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Former Reliance Bank CEO sues bank, FDIC for $405,000 in lost pay

RelianceBankLogoJerry Von Rohr, the former CEO of Reliance Bank, has filed suit against the bank and the FDIC, seeking $405,000 in lost pay and benefits after he was fired in 2011.

In Von Rohr’s complaint filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, he alleges that he is owed the back pay and benefits because he was still under contract after being fired from the bank, American Banker reports.

The suit claims that his contract with Reliance extended through last September and requests his one-year salary of $338,000, as well as the monetary value of other perks, including $15,500 for a country club membership, $15,500 for bank-related board duties, $10,000 in 401(k) contributions, $12,000 for the use of a company car and $17,500 for miscellaneous perks, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Von Rohr is also suing the FDIC, saying that the regulator told the bank that paying him the money would violate the Troubled Asset Relief Program -or TARP program – that used approximately $500 billion of taxpayer funds to bail out failing financial institutions and the American auto industry.

Under rules issued by the U.S. Treasury, companies that received TARP funds are prohibited from issuing payments to senior executives. In 2009, Reliance Bancshares, the parent company of Reliance Bank, accepted $40 million in TARP funds that it has yet to repay.

“We think this is clearly not a golden parachute payment,” Elkin Kistner, an attorney representing Von Rohr, said, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. “He would be compensated on Reliance’s breach of contractual obligations. Had he stayed employed and not been terminated, he would have continued to get the salary and benefits for the duration of the term.”

Von Rohr founded the bank in 1999 and remained president, chairman and CEO of Reliance Bancshares and the bank until 2010, when Allan Ivie replaced him as president and CEO of the bank and chairman of the parent company. Von Rohr, however, remained the chairman of Reliance Bancshares until September 2011, when he was replaced by Patrick Gideon, a longtime bank board member.

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