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TITLE FIRM PICKS EX-EMPIRE EXEC

Dennis W. O'Neill, a former top executive at the failed Empire Federal Savings Bank of America and an attorney at the troubled law firm of Moot & Sprague, has been named president and chief executive officer of Monroe Abstract & Title Corp.

O'Neill replaces Thomas P. Moonan, who has been elected chairman of the Rochester-based title insurance company, which has an office on Pearl Street in downtown Buffalo. O'Neill will be responsible for overseeing all of the company's title insurance and abstracting operations, as well as its other business ventures.

O'Neill was an executive at Empire from 1983 until 1989, when he was bought out of his employment contract for $300,000 as part of a management restructuring at the failing thrift. He then rejoined Moot & Sprague, the law firm where he worked for a total of 16 years before and after his tenure at Empire.

Empire was Moot & Sprague's largest client and most of its attorneys have left the law firm since the bank went out of business.

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