CEO Says He Was Fired For Whistle Blowing

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The former CEO at Community Link FCU claims he was fired as head of the $20 million credit union because he shared information with NCUA examiners on potential conflicts of interest on the board of directors and other regulatory violations.

According to a suit filed in federal court here, James Countryman, who was hired in 1999 to lead the Huntington credit union, told the chairman of the credit union’s board he expected NCUA in a 2006 examination to raise objections that two of the five members of the supervisory committee were family members of the chairman. The following year, in 2007, Countryman said he told NCUA of numerous credit union practices he believed were in violation of state or federal laws and regulations. The complaints resulted in NCUA issuing a supervisory agreement against the credit union.

The month before NCUA was preparing for a June 2009 examination at the credit union, the board fired Countryman, who had pledge to cooperate fully with the examiners. The credit union, claims the suit, fired Countryman “in retaliation for him agreeing to provide information to the NCUA Board and/or examiner in violation of the Federal Credit Union Act,” says the suit.

Lawyers for the credit union could not be reached for comment.


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