Trojans youth football club founder, recreation department being sued

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The founder of the original Howard County Trojans youth football club and the county's Department of Recreation and Parks are being sued by a former coach seeking the club's gear and financial proceeds from 1998 through 2002.

Julius Warren, a Columbia barbershop owner who lives in Ellicott City, filed the civil suit in Howard County Circuit Court late last month as head of the Howard County Youth Football Association, a corporate entity documents say was registered with the state in April 2002.

The original Trojans club was founded under the same corporate name in 1992, the suit says, by Columbia resident Raymond Page with his wife, Harriette, as corporate secretary.

Charter forfeited

But, the suit says, that charter was subsequently forfeited by the state's Department of Assessments and Taxation because annual forms were not filed and required fees were unpaid.

The suit contends that about May 1 last year the new group asked Page to "turn over the equipment, financial records and monies" to Warren's new board of directors. The equipment includes pads, helmets, uniforms and training equipment.

The suit also asserts that "as a result of inattention by [Page and his wife], no accountability for fees and fund-raisers from 1998 to 2002 has been forthcoming to the board, coaches and parents."

It asks the court to require such an accounting, with proceeds to be turned over, as well.

About May 10 last year, the suit says, the Pages formed a new corporation, Howard County Trojan Football and Cheer Association Inc.

And in June last year, the suit says, both groups agreed to work together. They fielded Trojan age-group teams that competed last fall.

Then, in November, the suit contends, Page, "without authority from the combined boards and without a proper vote of the board of directors, turned the management and control" of the two groups over to the county recreation department.

The county agency set up its own advisory board for the Trojans and is operating eight youth teams under the Trojans name this fall, using the equipment and collecting and managing fees for this season, training for which began last week.

County advisory board

Warren's suit asks the court to rescind the agreement with the county agency and give "back complete control and supervision ... except for the use of the primary playing fields" to his group.

The Trojans play on recreation department fields.

Gary J. Arthur, rec and parks director, said the suit has been referred to the county's Office of Law and that he could not comment on it.

Raymond Page called the suit "frivolous" and said "it has no basis in fact."

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