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Bragg Mutual FCU, ex-CEO settle suit over 2018 firing

Betty Donovan, former CEO of Fayetteville, N.C.-based Bragg Mutual FCU, earlier this month settled charges with the credit union surrounding her firing as CEO, Credit Union Times reported.

Donovan was fired as CEO in February 2018 and filed suit in April 2018. She alleged that Rep. John Szoka, R-N.C., who is also Bragg Mutual FCU's chairman, was behind her firing, belittled her at board meetings and claimed that he was responsible for turning around the credit union's finances, instead of crediting it to her. Donovan also claimed that Szoka and the credit union's board violated the Federal Credit Union Act law on whistleblower protections, interfered with her employment contract, and terminated her employment contract based on age and sex, and that the board conspired against her, the publication reported.

In January, Judge Louise Flanagan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Western Division said Donovan did not sufficiently prove the existence of the board's conspiracy against her, but proved the possibility of Szoka retaliating against her when she reported the alleged violations to the National Credit Union Administration.

The judge also ruled that while Donovan proved the possibility of "tortious interference" with her employment contract, she did not sufficiently prove that she was fired based on her age, though she was able to prove that she may have been fired because of her sex.