The irony couldn’t be starker for state Rep. LaShawn Ford.
While under investigation for bank fraud by federal authorities, Ford introduced a resolution to the General Assembly to help save a troubled West Side bank in November.
Ford was indicted on Nov. 29 by the feds on a 17-count indictment, but introduced the resolution on Tuesday Nov. 27 on behalf of Covenant Bank, located in North Lawndale on the West Side, to help improve its capitalization problem.
House Resolution 1305 calls on the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to grant an extension to the bank, which was purchased in 2008 by west suburban pastor, Rev. Bill Winston of the Living Word Christian Center.
Covenant Bank has been working with IDFPR and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and had until December 2, 2012, to “correct the capital impairment,” Ford said last Tuesday.
His resolution asked for a 180-day extension of Covenant Bank’s deadline, barring any critical undercapitalization levels. It also asks to consider similar extensions for other small community banks still trying to recover from the Great Recession.
Ford has championed small independent banks throughout his career.
Belinda Whitfield, president and CEO of Covenant Bank, added that the state department of banking has issued an order for Covenant to raise capital “in a very short timeframe” and that the extension is needed to accomplish that.
Founded in 1977 as Community Bank of Lawndale by members of the community, the bank was acquired by Winston with the help of 3,000 shareholders who are also his church members.
Covenant Bank has assets totaling around $61 million.