Lawsuit Against Stone Bank Changes Venue

Lawsuit Against Stone Bank Changes Venue

If at first you don’t succeed in federal court, take your case to state court. That’s what the former chairman and one-time largest shareholder of Mountain View’s Stone Bank has done in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

James Barnes is once again seeking more than $4 million in damages, claiming he was pushed out of the bank that he helped launch seven years ago and was forced to sell his stake in the bank at below-market pricing.

The defendants remain the same: J.T. Compton, his son, Kevin, and David Dunlap, all bank directors; Marnie Oldner, CEO of Stone Bank; Nick Roach, president of the bank; and Stone Bancshares Inc., parent company of the $181 million-asset lender.

The two sides don’t agree on much, but they do agree that the substance of the complaints and claims is virtually identical in both cases.

“As far as we can tell, there is no difference,” said Kirby Williams, executive vice president with Stone Bank. “His case was denied in federal court, and now he’s refiled in state court.”

Barnes resigned from the bank’s board of directors on Oct. 18, 2013, and 17 months later signed a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that prohibits his participation in banking.

Added juice to the litigation: Stone Bank holds more than $672,000 of debt connected with the bankruptcy petition of Barnes.