An insider-trading case involving directors of Rochester Community Savings Bank and a newspaper executive has become the latest ammunition in a battle between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Gannett Co.

The teamsters, whose members have been on strike since July at the Detroit Newspaper Agency, which Gannett co-owns, has filed a protest with the Securities and Exchange Commission against Gannett chief executive John Curley, accusing him of not caring about insider trading laws.

The union claims that Mr. Curley, in remarks before a Freedom Forum event in Arlington in mid-October, downplayed insider-trading charges against the president of the Detroit Newspaper Agency, Frank Vega.

Mr. Vega was fined last December under a consent agreement with the SEC, which had charged him with taking an insider tip from Thomas J. Farrell, then a director of Rochester Community Savings. The tip was allegedly about an informal agreement to sell it to First Empire State Corp. The deal did not go through.

According to the teamsters, Mr. Curley told his audience that most people don't understand insider-trading laws because it only recently became illegal to trade using insider information. The union notes that insider-trading rules actually were implemented in 1961.

The teamsters quoted Mr. Curley as saying at the meeting: "Well, Frankie got a stock tip. In the old days, there was nothing wrong with that. But Frankie is a straight citizen and a solid shooter. We dealt with him. And it's behind him."

Gannett officials declined to comment on the teamsters' protest.


River City Bank in Louisville, Ky., has made the best of some tragic situations.

Though only a $62 million-asset institution, River City has stepped forward several times in recent years to set up donation funds for individuals or families that have experienced a tragedy.

Since last month, the bank has accepted $50,000 in donations for a police officer who was shot and nearly killed in a shootout in nearby Jeffersontown.

About a year ago, several children died in a house fire, and the mother, who was on welfare, could not afford a burial. The bank received enough donations for the burial and had some left over for the mother.

"We're a caring participant in the community, and we want people to know that we do have a heart," said Bart H. Stith, president of River City. Mr. Stith said the practice is an excellent way of getting the bank's name out into the community, as well as serving a vital role for those in need.

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