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HopFed committee recommends not suing CEO

A HopFed Bancorp Inc. special litigation committee has found no basis for the company to sue CEO John Peck for breaches of fiduciary duty.

The committee, comprising three independent board members, investigated allegations by Joseph Stilwell's investor group regarding Peck's ownership of 20 real estate properties and his purchase of two of them from a HopFed board member.

The committee members unanimously concluded that managing several real estate investments did not distract the CEO from his job at HopFed and that his lease of a warehouse space to the company had been on fair terms.

They also determined that the board member who sold him two of the properties was not influenced by that relationship when he helped decide Peck's salary and that there was no conflict of interest when Peck hired a HopFed lawyer to represent him in his own business affairs.

HopFed Bancorp is the Hopkinsville, Ky.-based holding company of Heritage Bank USA Inc., which had $915.7 million in assets at the end of 2017. Stilwell has repeatedly called for Peck's resignation, saying the executive is overpaid and had twice offered him "greenmail." The Stilwell Group beneficially owns a 9.5% stake in the company.