Bert Lance has been overwhelmingly reelected chairman of Calhoun First National Bank, despite a pending lawsuit by a federal agency accusing him of banking violations. Shareholders at the Calhoun, Ga., bank's annual meeting cast 99 percent of their votes in favor of the slate of directors presented by Lance and the bank, said bank spokesman Mike Jones. He said 76 percent of the outstanding shares voted.
Lance, one-time federal budget director under President Jimmy Carter, is the bank's largest shareholder, with 87,452, or 14.75 percent, of the outstanding shares.
Lance and the bank have been embroiled in a battle with the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, which filed a civil lawsuit in August accusing them of violating federal securities laws, issuing bad checks and making questionable loans.
The lawsuit followed a newspaper story detailing the OCC investigation. Lance and the bank sued the OCC, alleging federal privacy laws were violated when the report was leaked to The Atlanta Constitution. The bank was removed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the OCC, and Calhoun First acknowledged to stockholders that the FBI traced the newspaper copy of the report to a former bank director, Marvin Taylor. He was voted out of office in November 1984.
Lance, who resigned last year as chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, also is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a former bank official. Robert Morast, a fired bank vice president, is seeking $8.3 million in damages from Lance; his son, David Lance; the bank and its president. Morast and Taylor had reported possible irregularities to federal auditors.