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Sun Savings Board Avoids Any Controversy Over Suit

October 29, 1985|BILL RITTER | San Diego County Business Editor

The fireworks that were expected at a special Sun Savings & Loan Assn. board meeting Monday never materialized, as directors discussed ways to secure much-needed capital for the company and steered clear of any dissension over last week's lawsuit by Sun against its former chairman.

"We discussed capital infusion and the hiring of an investment banking firm," according to Sun President and Chief Executive John McEwan.

No mention, apparently, was made of some directors' seeming disapproval over a lawsuit filed by Sun last week against ousted Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel W. Dierdorff. The suit alleged that Dierdorff received more than $209,000 in kickbacks and gifts from both Sun customers and brokers who received loan fees paid by Sun and approved by Dierdorff.

On Friday, a source close to two directors claimed that they had called the special meeting because they were unhappy with both the lawsuit and with what they said were "leaks of information" to newspapers.

In addition, the source said that some directors--reportedly sympathetic to Dierdorff--believed that management was "trying to get the board ousted."

However, this was not discussed during the board meeting, according to Sun sources.

After the cancellation of a $7.2-million proposed capital infusion two weeks ago, Sun officials have made searching for capital alternatives their top priority. That search might include a merger or outright acquisition by an outside concern, Sun executives have said.

As of June 30, Sun's net worth was $6.4 million, or 1.36% of its $468 million in assets and well below the 3% regulatory minimum.

The likelihood of a heated board meeting, at which some directors criticized management, was earlier viewed with skepticism by veteran Sun-watchers. Because of the company's below-minimum net worth and because regulators are reportedly pleased with McEwan's efforts to captain a turnaround at Sun, an uprising from directors was seen by many as virtually inviting some type of regulator action, such as a forced takeover.

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