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BROOKLYN – The ongoing dispute between the board of directors of the $1 billion Polish and Slavic Credit Union and some of its members unhappy with some aspects of its leadership continues. On May 16 about 50 people who organizers say were credit union members, gathered at the Polish National Home to attend a meeting that, organizers said, was called to discuss how the credit union was being run. Meeting organizers said they particularly wanted to discuss how much money the credit union was spending on suing critics of some of the credit union’s board members. The credit union board is currently involved in an ongoing court case with the Forum Organized to Protect Poles (FOPP) that will next be before a judge on May 23. The result of the meeting was a petition which asks the credit union board why so much member money was being spent on suits when the credit union has not spent more on other projects that would benefit the whole community such as “inexpensive multi-family houses for senior citizens” and sponsoring Polish schools. But executives with the credit union have argued that the meeting was falsely held and that the petition makes little sense. Myles Edwards, general counsel for the credit union and John Scerbo, interim CEO contended that the meeting was held under false pretenses. Many of the attendees had not arrived to talk about the credit union but instead about issues related to a Polish school that is not related to the credit union. “We heard that many people at the meeting walked out,” said Scerbo, “when they realized the meeting was not about a school but about the credit union.” They also challenged the petition itself, noting several things about it that were confusing. “We really don’t know quite what to make of this,” Edwards said, pointing out that the petition, which had been initiated at a meeting of some credit union members on May 16, did not even correctly identify the credit union CEO. The petitioners copied one Alicja Malecka as CEO of the credit union on the petition, but Edwards and Scerbo denied knowing who this woman is. However, Derek Michalski, an organizer with FOPP, said that the woman is the person the credit union’s board of directors has chosen to be CEO and simply not yet announced. But Edwards countered that if this is true it is news to him and other members of the senior staff. Edwards and Scerbo also pointed out that the petition appears to be directed to the FOPP itself and not the credit union and it also appears to invite the signatures of the general Polish public in addition to credit unions. Would it make sense for a company to pay attention to a petition that is signed by stockholders of another company, Scerbo asked rhetorically. He also pointed out that the petitioners appeared to be asking credit union members to include their passbook or account numbers with their names which is clearly unwise for security reasons. “I definitely hope our members don’t do that,” Scerbo said. For its part, FOPP denied the allegation that most of the people attending the meeting were merely there for school business, pointing out that many parents at the school were also credit union members. Michalski also hotly denied that many people walked out. “Only one person walked out,” Michalski said. He also said that petition supporters have started to collect signatures outside branches of the credit union. -

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