former third-party legal counsel for the Orioles.

“She was and always has been a pillar of honesty and sincerity,” he told The Sun. “The public and fans of Orioles should be very pleased with her ongoing commitment to the city.”

Georgia Angelos’ statement denies allegations made by Louis Angelos in his lawsuit. He describes his brother as someone plotting to get rid of the lawyers and team officials who were loyal to his father and replace them with “go-go people” who would allow him to exercise total control. To do this, the lawsuit alleged, he intimidated and confused his mother into agreeing to amendments to a trust created by Peter Angelos for his assets.

Louis Angelos’ attorney, Jeffrey E. Nusinov, previously condemned John Angelos’ statement in which John Angelos said that he “was appointed as chairman and chief executive officer in accordance with the wishes expressed by my parents.” Nusinov did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

The lawsuit also alleged that John Angelos hired attorney Chris Jones to work solely for him and not for the family. John Angelos’ wife, Margaret Valentine, took Jones’s daughter, an aspiring country singer, under her wing, resulting in her being able to perform at Camden Yards.

But Georgia Angelos defended Jones’ “professionalism and honesty”, saying he was a friend and invaluable friend in the family estate and Oriole planning.

“Chris and his family and my son John and his family must apologize,” she said.

She also expressed regret to the staff of the Orioles and “most importantly, the dedicated fans of the Orioles” for the public display of the battle in her normally private family.

“I have always believed,” she said, “that family disputes and worries should remain among family members.

“I look forward to putting this issue behind us all.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Barker contributed to this article.

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