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Stilwell Swaps Out Its Candidate for First Financial Northwest Board

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A dissident investor has swapped out its candidate to join the board of First Financial Northwest (FFNW) in Renton, Wash.

Spencer Schneider, a New York lawyer, was slated to rejoin the $973 million-asset thrift's board as the representative of Stilwell Group as part of a legal settlment. Instead, Kevin Padrick, a senior principal at Obsidian Finance Group in Lake Oswego, Ore., will represent Stilwell Group on the board as Stilwell's representative.

Stilwell filed a lawsuit against First Financial last year seeking invalidate the results of board elections where Victor Karpiak, the company's chairman, defeated Schneider on a technicality. When the two sides reached a settlement, Karpiak agreed to resign as soon as Schneider joined the board.

All other terms of the legal settlement remain unchanged, First Financial said in a press release Thursday. The company did disclose a reason for the switch.

It would have been Schneider's second turn as a First Financial director. He resigned from the board in February 2011, after only serving a few weeks, to protest the company's spending habits. Among other things, Schneider suggested that the board replace refreshments with hard candy at the annual meeting, in a sign of its commitment to cut costs.

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