Idaho League, Former CEO Agree to Settlement
The Idaho Credit Union League agreed to pay its former President/CEO Chris Johnson $3,930 after a court-supervised mediation process Monday at Idaho Fourth District Court’s small claims department in Boise.
Johnson, who was dismissed in November after serving only five months as CEO, filed the lawsuit in January claiming the league owed him $4,700 in unreimbursed business expenses.
“I am satisfied with the amount,” Johnson said. “It covered almost all of the expenses that had not been reimbursed when I left the league.
Shane Berger, board chair of the Idaho league and president/CEO of the $178 million Beehive Credit Union in Rexburg, said he is “happy we arrived at an agreement before the case went before the judge.”
Before Monday’s settlement, the league said it already reimbursed Johnson for business expenses he provided documents for, but it did not reimburse Johnson for other business expenses because he did not provide documents required by the league’s policy.
The league did not make a public announcement after Johnson’s departure but informed its member credit unions and appointed then league Vice President Kathy Thomson interim president/CEO. She was appointed as the league’s new leader on Feb. 11.
Johnson speculated that his dismissal was related to the board’s CEO search process and decision.
Though the board did not give specific reason for his dismissal, Johnson believes some board members wanted to hire another candidate for the league’s top job. Johnson began working at the league’s Boise office in June 2013 after the retirement of President/CEO Alan Cameron.
“His candidacy must have had strong support among some members of the board, who would have been disappointed at my selection as CEO,” explained Johnson in a March 21 CU Times article. “So I believe that the result of the CEO search may have colored the willingness of some of the board members to support me. There may have been unreconciled differences among board members about what they sought in a CEO and the vision that they had for the future of the league.”
Berger, however, said Johnson’s speculation about his dismissal is wrong.
He said Johnson’s departure had “nothing to do with the interviewing and hiring process.” Berger, however, would not comment on whether Johnson was dismissed or left the league on his own.
“The board is unified in our perception of Chris’s performance while he was the Idaho Credit Union League CEO,” Berger said in the March 21 CU Times article. “Now that doesn’t tell you whether he was fired or whether he left on his own.”