In the May 12 issue I read that Bill Cheney has been selected to become president/CEO of CUNA. In the next paragraph is his career, including service in two credit unions and the California-Nevada CU League. However, he was also on the board of directors of two corporate credit unions. He has been named in two civil lawsuits in connection with his tenure on those boards. One suit charging securities fraud will be tried in federal court in Alabama. The other suit will be on trial in California state court. That case accuses the directors of negligence and breach of fiduciary responsibility. Cheney is named a defendant in both cases as a director.
I earnestly hope he is found not liable, but what if he is? How do we face the public and, worse, our members? I know that we presume defendants are innocent, but if he is found liable for fraud or breach of responsibility?
This situation is a public relations nightmare for our movement. I think we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Or I hope we do.
Before we go over this precipice, should we think of this situation in a calm rational way before the fan starts to turn and the shovel deposits its product to the revolving blades? I hope so. The views expressed in this letter are my personal thoughts on this situation.
C. Richard Wagner
Municipal Credit Union
New York City