Democaracy is a strange blessing at times.  This item is very curious, and it would be a good topic to discuss at the dinner table.  Who do you think has the "rights"?

Article taken from  the  San Luis Obispo Telegram Tribune

Fired banker re-elects himself to board

By Silas Lyons


SAN LUIS OBISPO -- A well-known local executive, fired from his  post as president and chief executive officer of First Bank of San Luis Obispo last November, re-elected himself to its board of directors Thursday evening.

Lynn Lyon had filed suit against the bank and seven of its executives and directors the day before, alleging the defendants fired him illegally, shorted him out of $2.8 million and deliberately shredded his reputation around town.

Lyon was First Bank's founding president and chief executive, having guided it since its inception in 1979. It is currently the only bank headquartered in San Luis Obispo, although two more are in formation.

Lyon's suit describes a sterling record of work performance rewarded last summer by a  sudden suspension and then dismissal. On August 21, the board put him on a 90-day leave.  He said in court documents they dropped his monthly salary to $15,000 from $16,786.

In November, when his 90-day period was up, First Bank fired him. The bank still hasn't paid a termination fee that was built into his contract, Lyon alleged.

He also accused his former colleagues of spreading rumors about his character, changing the locks on the business's doors in order to "humiliate" him and excluding him from board meetings and company documents he said he's still entitled to as a director and shareholder.

First Bank's executives, several of whom are named specifically in the suit, are sticking to a short prepared statement.

"The bank feels that the suit is totally without merit, and we look forward to proving it in court," said David Booker, First Bank's new president and CEO and an individual target of the suit. "Also, the bank will be filing a cross complaint against Mr. Lyon."

That reply will be filed "in the near future," Booker said. In the meantime, he wouldn't discuss Lyon's specific charges.

In the complaint filed with San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Lyon alleged First Bank has already said too much. It defamed him when it sent out its proxy statement for the annual shareholders meeting held Thursday, he said.

According to the proxy statement, which notifies shareholders of the candidates for seats on the board of directors, the current board decided at a special meeting on April 29 to reduce the number of seats from seven to six and drop Lyon's name from the nominees.

"Mr. Lyon's employment as president and CEO of First Bank of San Luis Obispo was terminated by the board in November, 1996, for cause," bank executives wrote in the proxy statement. "It is the board's opinion that Mr. Lyon can no longer serve effectively as a member of the board of directors ... ."

But Lyon secured his place on the board Thursday by the strength of his own continuing ownership of a large chunk of the bank's shares. He placed his name on the ballot, and exercised a legal option to lump all his votes (multiplied by the number of shares he owns) and cast the whole lot for himself. Lyon's reelection was "expected," Booker said.

Published May 31, 1997

Balaam's Ass Speaks-- Editor:  Now, this could only happen in the USA.  Perhaps such strange things also happen in England.  They have some very strange devices which make life very interesting.