PERRYVILLE, MD – It has been a few weeks since your friends at Cecil County News brought to your attention the saddening tale of the Maggiore family. This beautiful family of seven have had land rightly belonging to them claimed by the Town of Perryville through an insidious quiet title action backed by incorrect documents.
In our ongoing pursuit of justice, we have acquired new documents that further prove our case and warrant an update on the situation.
Provided to you in this article is proof of the sale of Perryville Water Company in 1960 to Perryville by Donald and Gertrude Cole, but not the assets (the reservoir) or the real estate (the acreage it is located on).
Also provided is the title search conducted by Rosemary S. Whiteman for the town, that came back with no proof that a 17.85-acre parcel ever existed, or that any land was conveyed to the town with the sale of the water company.
In our earlier reporting, we proved beyond any doubt that:
- When Perryville used the action to quiet title, a deed to a different property was located on Old Post Road in Perry Point owned by John Stump was used.
- Documentation from the Department of Natural Resources shows that the reservoir sits on a 51.62-acre parcel belonging to Mabel Williams-Whack, whose family bought the land from William Cole Jr. in 1926 and that there was no evidence the town ever had the right to use the property, either by ownership or lease.
- That Maryland Code for real property requires the owner of a property or if they are deceased, the representative of their estate, be named as defendants. Neither Mabel Williams-Whack or her representatives, Thomas Short III and Dwight James were named. Charles and Amber Maggiore, who bought the land during the action, were not named.
- Ever since that fact came to light, the Maggiore family’s property value was inflated, and a tax lien was put on the property that they were not informed of until their home was sold at an auction. Their house was damaged in a fire, suspected arson. And officers of the Perryville police department have harassed Charles Maggiore.
According to the Perryville Water Company acquisition documents, the annotated code of Maryland empowered municipal corporations to build or acquire a public water supply system. In the event of a purchase, they would be obligated to purchase the company, its assets and land. And in 1960, the town purchased Perryville Water Company from Donald and Gertrude Cole for a sum not exceeding $75,000.00. However, the contract lists no details for acquiring assets or real estate.
In the report by Rosemary Whiteman for the Town of Perryville, she is quoted saying in regard to parcel 565 (the 17.85 acres claimed by the quiet title) that “This parcel was never conveyed to the town of Perryville. There is no way to confirm that this parcel 565 has 17.85 acres as stated in the assessment records” and “There is no deed recorded conveying either of the 2 properties owned by the Perryville Water Company to the Town of Perryville or the Town Commissioners of Perryville.“
It also reads, oddly enough, “A deed was never executed conveying the real estate of the Perryville Water Company and there are no documents recorded in the Cecil County land records affirming the purchase of the water company.“
It would seem that for whatever reason, after the names were signed the contract was nulled and the town never bought the land and assets (probably because the parcel of land never existed and the reservoir sat on the land sold to Collins Williams by William Cole thirty years prior).
Whether or not Donald and Gertrude Cole knew they didn’t have land to sell calls for speculation. But if they were shysters who pulled one over on the town the town, it would explain Perryville naming the surviving Gertrude Cole and Perryville Water Company in their action to quiet title. Rather than do the right thing after learning they didn’t actually own the reservoir and land around it and buy the whole 51.62 acreage from Mabel Williams-Whack’s estate, or the 17.85 acres they desired from Charles and Amber Maggiore, they chose to engage in a lot of shameful misdeeds only because they felt entitled to something that was sold before the town ever cut a check to the Coles.
In light of all the evidence, Cecil County News is calling on the Cecil County Circuit court to vacate the ruling made by now-retired Judge V. Michael Whelan and require Perryville to restore the land to its rightful owners.
We are also calling on Town Administrator Denise Breder and Town Attorney Fred Sussman to issue an apology to the Maggiore family for the blatant misconduct they have shown in this ridiculous episode.
We encourage you, the people, who have followed this story and whose hearts go out to Charles, Amber and their five children to show up at Perryville Town hall meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of every month to demand the town do the right thing. Maybe Perryville won’t cowardly close session and deny the public the right to speak like they did at the Work Session on September 17th.
As always, thank you for reading Cecil County News.