State Super Johnson Calls Halt to Iowa Credit Union Coup
JoAnn M. Johnson, Iowa’s superintendent of credit unions, said attempts made by some disgruntled members of the $20 million Family Community Credit Union in Charles City, Iowa, to dismiss the board of directors, suspend the CEO, reinstate former employees, appoint new board members and reinstate the former CEO, were not in compliance with the bylaws of the credit union and the Iowa Credit Union Act.
These actions were approved via motions voted on by some members who attended the credit union’s annual meeting Feb. 16.
In a three-page letter to the credit union’s 4,120 members on Monday, however, Johnson, former NCUA Board chair, described the motions as “legally insufficient.”
The motion to dismiss the board of directors “must be put to a vote of all eligible members, not just the members in attendance at a particular meeting,” Johnson wrote. “In short, the motion to dismiss fails to meet the procedural requirements established by the bylaws and the code, and therefore is legally insufficient.”
Apparently, some members were not happy with CEO/President Dawn Swaningson after her appointment to the position in January.
In addition to suspending Swaningson, members at the annual meeting voted to reinstate former staff as well as former CEO/President Mike Schear. Member also appointed new directors. Johnson also called these motions legally insufficient.
“In sum, because these attempted actions at the annual meeting were legally insufficient, CEO Dawn Swaningson remains as manager of Family Community Credit Union,” wrote Johnson. “And the previously elected board of directors, with the three members elected by ballot during the annual meeting, remains as the recognized board of directors of Family Community Credit Union.”
What’s more, Johnson also had a few “words of caution” in her letter that making false statements to hurt the credit union is a criminal offense under Iowa law.
“Finally, we would caution persons who may publish or otherwise circulate any false statements about the credit union that may injure or tend to injure the business or goodwill of the credit union, which is a misdemeanor under Iowa Code 533.508,” Johnson wrote.
A call to Swaningson for comment was not returned.