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Ex-Viejo Bancorp Officer Sues Over Fees in Past Suits

July 23, 1986|JAMES S. GRANELLI | Times Staff Writer

A former director of Viejo Bancorp, the parent of Mission Viejo National Bank, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the company, its chairman and seven other stockholders, claiming that they violated a 16-month-old settlement of four prior lawsuits when the company, and not the defendants, paid the legal fees the defendants incurred in those actions.

Frank D. Wood, a former Viejo chairman who resigned as a director in March, 1985, as part of the settlement, wants the present chairman, William T. Brady, and other defendants to repay the company $150,000 in legal fees and to pay the company $10 million in punitive damages. Wood is charging that the defendants covered up the alleged payment of their legal fees by Viejo Bancorp.

Brady denied the allegations Tuesday.

The Orange County Superior Court suit was filed one day after Superior Court Judge Judith M. Ryan ruled, in a separate suit, that Wood owed Brady and the company an undetermined amount of attorney fees because he violated the settlement himself when he filed a lawsuit against Brady and Viejo Bancorp last fall. The settlement had barred further suits, and Wood withdrew the action about a month after filing it.

Other defendants in the latest suit brought by Wood are Jack Barnes, president of the company and the bank and the company's second-largest shareholder; company directors Edward Bartelt, Lenore Chartier and Ronald Cordes; stockholder Lloyd Miller, a former president, and stockholders Scott and Neal Brady, sons of the chairman.

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