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Kyle Muehlhauser, 37, of Grinstead Road in Severna Park, has been charged with six counts of visual surveillance with prurient intent, according to online court records.
Kyle Muehlhauser, 37, of Grinstead Road in Severna Park, has been charged with six counts of visual surveillance with prurient intent, according to online court records. (Howard County Police Photo / HANDOUT)

In the wake of the arrest of Rams Head group president Kyle Muehlhauser, his father, Bill, who founded the business, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Although Rams Head officials first said Kyle Muehlhauser's role would be restricted to off-site activities, today's statement says Kyle will take a leave of absence. Bill Muehlhauser will delay plans to semi-retire and be more active in the business. Erin McNaboe will be president of the Rams Head Group, in place of Kyle.

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Kyle Muehlhauser was charged last month in Howard County with "peeping Tom" violations and counts of video surveillance with prurient intent, after police said they found a digital camera that contained videos of six women using the toilet at the restaurant. Officers started an investigation in May, when a woman in the restroom said the device fell onto the floor next to her.

On Monday, a Laurel woman filed a lawsuit against Kyle and the company's Savage restaurant, where Howard County police say he secretly videotaped women.

Here is the full text of the statement:

STATEMENT FROM BILL MUEHLHAUSER

March 4, 2015

The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me, my son, Kyle, and the extended Rams Head family. As a father, Rams Head founder and long-time business leader, I have now had the time to digest and reflect upon the series of events that have led us to this day. Candidly, these have been some of the most difficult days of my life. And, I am writing this letter to lend some perspective and highlight a significant Rams Head leadership change.

Last May, I learned that the Howard County Police Department was investigating a patron complaint at our Savage Mill property. Upon learning of the incident, I can assure you the Rams Head management team was fully cooperative and immediately mobilized to maintain the integrity of all of our properties. After a lengthy investigation, Kyle was formally charged last month – he has maintained a cooperative stance. There have been no other incidents reported, and the 400 plus members of the Rams Head team remain committed to delivering the highest level of customer experience, consistent with our 25-year tradition.

This unforeseen situation has devastated my family; we are hurting. I feel that we have always been honest, hard-working people who lived and worked in this community with our patrons and employees. We have strived to always do the right things for the right reasons. Our daily approach toward life has been to help others and we will continue to do just that. And, like most fathers I know, I will remain supportive of my son and his family through this incredibly challenging time. I know of no greater responsibility than to one's family. I also feel the need to be clear – while none of us know what the future holds regarding criminal or civil outcome, Kyle is entitled to due process and a chance to be heard. However, the time to be heard will be through the appropriate legal channels, not through a few of the distorted news accounts or opportunist attorneys. Again, thank you for your patience while we continue to process and cope with the enormity of this issue in our lives.

As founder of Rams Head who started this brand with a small, 30-seat establishment, I am keenly focused and committed to preserving the legacy our team has worked so very hard to build over the last 25 years. Therefore, in unison with Rams Head executive leaders, including Kyle, we have made the following executive management decisions, effective immediately:

  • Kyle will take an immediate, long-term leave of absence away from the business in an effort to focus on himself, his family and the legal road ahead. This must be his highest priority as we firmly believe in family first.
  • Erin McNaboe will be elevated to the role of President of The Rams Head Group, replacing Kyle. Erin has been with the Rams Head brand for more than 13 years and previously served as Vice President. She has been the driving force behind many of Rams Head’s key sponsors and vested partners. Erin is an incredible leader and one who has helped cement our legacy while mentoring many employees and enhancing the customer experience over time.
  • Mike Lechner will be elevated to Vice President and Director of Operations; he previously served as Director of Operations. Mike has a very strong background in leadership and management, including more than 15 years managing various segments of the Chili’s restaurant brand. Mike joined the Rams Head team more than a year ago and has improved operations significantly.
  • I have delayed my plans to semi-retire and will be working morning, day and night. I will provide continual oversight and counsel to the Rams Head executive and extended team. In this capacity, my unwavering focus is on our trusted partners, employees and customers. Make no doubt about it, my sleeves are rolled-up and I am highly engaged in all aspects of the business.

I am extremely confident these moves will keep the Rams Head family united, growth-oriented and focused on delivering the trusted experience our customers and partners expect, with clarity. I am very grateful to have such an experienced senior management team and extended employee base. They will edify our relationships moving forward.

I have devoted my professional life to building this dream since purchasing the first Rams Head property in 1989. Since then, Rams Head has been an integral member of its community by spearheading many philanthropic endeavors and giving back to the community it serves. While I remain deeply moved by recent events, I have no doubt our team will earn the trust and confidence back we have worked so hard for. Thank you for taking the time to consider and understand my personal thoughts and forward-leaning leadership plan. I remain humbled by and indebted to many for their continued support and confidence in Rams Head during this time.

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