Board Battler Loses Director Bid
Steven Knebel, who sued St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union for allegedly violating bylaws during the failed recall election of five board members, lost his bid for a seat on the board of directors at the credit union's annual meeting.
Knebel was one of four candidates. Three incumbentswere re-elected to their seats on June 24, according to a prepared statement from the $177 million cooperative in St. Helens, Ore.
“Despite the fact that this credit union won't acknowledge a huge mistake in the past, I think they are in pretty darn good hands now,” Knebel said. “I think the board members are all good people, but I think they would improve their lot with the membership by recognizing this happened, that they made an error and that they are moving on.”
Board Chairman Tom Tussing said the election results reflect the progress the credit union has made in the past two years to strengthen its safety and soundness, invest in employee and members, serve the community and build for the future.
The 2012 failed recall election sparked a 14-month legal battle between the 15,300-member credit union and Knebel, who dropped his lawsuit in April and decided to run for a board seat. Knebel filed federal and state lawsuits last year that alleged bylaw violations during the recall election.
According to court documents, Knebel alleged the credit union counted mailed recall ballots, while federal credit union bylaws require recall elections to only count votes cast in person during a special meeting.
Knebel was part of a group of members who started a recall petition in June 2012 to remove the five directors after members became upset with the dismissal of former CEO Jeff Schwarz.The group also had concerns about a proposed merger with the $165 million Wauna Federal Credit Union in Clatskanie, Ore. That merger was called off.