Whistleblower CEO Balko Files Suit Claiming Board Retaliation
A whistleblower lawsuit filed Feb. 27 in New York District Court claims a former CEO of the $145 million Ukrainian National FCU suffered discrimination and retaliation so severe it caused her to suffer a heart attack and default on her mortgage loan.
Plaintiff Christine Balko claims in the suit that the New York-based credit union’s board – in particular, long-time volunteer Vsevolod Salenko – objected to her reporting of federal regulatory violations to the NCUA and retaliated against her.
The suit claimed infighting escalated in early 2012 after loan documents allegedly concealed a renegotiated business loan rate for a board member who was a co-signer, and also concealed that the loan would put the credit union over its 12.25% business loan to assets cap. Balko maintained she presented the loan for board approval without realizing the documents were incomplete; Salenko, serving as chairman of the supervisory committee, allegedly seized upon the action, claiming Balko had misled the board and calling for an investigation.
Balko claims she suffered a heart attack because she became so distressed about the investigation. A day later, on March 10,Balko charged Salenko (seen left) called a special board meeting that resulted in her termination. Balko was still recovering in an intensive care unit and unable to attend the meeting or answer the charges.