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JUDGE RECOMMENDS THAT OTS DROP CHARGES AGAINST CALEB WEST

 JUDGE RECOMMENDS THAT OTS DROP CHARGES AGAINST CALEB WEST
 WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruling that the government had fallen "grotesquely short" if proving its case, Administrative Law Judge Arthur L. Shipe recommended to Timothy Ryan, director of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), that all remaining administrative charges by OTS against retired Newport News Savings Bank (NASDAQ: NNSL) Chairman Caleb D. West Jr., be dismissed.
 Shipe, who presided over three weeks of hearings earlier this year in Newport News and Norfolk, Va., made the ruling in a 160-page "Recommended Decision" dated July 6, 1992, in which he said the OTS's charges against West had not been sustained and in fact had "been effectively refuted."
 OTS, the federal agency which oversees the thrift industry, filed charges against West in November 1991 questioning the propriety of certain actions taken while West was chairman of Newport News Savings Bank, a $300 million publicly held savings institution. OTS sought approximately $3.3 million in restitution and penalties from West, a freeze of his assets, and an order barring him from the banking industry. Several of the charges and $1.2 million in restitution and penalty claims were dropped by OTS prior to the hearing for lack of evidence. Shipe's recommended decision, if adopted by Ryan, would dispose of all remaining charges.
 Arthur W. Leibold Jr., former general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the predecessor agency of OTS, is one of the Dechert Price & Rhoads partners representing West. Leibold's partner, Frank J. Eisenhart, lead trial counsel for West, was assisted at the trial by partner Bettina M. Lawton and associates Douglas P. Lobel and Julia J. Tyler.
 Commenting on the decision, Eisenhart said, "It has been unclear from the beginning why OTS pursued a case with so little substance against a man like Caleb West. Although we are clearly pleased to see Caleb vindicated, the great tragedy is the enormous physical, emotional and financial strain this has placed on Caleb and his family. We are hopeful that Mr. Ryan will quickly confirm Judge Shipe's Recommended Decision and put this matter to rest once and for all."
 Lawyers for the parties now have 30 days in which to file written exceptions to Shipe's findings and conclusions. After that, the matter will go to Ryan for his final decision, which is due within 90 days. The matter is then subject to limited review by a U.S. Court of Appeals in either Richmond or Washington.
 Dechert Price & Rhoads, an international law firm founded in 1875, ranks among the largest 35 law firms in the United States, with more than 350 lawyers in eight offices located in Washington; Philadelphia; New York; Boston; Princeton, N.J.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Brussels and London.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/8/92
 /CONTACT: Arthur W. Leibold Jr., 202-626-3301, or Frank J. Eisenhart, 202-626-3306, both of Dechert Price & Rhoads/
 (NNSL) CO: Office of Thrift Supervision; Newport News Savings Bank;
 Dechert Price & Rhoads ST: Virginia, Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU:


JS-LJ -- PH018 -- 7539 07/08/92 15:53 EDT
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Date:Jul 8, 1992
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