Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ex-CEO sues Interra Credit Union

Jack Sheets, former president and chief executive of Interra Credit Union, is suing the business of a board member of the credit union, claiming business interests led that board member to get Sheets fired.

Posted on Aug. 26, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:53 p.m.

GOSHEN — Interra Credit Union officials didn’t have much to say about the circumstances surrounding Jack Sheets’ departure earlier this year, but Sheets sure does.

Sheets, the former president and CEO of the credit union, filed a lawsuit against the real-estate business operated by Interra’s new board president, David Myers.

According to the lawsuit, Sheets became concerned about Myers putting properties listed by his business, Myers Trust, in front of the Interra board for purchase. Ultimately, Sheets says in the suit, Myers “set about to intentionally interfere with the at-will employment relationship between Jack and Credit Union, without justification, to punish Jack by harming his relationship with the Board and to effectuate his elimination,” to benefit the real estate business.

Myers Trust has denied the claims in the lawsuit and also argues that the company “is not liable for any actions of its employees or agents taken in their capacity as directors, agents or representatives of other entities.”

The lawsuit provides Sheets’s take on the events that led to his termination in March of this year, an event acknowledged by the credit union in May.

According to the suit, Sheets told the board the credit union was looking at expanding to additional offices in Elkhart, Nappanee and Shipshewana. Myers talked to a member of the credit union management to get a property that Myers Trust had listed onto the agenda for the board to consider. Myers didn’t vote on the purchase, which the board approved.

In the suit Sheets says he was concerned that Myers didn’t disclose that his company stood to earn a large commission.

According to Sheets, Myers tried to get sites in Shipshewana and Nappanee in front of the credit union’s management, but Sheets “encouraged the management team to use the services of another realtor.”

The board purchased parcels listed by the other realtor, and Sheets argued that led to resentment from Myers.

The lawsuit seeks damages from Myers Trust, also known as A Progressive Realty Inc., to compensate Sheets for loss of earnings, loss of benefits, mental pain, suffering and humiliation and emotional distress. The suit also seeks punitive damages.

In the response to the suit, Myers Trust argues that Sheets should get nothing and should pay the company’s attorney fees because the suit “is frivolous, unreasonable and groundless.”

The case was originally filed in Elkhart Superior Court 4, but after Judge Olga Stickel pointed out she knew Sheets from Rotary Club, the suit was transferred to Elkhart Superior Court 1.

The case has not been scheduled for trial.

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