May 17, 2012 / 9:09 PM / in 7 years

NYC Comptroller opposes re-election of Chesapeake directors

Chesapeake Energy Corporation's 50 acre campus is seen in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Sisney

(Reuters) - New York City Comptroller John Liu, the city’s fiscal watchdog, on Thursday urged shareholders of Chesapeake Energy Corp to withhold support for two directors up for re-election, citing the company’s recent governance woes.

Last month, Reuters reported that Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake’s chief executive officer, has used his interest in company oil and gas wells as collateral for $1.1 billion in loans made by a firm that is also a financier for Chesapeake

The well stakes were granted to him as a perk and the loans may put his interests at odds with shareholders, analysts and academics have said.

“Shareholders urgently need new directors who are willing and able to exercise strong, independent oversight of Aubrey McClendon, a willful CEO with a penchant for risk,” Liu said in a letter to shareholders.

The New York City Funds have $122 billion in assets under management, including 1.9 million Chesapeake shares.

Liu also urged support of a proposal that would allow shareholders to include a limited number of directors on the company’s proxy.

Richard Davidson and Burns Hargis are the only directors up for re-election this year.

Chesapeake did not have an immediate comment to Liu’s letter.

Shareholders have also asked a judge to delay the annual meeting that is scheduled for June 8, saying more disclosures are needed.

Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer

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