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Remember the plight of poor Elizabeth Brooks, who owns a titling company in Towson, and her battle with the City Land Record Office to get a $300 refund owed to her client? I wrote about it on Jan. 20.

For six months. she got the runaround, broken promises and even yelled at by staff in the office. But in that story, when I reached Clerk of Courts Frank Conaway, he pledged to get Brooks her money. He said:

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"I would not wait around that long for a refund. I don't train my people to treat my customers that way and I can assure you, give me a week, this woman will have her refund. Someone is going to pay for this. I am a stickler for good customer service."

Well, Brooks was kind enough to share with me today two letters she received from the Circuit Court of Baltimore City. Chief Judge Robert M. Bell wrote on Jan. 17 to say that, "The oversight responsibility for Clerk's Office personnel rests with the Clerk of the Court, in this case, the Honorable Frank Conaway. Aware of his well-known and oft expressed attitude about service to the public, I am confident that he will act to resolve this matter quickly and efficiently, once it is brought to his attention."

Bell's letter was cc'd to Conaway and Chief Deputy Lavinia Alexander.

Brooks also received a letter from Denise D. Smith, manager of the land records & license department. Smith wrote,

"Please accept our apology for the unprofessional customer service you received from an employee within the Land Recrods Office of the Baltimore County Circuit Courts. As public servants we must provide to the public the utmost professional and timely service. If you encounter problems in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me personally at (410) 333-3760 Ex. 100."

Smith went on to say that Brooks' claim for a refund was sent to the General Accounting Office of the State of Maryland Treasury. She promised would take 7-10 working days for Brooks to get a check. That letter was written Jan. 24 and cc'd to Conaway, Alexander and Jane Ermer, an accounting supervisor.

So everyone still seems to be in agreement that Brooks was treated poorly and someone should help her. But it's been 9 working days since Conaway promised to get Brooks the refund rightly owed her. Now Smith is telling her it'll take 7 to 10 days from Jan. 24 before the refund comes through... Let's wait and see how long it really takes.

We'll keep you posted!

(and just so you know, that photo is of an MVA line in keeping with the government office-customer service headaches theme)

(Sun Photographer Nanine Hartzenbusch)

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