SSP begins settling with clients

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

For Ironton residents Phyllis and Bill Spanner and hundreds of others, relief came in the mail recently when they received checks from American Share Insurance Company to settle accounts from the now-defunct SSP Credit Union.

The Spanners said they feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from them.

"I was tickled to death. We have really been through it," Phyllis said. "I hope and pray that everyone else gets paid."

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As of June 26, ASI has paid out $2.9 million to 244 of the approximate 486 members listed in SSP records. Approximately 149 people have not responded to letters sent by the agency, G. Duane Welsh, executive vice president general counsel for SSP, said.

"Things are moving very well. People have been very cooperative," he said. "We are moving down the road to getting this resolved."

Welsh said that everyone will get paid and they are working hard to get the accounts verified and the checks out. "They are not going to lose a dime," he said.

Roughly 202 of the remaining accounts show very small balances and the bulk of the larger accounts have already been paid, Welsh said.

Becky Lester and her family had three accounts with the credit union and all three were paid in full.

She was very worried because much of the money had been set aside to pay for her father's stay at a nursing home. Her father, W.T. McClellan worked at SSP for over 30 years, but now suffers from Alzheimer's disease and requires specialized care.

"It was wonderful," she said, referring to receiving the funds in the mail. "I didn't keep cash to pay the rest home and I was afraid I would have to bring him home."

Lester was very surprised to hear that Doug Calhoun, former SSP treasurer, was implicated in the case because she grew up with him and her father views him as a son, she said.

Although, looking back there were little things that didn't make sense -- such as asking for a day's notice if she needed more than a few thousand dollars, she said.

Calhoun was arrested in May for theft by deception, a third-degree felony. He was released on $100,000 bond. He waived his preliminary hearing and has not yet been indicted by the Grand Jury. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune