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Progress looks stalled in OP vs. Janasek case

Two sides remain far apart on settlement amount as possible Jan. court looms

By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer

(Dec. 15, 2022) Negotiation over the settlement between Tom Janasek and the Ocean Pines Association continued last week as the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors convened in executive session with legal counsel to weigh the options.

Janasek seeks to recoup the money he spent defending himself after the association attempted to ban him from all of its amenities following a confrontation between him and former director Josette Wheatley at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club in May.

Janasek argued in court that the board could not bar him from association amenities and sought to enjoin the board from imposing the ban, which the court agreed to do earlier this fall while the sides sought to settle the case.

The two sides remain far apart, however, leaving open the possibility that they will once again end up back in court on Jan. 25 to let Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Beau Oglesby decide how much the OPA should compensate Janasek.

“Nothing — absolutely nothing,” Janasek said when asked what he’s heard from the directors. “I don’t know what their deal is. Other than getting correspondence (that indicates they think) we have no case for any retribution.

Rumors abound as to how much the OPA offered Janasek and how much he actually paid for his legal counsel. Some individuals in the community have speculated that it offered $2,000 while Janasek spent more than $40,000.

While not confirming specific numbers, Janasek said those estimates were more accurate than not.

“I haven’t a clue what my lawyer bills are now but they’re well over that,” Janasek said. “I’ve talked to others in the community and nobody’s upset that I’m going after my lawyer fees. It’s not about me anymore — it’s about what the board can do to a homeowner at any given time.”

The next time both parties are scheduled to be in the same room as each other is Wednesday for a settlement conference at the courthouse in Snow Hill. They will not be in court itself.

OPA President Doug Parks said he could not comment on this story on advice from legal counsel.