Former Bear Jim McMahon: ‘Not even worried’ about FDIC claims
BY SEAN JENSEN Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org July 19, 2012 8:34PM
Jim McMahon | Ramzi Dreessen~Sun-Times
Updated: August 21, 2012 6:35AM
STATELINE, Nev. — Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon downplayed federal claims against him for his role as a board member of Broadway Bank, a Chicago bank shut down in 2010.
“It doesn’t affect me at all. I didn’t do anything wrong,” McMahon said Thursday at a pro-am before the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe. “I was on the board for three years maybe.
“All the loans we were doing were good. Real estate was a good investment back then. Then all of a sudden it goes in the tank and they’re blaming me for it? I’m not going to worry about it,” he said.
McMahon is the most well-known of the seven board members named in a March lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which wants to recover $104 million lost from 17 bad loans by Broadway.
The bank was owned by the family of Alexi Giannoulias, the former state treasurer and losing Democratic nominee for President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat.
Giannoulias is not a defendant; two of his brothers are.
Like the other bank officials, McMahon is seeking to have the case against him dismissed. But in a recent court filing, the government accuses McMahon of attempting to “duck responsibility” for the collapse of the bank.
“When the owner of the bank asked me to be on the board, that’s the first thing I asked him: ‘What happens if something goes wrong with the bank?’ He said, ‘Well, you’re not responsible for that. We have insurance,’ this and that.
“So I’m not even worried about it,” McMahon said.
Asked how hands-on he was, McMahon said he attended, at most, one meeting a month.
“If I could make it,” he said, noting he’s based in Arizona. “But I traveled so much, I didn’t want to be on the board anymore.”
Besides, he added, the $1,500 a month he received for serving on the board wasn’t substantial enough.
“That wasn’t even worth a two-hour meeting,” he said.
Still, McMahon defended the success of the bank during his time on the board, which stretched from 2003 until 2008 — longer than the “three years maybe” he recalled.
“We had less than $1 billion in assets,” McMahon said, “but when I left, we had over $1 billion. So they were a very profitable bank.”
Still, the FDIC argues that McMahon is culpable.
“Defendant McMahon’s conduct is a paradigm case for director negligence,” the feds allege. “He appears to have approved loans he was told to approve without questioning. He received critical regulatory reports but did nothing in response. He did not read bank status reports; he missed many meetings. There is no substitute for the disciplined work required to be a responsible bank director. This is something that McMahon does not acknowledge or appear to understand.”