MARIETTA, Ga.-Chris Leggett, CEO of LGE Community Credit Union here, has signed a consent agreement with Florida's regulator barring him from working for any Florida-based institution for the next five years.

The action pertains to Leggett's previous position as CEO of First Coast Community Credit Union in Palatka, Fla. and a real estate transaction that took place. Leggett told Credit Union Journal he agreed to the consent agreement simply because of the legal costs involved in mounting a defense, and he emphasized that the agreement is not an admission of guilt.

The dispute ends a multi-year controversy that began as a civil suit before also becoming an administrative action following a complaint of misconduct in a real estate transaction. A hearing on the case, which was scheduled for May 4-5, has been cancelled.

Leggett, who was CEO at First Coast from 2003 until Oct. 1, 2007, was alleged to have "improperly and illegally engaged in an insider real estate transaction at the credit union that ultimately resulted in a financial loss to the credit union."

Leggett told Credit Union Journal he signed the deal "on the advice of counsel," but added there was significant dispute between the two sides on the validity of the compliant.

Leggett said LGE Community CU was aware of the controversy before it hired him on as CEO. As per the agreement, Leggett has been compelled to resign his position on the board of Tallahassee, Fla.-based CU 24.

"I only had six months more on my tenure at CU 24," he explained. "One thing I agreed to do very early on was resign that position if it came to it."

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