Federal banking regulators have ordered Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis DeNaples to step down as head of his bank, pending the outcome of criminal charges that he lied about knowing reputed mobsters.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency suspended DeNaples from his position as board chairman of First National Community Bank in Dunmore, Lackawanna County, and barred him from participating in any other banks or depository institutions while the charges are pending.
Until the suspension is lifted, First National's chief executive officer, Dave Lombardi, will run the bank, DeNaples spokesman Kevin Feeley said Tuesday.
DeNaples, 67, of Dunmore, was charged with four counts of perjury in January after a Dauphin County grand jury found he lied to state gaming regulators about his relationship with four men, including reputed mobsters. DeNaples has said he's innocent of the charges.
The comptroller's office, which charters and oversees national banks, can suspend banking parties from office ''when they are criminally charged with a state or federal offense involving breach of trust or dishonesty, and where the charge may threaten to impair public confidence,'' the federal agency said Monday in a written statement.
DeNaples can challenge the suspension. Feeley said he didn't know whether DeNaples would.
''We're reviewing the order and we'll take it from there,'' Feeley said. The federal action was not a surprise, he said, in light of the criminal charges.
The suspension marks the second time in less than a month that DeNaples has been ordered to stay away from one of his businesses.
After the perjury charges were filed, the state Gaming Control Board suspended DeNaples' gaming license, barred him from entering the casino or profiting from it and appointed former Shippensburg University President Anthony Ceddia to oversee the casino until the case is resolved.