SAN DIEGO (AP) _ The former president of Sun Savings and Loan Association and his wife have filed countersuits against the savings and loan which earlier sued them for fraud, racketeering and breach of fiduciary duty.

The lawsuits by Daniel and Mary Dierdorff, filed Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court, allege that Sun Savings and other unnamed defendants began a campaign in mid-1984 to discredit Dierdorff's performance as Sun president in order to strip him of his authority.

Sun Savings sued the Dierdorffs after it was disclosed in July that the U.S. attorney's office was investigating Daniel Dierdorff for his past business practices. Mary Dierdorff was also a Sun executive.

The countersuit alleges the campaign to discredit the Dierdorffs included carefully timed leaks of inside information to local and national news media.

In addition to the countersuit, which demands $35 million in damages, the Dierdorffs' attorney filed an answer to the civil complaint brought against the couple by Sun Savings.

The couple denied all allegations, including one that Dan Dierdorff had taken kickbacks on loans approved by him when he was president and chief executive officer at Sun from 1980 to 1984.