Judge Diamond would not give Vernon Hill an immediate order against a group backed by his ally-turned-enemy George Norcross

Two factions battling for control of Philadelphia-based Republic Bancorp entered a week-long cooling off period, after U.S. Federal District Judge Paul S. Diamond on Tuesday night declined to immediately rule on the government’s request. general manager Vernon Hill to order his reinstatement. as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Hill was ousted last week by four Republic trustees, who also announced his replacement – former Republic speaker Harry Madonna – on May 13. leaving Madonna’s faction with a majority of one vote.

But Hill, in her complaint to Diamond, argued that the vote lacked a quorum and that Madonna supporters lacked the power to run the bank, which has 33 offices in the Philadelphia and Metro areas. New York.

Diamond wants the two sides to agree on their own rules for overseeing the bank, according to people familiar with the Madonna faction’s strategy. A spokesperson for Hill and the bank did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

The Madonna faction, backed by dissident shareholders including former Hill ally George E. Norcross III, is backing a rival slate of directors in an as-yet-unscheduled election that would give them a clear majority on the board. .

Norcross, once Hill’s vice chairman at the former Commerce Bancorp, now wants to replace Hill as Republic’s chief executive with former TD Bank executive Greg Braca. Norcross said he and his allies could raise money to buy control of the bank and improve its performance, potentially boosting its languid stock price — and that Hill did not seriously consider the offer.

Norcross, Braca and other insurgents say the bank should spend less on new branches and improve its technology, which would boost profits. Hill supporters say the likely outcome would be the sale of the bank to an out-of-town company. It is the largest bank currently based in the city of Philadelphia. Once a banking center, the city lost tens of thousands of jobs as its major banks were sold off to out-of-town businesses after bank merger laws were liberalized in the 1980s.

Hill and his remaining allies on the board, accountant Barry Spevak and advertising executive Brian P. Tierney, whose clients include Republic, had asked Diamond, who is hearing the case in Philadelphia, to stop Madonna and his board supporters to make changes to Republic’s subsidiary board, Republic Bank, or to contact employees as if they were speaking on behalf of the bank.

Madonna’s supporters on the board include Andrew B. Cohen, a hedge fund investor; Lisa Jacobs, a Philadelphia attorney whose clients include Madonna; and Harris Wildstein, a New Jersey businessman who co-founded the bank with Madonna in 1988.

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