Dissident stockholders of Government Services Savings & Loan of Bethesda yesterday began a campaign to oust the president and board of directors of the financially troubled savings association.
Government Services, the largest savings and loan association in Washington's Maryland suburbs, has lost more than $3.8 million in the last 15 months and recently announced plans to sell its headquarters to raise cash.
The losses have grown so severe that Government Services is threatened with disciplinary action by state regulators, the association disclosed in a recent report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC report, obtained yesterday by The Washington Post, predicts that Government Services' net worth will fall below the minimum required by state regulators and the Maryland Savings Share Insurance Corp., a private group that insures deposits in state-chartered savings institutions. If that happens, MSSIC could step in and order actions to cure the association's problems.
The effort to kick out Government Services' management was disclosed yesterday in a letter sent to shareholders by a committee headed by Emanuel A. Baker Jr., president of Town & Country Properties, a large Virginia real estate firm.
Baker said his group would nominate its own slate of directors in the next few days to oppose current board members at Government Services' annual meeting Aug. 14. The dissidents include Arthur J. Phelan Jr., the largest stockholder of Government Services, who was ousted as president in a 1978 feud; Fred E. Wilson Jr., a former Government Services executive and now senior vice president of Washington Federal Savings and Loan; and Martin W. Devereaux, a Vienna real estate broker.
If the insurgents are elected, "the president and chief executive officer will be replaced," as part of a six-point plan to restore profitability, Baker vowed in the letter.
Government Services President Alexander R. M. Boyle could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Criticizing announced plans to sell the land and buildings Government Services owns on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Baker's group said stockholders should be allowed to vote on the sale.
The dissidents said they would not sell the property without the consent of a majority of stockholders "unless mandated by Maryland regulatory authorities."
The regulators could force Government Services to sell its assets, including the Bethesda site, to raise cash to keep the association afloat.
Government Services last week reported it lost $1,525,000 in the three months ended June 30, on top of losses totaling $2.3 million in the previous year.
The company said it hoped to sell its headquarters at 7200 Wisconsin Ave. and related property to The Artery Organization for a $6 million profit.
Government Services' net worth has fallen so low that Maryland regulators refused to let the association open a new branch, the company disclosed in its annual report to the SEC.