After Brandy reaches $40,000 settlement with housekeeper, attorneys want their fees for work
BALTIMORE — The day she settled out of court with a longtime Maryland housekeeper to $40,000, Brandy Jenkins said she was elated.
“It wasn’t a matter of money for me,” the former secretary at an upscale Maryland spa said as she watched an early-morning news interview on TV Sunday, where she described the moment she realized her $60,000 settlement was an “insurance policy.”
Her goal, she said, was to “get something” for the long hours she spent trying to track down information about her former boss, who died unexpectedly last year. After months of fruitless inquiry, Jenkins had given up and instead pursued a private investigator’s version of the money trail by way of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, charging that her employer violated the Maryland Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which requires employers to treat former employees the same as new employees.
For the past decade, Jenkins, who declined to give her full name, has worked at The Spa at River’s Edge, located on the Patapsco River in southern Baltimore County. While some members of the county’s business community have praised her for her doggedness and devotion to keeping her former boss’s life secret, they say that the decision to settle amounted to nothing more than a “money grab.”
The case, which is in the midst of its fourth year before Judge Charles R. Borick, a judge with a liberal bent who is also chairman of the Maryland Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission, has become more about the cost of getting the records of a former employee, according to one of the firm’s attorneys, James A. Lyle, who said Jenkins is being financially rewarded for her efforts to get the records by way of her settlement.
“Brandy Jenkins is being paid for a job well done,” the attorney said. “The real question is what did Jenkins win and when did