SAN FRANCISCO - Patelco Credit Union's chief executive is expecting criminal charges to be filed against him based on an internal probe of alleged management abuses.

Edgar F. Callahan, chief executive of San Francisco's largest credit union, last month sent a letter to the heads of other California credit unions to lay out his version of the internal struggle raging at Patelco and his predictions for the future.

"Given the broad scope of the attack under way, I can only assume discrimination or harassment charges will be next on the horizon," he said in the letter, dated June 28. "Such allegations are, as we all know from what is happening to our peers across the country, the easiest and most expedient way to unseat a CEO."

Mr. Callahan vowed he would fight any challenge.

Some CEOs are "too embarrassed to seek vindication," he wrote. "Or, more likely, they (are not in) a financial position to wait out the long legal process. If those issues do come up, you can bet I will fight them to the end."

In an interview, Mr. Callahan said he based his prediction on intuition, not on any knowledge of the Patelco supervisory committee's four-month-old probe.

The letter also said that, in February and March, expenses related to the probe cost Patelco $108,000. During those months Patelco's management and supervisory committee were in court fighting over the structure and range of an investigation.

The supervisory committee is exploring a range of alleged management abuses that surfaced during an aborted merger with First Technology Federal Credit Union, Beaverton, Ore. The charges ranged from destroying documents to employee intimidation.

Mr. Callahan repeatedly has said the charges are empty.

"It's nonsense," he said in the interview. "It's total nonsense."

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