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One of the controversial elements to have come out in the developing story has been the history one of Columbia’s sharpest critics has had with the institution. Steve Straub, the former CEO of Columbia Credit Union who has become a key supporter of the Save CCU member group, sued the credit union in the wake of his firing as CEO in July 1992. Press outlets at that time reported the Columbia board fired Straub in the wake of a consultant’s report highly critical of his management of the credit union and after questions arose about the terms of a recent merger. Stories also reported the firing came despite a favorable evaluation eight months earlier which gave him high marks in some of the very areas the consultant’s report found lacking. Straub said that the case had been settled under a confidentiality agreement and he had “moved on” from the events of almost 12 years ago. “These things have been brought to light now in an attempt to distract members from what the credit union leadership and board has done,” Straub said. Straub, now a computer software executive, has denied he has any interest in running Columbia again or that he is bent upon revenge for his previous firing. Only two of the board members who fired Straub, Robert Byrd and Dennis McClachlan, remain on the board.

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