KOTZEBUE - The Native regional corporation for Northwest Alaska has filed a complaint against dissident shareholders who tried to recall the corporation's board of directors.
NANA Regional Corp. lodged the complaint with the state Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations. It claimed a petition from the shareholders group was misleading and violated the state's proxy regulations.
The complaint cites four people by name: Grant Ballot, Jay Tony Jones, Dean Westlake and Tina Harris.
Harris said the shareholders were just trying to exercise their rights within the corporation.
``It's real disheartening when your own corporation goes against you,'' Harris said. ``If we did violate anything, it wasn't intentional. We tried to work with NANA, but they wouldn't work with us, so we went ahead with the petition.''
Westlake said NANA has ignored shareholder concerns over a range of issues, including shareholders' employment, education and training opportunities, and land-use policies.
Among NANA's complaints about the petition were that at least two of the 23 people named to replace the current board were not aware their names were listed on the petition, said Jacquelyn Luke, NANA's attorney.
The petition also sought to require NANA to get shareholder approval before it could sell any of its land. In its complaint, NANA asserted the board of directors is responsible for managing the corporation's business.
NANA has requested that the state void all signatures collected so far and require the petitioners to issue a corrected statement.
``We're not trying to stop shareholders from calling special meetings. We just want to make sure that our shareholders are getting the true story,'' Luke said.
Eileen Buchanan, securities examiner with the Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations, said she had received written responses from the defendants and would make a decision soon.
If the group did violate state regulations, members could face fines up to $5,000.
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