Longtime CU CEO claims the NCUA owes him more than $300,000

NCUA seeks to dismiss James Perna’s lawsuit, arguing it’s based on false claims and misleading statements.

James Perna, a 42-year credit union president/CEO, claims the NCUA owes him more than $300,000 after he lost his long-held job when state regulators conserved Detroit’s Health One Credit Union in 2014 and named the independent federal agency as the liquidating agent.

The NCUA asked a Michigan federal judge last week to dismiss Perna’s lawsuit claiming it is based on misplaced legal arguments, false claims and misleading statements. The NCUA acted within its authority, the federal agency argued, by repudiating his employment contract and firing him in May 2014 when state regulators conserved the credit union for unsafe and unsound practices.

Throughout Perna’s four-decade tenure, the $14.5 million Health One CU did not appear to have any financial challenges until 2013 when the cooperative posted a net income loss of more than $1.3 million at the end of that year compared to a net income gain of more than $139,000 at the end of 2012, according to NCUA financial performance reports.

In 2014, the credit union continued to lose money and recorded a net income loss of $651,309 at the end of the third quarter.


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