CHICAGO-Banyan Strategic Realty Trust, based here, says its has filed suit against its suspended CEO Leonard Levine for allegedly violating his fiduciary loyalty to the trust. While Banyan General Counsel Robert Higgins refused to comment on the pending litigation, it is likely that the suit revolves around actions allegedly committed by Levine in his role heading an investor group that was seeking to purchase the trusts assets.

In the first quarter, Banyan retained CFC Advisory Services, a unit of Cohen Financial, to advise it on a possible sale of all or some of the trusts assets. The trust later held discussions with Levine in his capacity as head of a group that was interested in making a bid for the trust’s assets. Banyan says that these talks were later broken off when the trust learned that “Mr. Levine engaged in conduct which constitutes a breach of his duty of loyalty” to the trust. The trust then suspended Levine, with pay.

In July, the trust authorized Cohen Financial to solicit bids for Banyan’s properties. Banyan has a market capitalization of $80 million.

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