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Maryland Thrift Depositors Vow March On Annapolis

January 6, 1986

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (AP) _ Angry Maryland savings and loan depositors, vowing to continue pressuring state officials into releasing money from the troubled thrifts, say they plan to march on Annapolis when the General Assembly convenes this week.

Members of the group representing depositors, which held a rally Saturday at Randallstown High School, said that consumer advocate Ralph Nader has agreed to participate in the march on Wednesday.

″Every one of us has a vested interest in this,″ said Fred Schnur, a member of the savings and loan steering committee. ″We worked hard for that money. We want it, and we want it now,″ he told depositors at the rally.

The group booed at the mention of Gov. Harry Hughes who has promised depositors a resolution to the situation and many carried signs that read, ″Harry who lied to us.″

Mention of Jeffrey Levitt, the former president of Old Court Savings and Loan, the thrift whose management problems triggered the state’s seven-month savings and loan crisis, drew even louder and more vocal criticism at Saturday’s rally which attracted several hundred people.

Levitt was indicted Friday by a Baltimore grand jury for allegedly stealing $14.6 million from the financial institution and its depositors.

The depositors were also urged to start a letter-writing campaign to members of the legislature and Baltimore Cirucit Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan who is overseeing state control of the troubled savings and loan.

″The fight is not just for our money,″ said David Lang, a member of the group. ″It is to make sure that the government operates with integrity, openness and fairness.

″We want to ensure that another crisis like this doesn’t happen down the road,″ Lang said.

Lang said the whole savings and loan situation has been handled so inconsistantly that some depositors have gotten their money and interest out of some troubled savings and loans while others are still waiting and unsure how much they’ll receive when do get their funds.

″We’re not going away,″ Lang said. ″The legislature is going to hear from us,″ he said. ″We want our money with full interest and we are not going to settle for anything less.″

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