WASHINGTON -- Charles County, Md., is trying to recover millions of dollars from nine securities firms that sold the county's former deputy treasurer derivatives and other risky longterm investments that were prohibited under a state-enacted local law.

The county sued the firms in a U.S. District Court earlier this month to recover almost $30 million -- its entire portfolio -- that had been invested in taxable inverse floaters, collateralized mortgage obligations, and other medium- and long-term derivatives and structured notes.

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