Next Post

AROUND June 7, 2016.


Our Readership: U .S., Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Malta, Malaysia, Laos, Canada, Greece, Turkey, Sweden, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Portugal, Morocco and more!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What does the future hold for Priority One?


January 1st will mark the one-year anniversary Priority One Credit Union entered the RED all the result of President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.'s incompetence and avarice. 

The efforts to reverse the cycle of decline caused by the President have done little to resolve the far flung damages he's caused the once thriving organization. A $600,000 telephone system which he boasted would dispel the need for a call center and would in his words, "push the credit union into the 22nd century" have failed. The current plans for a call center have not only added another financial burden to the credit union but is being planned without an actual study being undertaken to determine if this  will benefit or again, undermine the credit union. 

His hiring of COO, Beatrice Walker, who is paid more than $100,000 per year, has yet to translate into growth and profit. Though one of her fortes, touted by the AVP, Rodger Smock, is that she possesses the ability to develop new streams of highly profitable income, we've yet to see anything that hints at sudden surges of new income. Furthermore, there is a stark inconsistency between what President says he is doing and what he actually does. His alleged expense reductions target in great part, employee salaries and benefits and a few weeks ago resulted in the termination of four employees. What's more, his "streamling" efforts are offset by increased spending. His projects which he always verbally guarantees, will succeed, have been implemented without first conducting research needed to determine their viability and as a result, have often proven unsuccessful.


Even the ignorant Board has grown sufficiently concerned that they've issued a directive to the President, that he not interfere with COO, Beatrice Walker's plans to create profit. 
They've made it clear that their faith lies in the COO and not in Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. The Board's orders have caused the President to withdraw and become more quiet though "more quiet" is not synonymous with completely quiet. He still talks too much. It's also been observed that he and the COO rarely speak to one another and that he quickly exits any department she enters and that he spends more and more hours in the confines of his office. In the meantime, a smiling Ms. Walker walks through the South Pasadena branch several times each day with Director of Credit Resolutions, Yvonne Boutte, in tow, gossiping loudly about the changes she intends to introduce to the credit union. 


Over the past year, the President has also tried to minimize the fact that account closures have increased while loan funding has decreased by blaming the national economy and unemployment rate. But not everyone is buying into his jive. A reader recently posted a comment which states that Priority One's Monthly Income Statement for the month of November 2009 provided erroneous and possibly even, misleading information. The comment states that losses incurred during the month of November were $100,000 higher than actually reported and allegedly, the President ordered the figures altered to reduce the impact of the credit union's immense losses. 

After more than 16 years of employment, CFO, Manny Gaitmaitan, has submitted his letter of resignation. 

As we've reported in previous posts, his relationship with the President deteriorated to the point they barely spoke to one another. What's more, the CFO found himself ostracized and ignored by the entire executive body. So has Mr. Gaitmaitan said anything that could confirm rumors of why he'd leaving?  As a matter of fact, he has. Here is some of the disclosures made to his loyal staff in the Account Department:

"Charles [Wiggington] wanted me to alter reporting. He wanted me to lower losses and increase profits. I can't do that. That's illegal." 

"That woman [Beatrice Walker] wants me to break the law."

"Charles and Rodger don't talk to me anymore. I need to go."

Mr. Gaitmaitan's resignation recently prompted Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks to exclaim during a Board Meeting that "He [Manny Gaitmaitan] doesn't want to be here anymore." 


The following comment was posted on December 7, 2009, and concerns the credit union's increasing delinquencies:


So by the end of June, total DQs [delinquencies] were $4.7 million and they broke down like this;

30 days $1.2m
60 -180 days $3.4m
180 -365 days $1.3m

Fast forward to the end of September:

Total DQ is $5.2m ( a half mil jump in 90 days!)

30 days $1.4m (Hmmmm...)
60 -180 days $4.2m (bummer...)
180 -365 days $1m (probably dropped cause they charged it off)

If Wiggy says it's getting better, he'd be smokin some mighty fine stuff......

December 7, 2009 11:40 AM

We can only wait to see if the President's cut-backs will have sufficient effect to reverse increases losses.   

FORM 9900

The following notice was recently published by the Credit Union League of California and Nevada on their web site regarding IRS Form 9900. Because credit unions are not-for-profits, information in their tax filings is available for inspection including executive salaries. 

December 3, 2009

TO: CEOs of CA/NV League Member Credit Unions

FROM: Henry Kertman, Vice President of Public Affairs

SUBJECT: Media Talking Points Regarding IRS Form 990

Following recent revisions to IRS Form 990, group filings by state regulators have been discontinued and state chartered credit unions must now file individual forms. As part of the new revisions, state chartered credit unions are required to report information about CEO compensation and certain other executive staff. This information may generate interest from news media, and the League has developed the set of talking points below to help credit unions prepare for inquiries they may receive. As always, please feel free to contact me at for assistance with media inquiries.

Additionally, credit unions may wish to click here for the League TIPS Bulletin #09-58 on Form 990 Public Disclosure Compliance. League Director of Research and Information Rita Fillingane is available at to provide assistance with compliance issues.
I thought the following information interesting as it serves to drive the point home that the amount of compensation awarded a CEO is based on merit, accomplishment, ability, and what is deserved. These are suggested by the CCUL of how credit unions should respond to questions posed on Form 9900 by the IRS.


It is unlikely that Priority One will ever return to the state of success it enjoyed under it's last competent President, William E. Harris. The cause to the credit union's decline lies in President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. and Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, both of who have abused their authority and treated Priority One like their own personal business and piggy bank. 

The reason why Charles R. Wiggington. Sr. was appointed President was skin color. At the time it was decided he would succeed Mr. Harris, Board Directors, O. Glen Saffold, Thomas Gathers, and Janice Irving all said "What Priority One needs is a Black President." Clearly, competency, a document record of achievements, and personal decorum were never factors considered by the Directors when deciding Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. was a perfect successor to Mr. Harris. . 
Based on the credit union's performance over the past two-years, Priority One will end 2009, deeply immersed in the RED, attesting further to the gross ineptitude of the President and the entire Board of Directors. The President has proven to be just too deficient to hone strategies that generate sufficient business needed to amass profit and which are needed to offset burgeoning overhead. In spite of the fact, Priority One lies inundated in debt, the credit union continues to tout itself as a financial fitness center. Delusions of grandeur we dare say. 

 Though we hope the credit union will recuperate and even, regain its former positioning, it is highly unlikely that the cause to its problems- the President and Board Chair, are also going to be source through which solutions are found. The challenge which lies ahead that neither the President or Chair Person have the savvy to resolve are finding effective ways to reduce spending that doesn't tax non-exempt employee salaries, the actually reverses losses, the successfully streamlines spending, that serves to regain member confidence and brings an end to the embarrassing scandals willingly entered into by the President. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fading Out


Priority One has launched its new call center though without fanfare. This actually would have been the perfect opportunity for the President to declare future success, but as is typical with Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., missing the right opportunity seems to be just business as usual at the financially troubled credit union. 

President Wiggington's leadership limitations aside, in recent weeks we've noticed a pronounced change of his authority. We noticed subtle changes at the start of August, which became more and more markedly noticeable with each passing month. 

We've also observed that COO, Beatrice Walker's authority has conspicuously increased and that she's taken more and more control over sectors of the business once selfishly clung to by the President. 

The Board of Directors under leadership of Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, recently ordered the President not to interfere with Ms. Walker's plans. He was informed that Ms. Walker's plans as described to the Board, will  reverse the financial problems caused by the President's poor business decisions and will introduce effective streams of income which in turn, will produce desperately needed profit. Obviously, Ms. Walker has done more than just win the trust and support of the Board, she's convinced them that the President is incapable of resolving the problems he alone created; and that she considers him a potential deterrent to her plans for success. .She might actually be correct. 

However, Priority One's Board has proven to be both immensely inept and equally corrupt. Subsequently, can we trust any decision they make that is supposedly intended to improve business? The Board, unfortunately, is looking for a quick fix irrelevant of the source. And though the Directors oversee the direction of the credit union, under Diedra Harris-Brooks the direction is leading to decline. Can anyone point to another Board in the entire credit union industry who has behaved as irresponsibly or reprehensibly as has Priority One's Board? 


The following comment was published in response to our last post and concerns the credit union's Loan Loss Provision:

"Between June 30 and September 30 Wiggy had to move another $500,000 into the Provision for Loan Lose account. They would only do this if they project another 1/2 million dollar lose [loss] or if they charged off that much during the quarter and need to replenish the account. Either way, it's the wrong direction. Now I'm starting to wonder if they will even make it to 2/22."

Since mid-2008, when the effects of reduced business became more evident, the President with the help of the Board Chair has expended tremendous time and energy moving money around including transferring funds from general ledgers and reporting these as profit when no actual profit occurred. 

Another reader posted the following comment regarding warnings issued by CFO, Manny Gaitmaitan:

"The CFO has been warning Wiggington for many months that delinquencies are increasing too rapidly and the credit union is spending too much money. Wiggington got mad one of the first times the CFO warned him and later told the Bea and Rodger that the CFO is insubordinate and refuses to follow orders. Wiggington doesn't know the difference between insubordination and wisdom because he wants what he wants no matter who it hurts. Friday he had a meeting with the CFO and warning the CFO. The CFO left work early and didn't come in today. Priority is bleeding money and they are spending too much. They are supposedly a financial fitness center but they can't take care of their own business, how can anyone expect them to take care of member's money?"

Unfortunately, for the CFO, President Wiggington is a man devoid of understanding the nuances that work together to create new business, increase membership, produce profit, reduce losses, etc. He's also not a man who wishes to adhere to ethics and based on his behaviors, laws are something he feels do not apply to him. He shirks challenges, finding them insurmountable but receives immense gratification from constantly violating policies and laws. Subsequently, the CFO's refusal to violate mandated accounting policies are tantamount to insubordination and as a personal attack upon his person. 

Another reader posted the following comment concerning the President's rampant spending:

"Employees, members, and readers of this blog can't even imagine how much money the credit union is spending. Its like they know they're sinking but just don't care. I don't get it. Maybe they can provide a comment explaining why they spend the way they do and where they are getting all the money."

The President will never provide an explanation for his confused business practices. Over the past two years, he's implemented a salary freeze that only impacts non-exempt personnel, the sector of employees who earn the least amount of money. And he recently terminated four (4) employees because the credit union desperately needed to reduce spending. 

The President next hires a COO who being paid more than $100,000 per year plus benefits. He also purchased a $600,000 phone system and has now opened a new call center. Does anyone else get the impression that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. is a man who has absolutely no comprehension of the difference between being cost-effective and wild, undisciplined spending? 


Who would ever have thought that eliminating the purchase of Styrofoam cups would not succeeded in resolving Priority One's financial problems? At the end of October 2009, the amount of losses decreased though the credit union remains embedded in the Red.

Have reduced losses serve as an indicator that the President has finally derived solutions that are succeeding to drive down losses? We doubt it. The credit union's business development efforts continue to falter and there is nothing we can point to- at least not for the moment, that hints at why losses have slowed down. Furthermore, we don't trust President Wiggington. 


The rift that has developed between the President and CFO, Manny Gaitmaitan, has spread with COO, Beatrice Walker, beginning to publicly criticize the CFO and like the President, labeling him uncooperative. Also siding with the President and Ms. Walker, is AVP, Rodger Smock, who has stopped speaking to the CFO. Yes, this is probably a dynamic more common in an elementary school yard but one President Wiggington has purposely created in his effort to ostracize Mr. Gaitmaitan. According to the President and COO, Mr. Gaitmaitan constitutes insubordination and is impeding the President's efforts to reverse the credit union's financial problems. 

What the President views as efforts to resolve the credit union's financial problems is using deceptive financial reporting practices to create an impression of profits where none exist and reduce reported losses. Mr. Gaitmaitan refuses to follow the President's orders which has now resulted in him being branded and exiled from President Wiggington's inner sanctum. Through a combination of shaming and slander, the President may hope to either force the CFO into submission or driving him out of the credit union. We believe the President is trying to force the CFO's resignation. 

Over the past 2 weeks, the credit union has receiving a large number of faxes and telephone calls concerning the "available" CFO position. According to the President who again, can't seem to guard confidentiality, the credit union is seeking a new CFO because Mr. Gaitmaitan has decided to resign. 


We recently received two emails regarding a recent visit to the South Pasadena branch by consultant, Loren Lillestrand of Lillestrand and Associates. 

On Thursday, November 19th, Mr. Lillestrand met with employees and spoke to them about attitude and perceptions towards their employer. Clearly, Mr. Lillestrand is trying to alter the current negative view employees have the executive sector and though we agree with some of what Mr. Lillestrand said, the fact is the consultant is not an employee of the credit union and in the end, his opinion is based on what he has been told by the President and his "friend", Beatrice Walker.

Ultimately, it is the management of any company that set the tone for the working environment. The President has chosen to slander employees and with the help of Human Resources, has at times created fraudulent evidence and charges used to seal the termination of targeted staff members. Mr. Lillestrand's advice places the burden of change upon employees while circumventing the executive sector's abuses which created the destructive dynamic which has developed at the credit union since Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. began his appointment to President. 

Mr. Lillestrand's efforts are clearly guided by an agenda created by the President and the COO. If Mr. Lilllestrand hopes to introduce change, he must address the cause of the problem which is President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. Since it is the credit union that is paying him, don't expect Mr. Lillestrand to direct his efforts towards any members of the abherrent executive sector. What's more, there is no internal problem that can be resolved in a few visits to any company. 

During the credit union's last all-staff quarterly meeting in South Pasadena, employees were asked to provide suggestions on how to reduce spending. One suggestion asked that the executive sector voluntarily agree to reduce their salaries temporarily. AVP, Rodger Smock, and COO, Beatrice Walker, turned from where they sat at the front of the room and simultaneously stared at the employee making the suggestion. If the executive sector doesn't wish to hear suggestions, then don't ask for them!  

The decision by some executives to voluntarily and temporarily reduce their salaries is a phenomena that is occurring in many companies throughout the United States. It is a selfless effort to help their employers during difficult economic periods where a company may be experiencing financial losses. The decision not only helps a company reduce spending but may help avoid laying off staff. Not so at Priority One where the greedy executive sector is not about to adopt any change that reduces their salaries or benefits.  

The employee has now been targeted by AVP, Rodger Smock, and COO, Beatrice Walker, both of who have ordered her supervisor to scrutinize her work which they suddenly find subpar. Unfortunately, the prudent suggestion has offended the sensibilities of the executive sector who have placed her name on their "enemies list."


The credit union's financials improved during the month of October 2009, though Priority One remains deeply embedded in the negative. 

Anticipate 2010 to end in the negative, again. Many of the President's so-called expense reduction measures were only implemented recently and so they will have little impact upon the credit union's economic state through the end of the year. 

The financial information shown below is an excerpt obtained from Priority One's Monthly Income Statement for the month ending October 31, 2009. We've annotated in red font those actuarials which we deem important and those we find questionable.

The references to education of senior management, Directors and Supervisors just doesn't make sense because none have participated in anything related to education. 

And why does the credit union report spending on Ambassadors when the only payment issued to ambassadors is a $25.00 as reimbursement each time they attend meetings. .

The annual meeting is conducted once a year in South Pasadena and always, in the month of May. Why then, does Priority One continue to report monthly spending on a meeting which took place 6 months ago? 

What Priority One most needs is an in-depth audit of all its financials. We believe the suspicious looking entries are just part of the President's way of shuffling around figures, to make the report more palatable to readers. . 

Less Allowance for Loan Losses        
$ 2,600,000.00

Net Loans
$ 106,778, 903.74

$ 2,468,259. 31

Education Expense-Staff
$2970.28 Month-to-date
$14,278.16 Year-to-date

Education Expense - Senior Mgmt
$750.00 Month-to-date

5361.08 Year-to-date

Education Expense - Supvry Comm
$9742.46 Year-to-date

Education Expense - Board Directors

Training Expense



Provision for Loan Losses             


NCUSIF Stabilization Expense

Annual Meeting Expenses


Board of Directors/Supervisors


Mileage and Reimbursement


Net Income/Loss


The credit union's financials, even when tampered with, prove this is a credit union that has been thrust into a state of failure by Charles R., Wiggington, Sr. When faced with the challenge of forging resolutions for what he created, he instead indulges in launching verbal campaigns asserting Priority One's revitalized business, plotting scathing attacks against employees, and hammering out outrageous stories about all he's accomplished and tall tales about some invisible group of ninja-like employees who driven by jealousy, are out to toppled his empire. It's all delusions of grandeur and a deep-seeded need to play the victim as part of his gambit to deter attention from his failures and abominable personal behaviors. 

Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.
-Benjamin Franklin-

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Waiting to Be Rescued, Part II


During the past 10-days, Priority One Credit Union has been busily finalizing planning for installation of it's first call center which COO, Beatrice Walker, has dubbed an "all-stop center." 

According to President, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. and AVP, Rodger Smock, the building of the call center is necessary and will resolve member service complaints which have increased substantially since Charles R. Wiggington,Sr. was appointed President on January 1, 2007. 

But will the call center succeed in resolving member service issues? Historically, President Wiggington's inspired services have all crashed. He has yet to introduce anything that succeeds. Last year, he spent $600,000 of credit union monies purchasing a phone system that has become a technical nightmare. The reason we often refer to the phone system as "his phone system" is that the President did not allow the system he selected to be reviewed by any other staff member. He selected the system and he obtained approval to buy the system. He also didn't conduct necessary inquiries that might have confirmed that it would satisfy the credit union's service needs. As a result of his blunder, the credit union is now forced to spend money on technicians who visit the South Pasadena branch, each and every month, to try and resolve the latest slew of technical problems being reported by Priority One. 

The cost of installing a call center will again offset President Wiggington's so-called efforts to "streamline" spending and rents yet another tear in his proclamation that he is "working smarter." The center is being built in a period when the credit union remains submerged in the RED

On the surface, it seems the credit union has not learned a thing from the long list of blunders committed by President Wiggington, but to be fair, let's look at what steps COO, Beatrice Walker, has taken to ensure that installation of the call center is exactly what Priority One needs.

First, the idea to create a call center had been discussed for years before Ms. Walker's arrival. Also, none of the products and services conceived by Ms. Walker were actually her idea. During her first week at the credit union, she called her associates in the credit union industry to ask what might she introduce that could create streams of income and which might serve to elevate her position at the credit union. Some of the ideas provided to her, are:
  • Skip-a-Pay
  • Courtesy Pay (overdraft protection)
  • Priority Pay (payday type loan)
  • A call center

Evidently, she suffers from the same lack of imagination as does President Wiggington. She also shares his proclivity for plagiarizing ideas and taking all credit for these. 

We've learned that she has planned visits to other credit unions where she'll have an opportunity to tour their call centers and ask questions needed to facilitate implementation of what surely will be touted as "her call center." 

We'll keep you informed as we receive more information about the credit union's latest expensive endeavor. 

Technical Problems
This week, the credit union became the recipient of unwanted member complaints which cited technical problems affecting Priority One's free home banking services. 

An investigation revealed that the cause of the problem was the recent installation of new telephone lines and wiring for the planned call center. We've learned that it never occurred to the technicians and consultants hired to install wiring that the new phone lines could disrupt the credit union's already technically trouble phone system. What's more, after learning about the problem, no one at the credit union, including President Wiggington, thought it prudent to post a message on the credit union's webpage. This could have reduced the number of complaints which bombarded the credit union's phone lines. We must ask again, is this an example of what President describes as "working smarter?"

Consultants = More Expense
During May's Annual Meeting, the President disclosed he was reducing spending, "streamling" and "working smarter." To date, he has contradicted himself numerous times and immersed the credit union in constant, uncontrolled spending. Aside from the creation of the credit union's first call center, the President has again contracted the services of the consulting firm of Lillestrand and Associates. The firm's founder and consultant, Loren Lillestrand, is slated to return to the South Pasadena branch to resume interviewing employees.  

A few months ago, Mr. Lillestrand met not-so-secretly with the President and COO, Beatrice Walker, at the home of AVP, Rodger Smock. A few days later, he arrived at the South Pasadena branch and during a three-day period, met with employees during which he administered personality tests to gauge employee personalities, interests, likes, dislikes and strengths. During his two and a half-hour meeting at Mr. Smock's home, the credit union paid Mr. Lillestrand $3,000. 

Either President Wiggington has a large stash of cash available to spend on strategies that no basis of research to guarantee their potential success or he's using the credit union's resources as his own piggy bank all at a cost to employees whose salaries have been subjected to an ongoing wage freeze. 

Since this blog's inception in January of this year, we've often received emails and comments which try to forecast Priority One's future. Here are some of the comments we've received:

"I do agree that P1 is destined for regulatory action, possibly within the 2/22/10 time frame. There is a minor problem since the NCUA doesn't really care much for liquidations. What credit union would want to merge with P1 and assume this sordid mess?"

In response to the comment, another reader wrote:

"P1 needs to have something that makes it attractive to another cu and it has nothing except a history of bad decisions by a bad president and an even worse board."

Priority One's future seems bleak though not because of the nation's economic climate but because of gross leadership. The President and the Board are both entirely unqualified to direct the credit union and though it's reasonable to assume the credit union may merge or worst still, be liquidated, President Wiggington is not without choices. One alternative available to him and the Board is closing branches. Closures would eliminate the amounts spent each month on leasing the buildings where branches are located. The exception to his his the LAPCD and Van Nuys branches, both of which are located within postal facilities and pay a monthly lease of $1.00. 


Styrofoam cups have become the latest victim of President Wiggington's cutbacks. According to the President the credit union can no longer afford to provide these to employees. 

Several months ago, the President implemented a company-wide wage freeze for all non-exempt employee salaries though exempting executive staff salaries. 

  • He next hired a COO who we've learned is being paid more than $100,000 per year.
  • He also has spent money on expensive consultants.
  • He's order spending on the construction of a call center.

To offset these expenses, he's announced the credit  union can no longer afford to purchase Styrofoam cups. Hum? So how much money will the credit union save each year, by eliminating Styrofoam cups? $1000, $3000, $10,000? 

This latest decision by the President proves again that he is implemented expense reductions where they will have little if any impact to the credit union's finances. The decision also indicates that Priority One is performing so badly it can no longer afford to purchase Styrofoam cups. And though the President insists the elimination of Styrofoam cups will serve to offset losses, he continues to insist that business is good and growing. Is he daft? Obviously, if business were good, he wouldn't find it necessary to cut what really must be one of the credit union's smaller expenses. And again, his decision circumvents executive salaries and benefits and again ensuring that the salaries they earn and lifestyles they enjoy, remain safely intact. 


During a recent meeting with ambassadors, the majority of who are employees of the U.S. Postal Service, the President was asked if the credit union would be terminating more of the credit union's employees. He replied, “Well, we're making adjustments.” His answer, possibly an attempt at sounding non-committal and certainly neither a "yes" or :"no" was both inane and telling.  

At the end of October 2009, CFO, Manny Gaitmaitan, was asked to review all employee salaries and titles for the purpose of determining which employees will be marked for future termination. 

The President's and COO's current review of employee salaries and titles serves as yet another indicator that Priority One is not only struggling financially but that the President and COO don't foresee a resolution to the credit union's problems at any time in the near future.
Like the current review of salaries and titles, President's answer that "Well, we're making adjustments" suggests that more terminations are planned for the near future and that Priority One's financial problems may be far worse than even it's reports suggest. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Waiting to Be Rescued, Part 1


On Thursdays, one of President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. few supporters wrote a comment criticizing anyone who posts comments on the blog, and resorting to the use of profanity, disparaged people who have posted comments and threatened to expose them. What we found interesting is that the person who was criticizing people for posting and threatening to expose their identifies, exercised his or her right to express their opinion. The hypocrisy didn't elude us. 

More than even the content of the message is the reaction of the poster which was extremely emotion and causing to wonder if the poster is a member of Priority One's deficient executive or managerial body. 

For those people who read and even post on this blog, there is no way that your identity can be identified. The President's supporter leveled a threat which was grounded in ignorance and amounts to nothing more than cheap theatrics and elementary manipulation. 

The folks at provided us with information about any poster's identity. 

"Anonymous comments should be okay. Commenters who might use their profile leave themselves as vulnerable as the amount of profile information included." .


Though we had not intended to write again, about Priority One Credit Union's second election which took place several weeks ago, we've decided to revisit the subject after recently obtaining a copy of the letter sent to United States Postal Carrier, Jeffrey Moses Chen, by Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, in which she reminded him to complete the nomination application and return it to the credit union by June 24, 2009, the date of the deadline for all submissions. As we've also reported previously, President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. and the Board Chair violated state law when they accepted Mr. Chen's completed application, several days after the deadline had come and gone. 

The contents of Mrs. Harris-Brooks' letter to Mr. Chen is shown below:

June 18, 2009

Re: Request to Run for Voluntary Position
Priority One Credit Union

Dear Mr. Chen:

This letter is in response to our acknowledgement correspondence and application package mailed to you on Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

To date, we have not received your application package for a possible seat on the Board of Directors of Supervisory Committee.

Unfortunately, you did not provide a contact phone number in your letter of request; therefore, we have not been unable to contact you to discuss the urgency of receiving your package timely.

If you are still interested in applying for one of the volunteer seats, we request that you forward your package to the address below by close of business Wednesday, June 24, 2009. if we do not receive your response by the due date, we will move forward with the election process.  

Priority One Credit Union
Attention: Nomination Committee
1631 Huntington Drive
South Pasadena, CA 91030      

Your immediate response is appreciated. 

Diedra E. Brooks (signature)
(Fr) Bobby Thomas
Chair, Nominating Committee

The Board Chair has never written to any member, reminding them to return their nomination. Serving on the Board or Supervisory Committee is s she wrote, voluntary thus there is no no need to remind a person that they should submit their complete application. The reason why Mrs. Harris-Brooks sent the letter was because she, the President and Director, Bobby Thomas, were perpetrating a plot to interfere with the electoral process. Unbeknownst to Mr. Chen, was just a tool by which they hoped to defer votes that could possibly go to former Director, David Davidson. What's more, the three had already begun telling associates and friends who are members, to vote for Mr. Chen. To described Diedra Harris-Brooks as being merely "corrupt" is a huge understatement. The Board Chair, like the President, has no concept of what ethical conduct entails and both possess a disdain for policies and laws. 

The President and Board Chair's violation of law is further attested to in the following announcement issued this past May by Mrs. Harris-Brooks to members:
Priority One Credit Union
Message to Members regarding the Annual Meeting

All members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting of Priority One Credit Union.

When: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.


Priority One Credit Union
South Pasadena Headquarters
1631 Huntington Drove
South Pasadena, CA 91030

At the Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors, Supervisory Committee and President/CEO will jointly report on the status of the Credit Union. As discussed further below, no unscheduled business will be conducted during the Annual Meeting. However, immediately following the adjournment of the scheduled business of the Annual Meeting, there will be a Question and Answer session for members.

As you know, the announcement of election results is generally held during the Annual Meeting. Recently, the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee have become aware of concerns as to the distribution of the notice of vacancies to members. To this end, the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee have considered that there may be members who were interested in being nominated to run for either: (a)the one(1) position on the Board of Directors, or (b) one of the two (2) positions on the Supervisory Committee. Each of these positions are for three (3) year terms. Consequently, in the interest of fairness for all, the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee have determined it is appropriate to re-open the nomination and election process.

Accordingly, any member in good standing who is interested in seeking nominations for the above available positions on the Board of Directors or Supervisory Committee should request a nomination application from the Nominating Committee in writing to the following address:

Nominating Committee
P.O. Box 512195
Los Angeles, CA 90051-0195

All completed nomination applications must be submitted to the Nominating Committee at the above address no later than midnight June 8, 2009.

The Nominating Committee will consider up to three (3) members for each open position. Those not selected by the Nominating Committee will be allowed the opportunity to seek nomination process is complete, an election notice will be mailed to all voting members with the names of those persons nominated. Subject to there being more nominees than open positions, a written ballot will be provide to all voting members. If, on the other hand, there are no more nominations than open positions, then those nominated shall be deemed elected in accordance with the Bylaws.

Mrs. Harris-Brooks not only violated state laws, her acceptance of Mr. Chen's application after the deadline is clearly inconsistent with the statement in her letter that applications must be submitted "no later than midnight June 8, 2009."

What's more, Mrs. Harris-Brooks mailed her letter to Mr. Chen, ten (10) days after the deadline had passed. Evidently, Mrs. Harris-Brooks shares the same disdain to rules and laws so often shown by President Wiggington. With regards to her letter, how many times since she's been Board Chair has Mrs. Harris-Brooks sent a similar letter to any member?

It gets better.........

A few days after the letter was mailed, Mr. Chen visited the South Pasadena Branch. Arriving at the reception area, he loudly announced that he was there to submit his nomination. When advised the deadline had expired, he became irate and exclaimed, "Bobby Thomas said I could turn in my nomination!" 

Later, that same day, the giddy and over zealous President visited the Senior Vice President's office, exclaiming he was in possession of Mr. Chen's application. While walking through the Loan Department, he called Mrs. Harris-Brooks and loudly boasted that he'd received the nomination. For the dishonest President, violated state law and credit union policy was indeed something to be jubilant about


Last Wednesday, at the request of Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks; the Board of Directors; President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.; AVP, Rodger Smock; and COO, Beatrice Walker all convened for a "private" meeting at Carrows Restaurant in South Pasadena, California, to discuss how to bring an end to breaches of confidentiality racking the credit union. 

According to President Wiggington, the meeting was held off-site because he and the Board Chair "know" that the entire South Pasadena branch is saturated with electronic surveillance equipment planted by unnamed employees and which the two officers insist is the reason why information reported on this blog is so accurate. On a side note, no one was supposed to know the location of the "secret" meeting location but the President couldn't resist from disclosing its location. 

We thank President Wiggington for complimenting our reporting but haven't and don't intend to, invest in electronic surveillance equipment. We're surprised that despite having said he installed more than 18 new cameras in the South Pasadena branch, that none have been unable to video tape images of people allegedly placing electronic surveillance equipment throughout the branch. Does this mean he wasted more credit union monies purchasing cameras that are not functioning properly? 

The reason why cameras haven't recorded images of persons planting electronic surveillance equipment is because equipment hasn't been planted. The President's and Board Chair's excuse is just another example of need to concoct excuses that are borne out of their vivid and unfettered imaginations. The reason confidential information is finding its way to the Internet is because President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. is an undisciplined babbler. Each day, he strolls through the various departments in the South Pasadena branch, loudly verbalizing highly confidential information that only a few people should be privy to. 

However, since July, the breaches of confidential information have actually increased. In recently months, COO, Beatrice Walker has been contaminated by the President and each day while visiting the cubicle of AVP, Yvonne Boutte, discusses highly confidential information in the presence of collection and call center personnel.


Last Thursday, President Wiggington, at the request of the Board, visited some of Priority One's branches. The reason for the visits is strictly damage control. The Board has grown tired of complaints that the President is estranged from all staffs at all branch locations. While visiting branches, the President stated he intends to start visiting postal facilities. 

Coincidentally, his agreement with the credit union is up for renewal on December 31, 2009, which might also serve as motivation to try and create an impression that he cares about employees though the visit, is uncharacteristic and the first effort made by him since being appointed President on January 1, 2007, to reach out to employees. The strictly public relations move is, in our opinion, disingenuous and it'll be interesting to see if the visit is a one-time even or if he will become a part of his monthly agenda. We believe it;'s a one-time occurrence. 


Henry Justice, the infamous owner of the now defunct, Justice Auto Sales, who was once paid more than $80,000 by the credit union for vehicles purchased from his business by four former employees but who later refused to surrender the pink slips for each automobile, continues to appear on the credit union's list of preferred Select Employer Groups.

His continued inclusion can be attributed to President Wiggington. The two men were friends before Mr. Justice was introduced to the credit union by then Vice President of Operations, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. And the two remained friends ever after Mr. Justice refused to surrender the pink slips. In fact, their friendship remained intact, even after the credit union filed a lawsuit against Mr. Justice in their effort to recuperate the monies paid to the dealer. And their friendship remained unaffected even after Mr. Justice filed bankruptcy and even after he obtained approval from the court which exempted him from repaying any of the monies. 

Apparently, their friendship was immovable because in late 2008, President Wiggington in defiance to credit union policies or without consideration of the impact of Mr. Justice's act, invited the dealer to his office in South Pasadena where they laughed and joked and renewed their relationship. A few days after their meeting, the President informed AVP of Lending, Patti Loiacano, that he was reinstating a working relationship with Mr. Justice, disclosing that Mr. Justice would be considered a "preferred" automobile broker and that all members hoping to buy a car, would be referred to Mr. Justice.  

We reported about the President's plans to re-introduce Mr. Justice to the credit union which caused the President to bring an immediate termination of his deal. The following our expose', the President made his way to the Loan Department and began retrieving business cards and fliers he'd personally distributed to every loan processor and officers. The following information was obtained from one of the business cards distributed by the President:
Long’s Auto Sales
455 E Carson Plaza Dr
Carson, CA 90746

We also located the following second address on the Internet, for Long's Auto Sales: 

Long's Auto Sales
451 E. Carson Plaza Drive, Suite 204
Carson, CA 90746
310-739-7206 Cellular
800-863-KARS (5277) 


The complaint filed with the Department of Fair Employment in Housing in 2008 by the former employee sexually harassed by President Wiggington, remains unsettled. 

As reported in previous posts, in 2008, the Board of Directors called the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, initially offering $20,000 to settle the complaint. This, by the way, occurred after Mrs. Harris-Brooks mailed a letter to the victim which informed her that sexual harassment as defined by federal law, never occurred. Mrs. Harris-Brooks also stated that findings showed the employee had encouraged the President's sexualized comments and that the victim had participated in sexual repartee. With this in mind, doesn't it seem peculiar that Diedra Harris-Brooks who concluded that sexual harassment never occurred, is also the same person who helped formulate the offer of $20,000?  The $20,000 offer presented to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing was immediately rejected by the victim. The Board responded by offering $40,000.  It would seem that Mrs. Harris-Brooks has as we've always contended, known that President Wiggington sexually harassed the former employee but terminating the President would have disrupted her hold over the credit union. 

On a related note, at the time Mr. Wiggington was spewing out sexualized commentaries and placing his hand on the victim's knees and thighs, he was in his 50's while she was in her early 30's. So what Mrs. Harris-Brooks has tried to do is convince us that the then 50-some year old man lacked the personal self-control to withhold his inappropriate and illegal sexualized statements. 

Though in the history of the credit union, no other President has ever been accused of sexual harassment, the punishment doled out by the Board was hiring a consultant to come and speak to ALL employees about what constitutes sexual harassment and how to respond to sexualized overtures. During the meeting, the cowardly President sat at the back of the room, surrounded by the Board Directors. It was an incredible and embarrassing display but neither Mrs.Harris-Brooks or any  of the Directors possessed the intellectual capacity to understand the impression they were making. 


Priority One now describes itself as a "Financial Fitness Center" who possesses the ability to help members and employees win with money. It's quite a lofty proclamation from a credit union mired in the RED

to its members. In view of what the credit union's financials disclose, this indeed is a lofty proclamation.

One might think, that Priority One has stumbled into the Black. The Board authorized the spending of $74,000 of which, approximately $24,000 will be used to purchase new furniture; $50,000 will be spent on product development. 

During the May 2009 Annual Meeting, the President declared that he is "working smarter." Well, if terminating lower level personnel is his solution to the problems he created than there is nothing that can't be resolved by plopping off a few employee heads.  

The real problem lies in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to change the nature of plutonium* than change the nature of evil men (paraphrased).

Albert Einstein

# block visitors referred from indicated domains RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt\.com [NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt\.com [NC] RewriteRule .* - [F]