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Monday, February 16, 2009

Where's the Evidence?


Since January of this year, Priority One Credit Union’s President, Charles R.  Wiggington, Jr. and Board Directors, Thomas Gathers and O. Glen Saffold, have leveled accusations against this blog, including, ”It’s nothing but a bunch of lies”, “Its nothing but a bunch of jealous employees”, and “They've got nothing better to do.” We wish we could be that petty, but we’re not.

What the three officers maybe insinuating is that in their opinions, there is no evidence to prove that our assertions are true. Of course, the overly verbose President may have recently and inadvertently, admitted to the veracity of what we report when he said, “I’m going to find out who’s leaking information to the blog” and “I know they've put bugs [electronic surveillance equipment] in my office.”  If the President wants to stop the leak, he need only desist from divulging the confidential information that is making its way to the Internet.

At Priority One, evidence of wrong doing is always deemed highly disruptive to the President and Board’s agendas. Both the President and the Directors seem to spend more time forging plots than trying to develop strategies to that reap new business and generate real profit.

Evidence to the President’s failures or as we witnessed in 2008, evidence he sexually harassed a former employee will not be tolerated and will always be squashed. At least, that is what Board Chair Diedra Harris-Brooks did when a detective provided evidence proving President Wiggington sexually harassed a former employee.  Here are other incidents involving President Wiggington, that have been unsuccessfully covered up by the President and Mrs. Harris-Brooks.

Justice Auto Sales

In 1999, President Wiggington introduced his close friend, Henry Justice, the owner of Justice Auto Sales to Priority One. Mr. Justice soon became an automobile broker of the credit union. In 2002, the credit union sent Mr. Justice a check approximately $80,000 for vehicles purchased from his dealership by 4 of the credit union’s members.

Mr. Justice was to surrender the titles for each automobile so that Priority One could add its name as lienholder on each pink slip until the vehicle loans were fully satisfied. Mr. Justice refused to surrender the titles, alleging his daughter had made off with the monies paid to his dealership.

When the credit union filed a lawsuit, Mr. Justice filed for bankruptcy protection which was eventually granted and Mr. Justice escaped having to  repay the monies paid to him by the credit union.

Recently, Mr. Justice and his son visited the South Pasadena branch and was happily met at the reception desk by the President. The three proceeded to the Board Room where they remained for about an hour. After leaving the room, the three left the branch to go and have lunch at a local South Pasadena restaurant.

A few days later, the President announced that he was reinstating a business relationship between the credit union and the dealership which was now owned by Mr. Justice’s son.

Evidently, President Wiggington  was unconcerned by the fact that Mr. Justice made-off with approximately $80,000 which he never paid back.

The President also didn’t care about the tremendous inconvenience 4 members were subjected to when Mr. Justice refused to surrender the pink slips.

And Mr. Wiggington didn’t care that 3 different DMV Specialists were forced to visit the DMV office in Lincoln Park on a monthly basis for over a 2 year period to pick-up temporary registration cards for  4 members.

President’s intended reinstatement of Mr. Justice crumbled after we reported what he intended to do. Not only did he bring an immediate end to his plans to reinstate Mr. Justice but he instructed Mr. Justice to deny that they had ever planned to resurrect a working relationship.

Danny Wafa, Member (Victim)

In the early 2000’s member,  Danny Wafa’s loan payment became delinquent due to illness in his family. At the time, the Supervisor of Credit Resolutions visited Mr. Wafa at his home during he structured a repayment agreement.

The supervisor returned to South Pasadena and presented the repayment agreement ot his supervisor and owner of the credit union’s contracted collection agency. When the  owner realized the vehicle was a BMW, he immediately visited Mr. Wiggington in his office. Mr. Wiggington ordered that the repayment agreement not be approved and ordered the car repossessed.

The President and the owner of Credit Resolutions drew up phony papers to make it appear the car was sent to auction. The evidence that the car was never sent to auction is found in the fact that when a car is sold at auction, any monies recuperated from the sale, are applied to the outstanding balance. In 2009, the member’s online loan file shows that no payments were ever applied after the vehicle was repossessed and proving the car was never sold. DMV records also show that Mr. Wiggington became the owner of the vehicle immediately after Mr. Wafa.

The President would later state that he purchased the vehicle from a dealership but that is an utter lie as attested to by the DMV. What’s more the member’s file has disappeared from the main branch and was not located on microfiche or at the collection’s agencies headquarters in Glendora, California.   

Here is additional information about the former member’s automobile

Year/Make: 1989 BMW
VIN: WBAGC4310K3317406
Last 2 Owners: Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. and Danny Wafa
License Plate # at time of Repossession: 4NRM325
Incense Platte # after Repossession” WINKS589

"WINKS" is also referenced on the license plates found on some of the President’s other BMW’s.

We recently spoke to Mr. Wafa and he describes the repossession as one of the worst things to ever affect his life. So where is Mr. Wafa’s file?

Patrice Polley, Member

In the early 2000’s, President Wiggington was enraptured by a beautiful member named Patrice. He first met her when she visited the South Pasadena branch to try and obtain a $27,000 automobile loan but unfortunately, did not qualify because her FICO score was 520. Though she did not satisfy the credit union’s eligibility requirements, Mr. Wiggington offered to meet her at Fat Burgers in Los Angeles to discuss her request. On the day of their meeting, Mr. Wiggington was accompanied by his uncle. He would later say, “When Patrice entered the place, every eye turned to look at her but she came to us.”

 The President approved Ms. Polley’s request so that she could purchase a used Mercedes from a Beverly Hills dealership.

Like Mr. Wafa’s loan file, Ms. Polley’s file has also disappeared. How is it possible that the records for these two important transactions have disappeared entirely from the credit union’s files?

Employee (Victim)
Former Real Estate Loan Officer

In 2008, the Assistant Branch Manager of the Los Angeles branch sent a letter to credit union attorney, William Adler, informing him that she had been sexually harassed for a number of years by Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.  The President was placed on an approximate 6-week paid suspension during which an investigation was conducted to determine if he had indeed violated federal law. At the end of the investigation, evidence was presented to the Board proving that Mr. Wiggington had sexually harassed the employee, however, Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks squashed the evidence and with the assistance of Directors, O. Glen Saffold and Thomas Gathers and Supervisory Chair, Cornelia Simmons, voted for his reinstatement.

The Director of Marketing
On January 1, 2007, the date Charles R. Wiggington began his appointment as President, he launched a scathing campaign against the Director of Marketing. As part of his attack, he placed the Director under authority of AVP, Aaron Cavazos, knowing that for years, Mr. Cavazos had expressed his disdain for the Director.

Next, he had the Director’s desk moved to the dusty file room located in the South Pasadena branch’s back officers. However, staff at the branch rose up and complained and three days later, he moved the Director to a desk located in the executive wing but he gave her former office to Mr. Cavazos.

A few days later, the President had the Director demoted to Coordinator of Human Resources.  

A few days later, AVP and Director of Human Resources, Rodger Smock, informed the former Director that her salary would be reduced commensurate with what is usually paid to a coordinator.

Director, Janice Irving interceded and prohibited the President from reducing the former Marketing Director’s salary.

A week later, then Human Resources “clerk”, Esmeralda Sandoval informed the former Director of marketing that she was being stripped of her exempt status and would from here on, have to clock-in like all other non-exempt personnel.

A few weeks later, the President ordered that the former Director be laid-off, stating that she did not fit his “vision” for the credit union. So was ruination of the credit union part of his vision?

An Unattended Child (Victim)

In 2008, a member visited the credit union and left a baby locked in her car which was parked in the parking structure located under the South Pasadena branch.

Members entering the branch heard the baby crying and immediately reported to the staff in the Loan Department. The staff informed the member that the baby was crying but the member who was sitting in the member services department involved in a person conversation with an FSR, merely replied, “I’ll be down shortly.”

Because both the President and Mr. Smock were not in the office, the VISA Card Specialist informed Robert West, the Training and Education Manager, about the incident including the member’s refusal to go to the car to pick-up the baby. Mr. West told her, “Call the police.” Both police and firemen quickly descended on the branch and retrieved the crying baby form the locked car and arrested the member.

The following day, the President was informed about the incident. He went into an uncontrollable tirade, yelling and demanding that every employee involved in calling the police be brought to his office individually.

Each employee was informed that they would be terminated should they choose to call the police should another such incident occur. He also told each employee, “Poor member, you have no idea what you’ve done to her” and said that the police should only be called if a baby is left in a locked car that is NOT parked on credit union property.

President Wiggington’s childish and irrational temper tantrum was inexcusable and his directives threatening termination should the police ever be called again was just plain stupid. The President is immensely ignorant of the fact the law requires that police must be called whenever a baby is left unattended in a locked car.

The President’s proclivities for dishonesty and his erratic and disruptive behaviors should be a point of concern but unfortunately, Priority One’s Board of Directors is made up of amoral, apathetic and corrupt Directors who are just deplorable as the person they appointed President of what was once a respected and thriving credit union. 

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admiral said...

How come Wiggington hasn't been fired for gross mismanagement?

Where are the federal regulators. They must be aware of Wiggington's nefarious activities.

John said...

The allegations were previously sent by employees of the company to the company attorney, William Adler, who in turn, referred these to the Board of Directors. One would have to ask Diedra Harris-Brooks why she chose to squash allegations pertaining to sexual harassment and possibly even those concerning the vehicle taken from Danny Wafa. However, Mr. Wiggington, Sr. is still being investigated and several loans he approved are currently being scrutinized. This blog was referred last week to the NCUA. They have responded, stating that the complaints have now been forwarded to their Tempe, Arizona office. I have no idea how quickly they will respond and if so, how they will respond. Certainly, these allegations should be taken quite seriously and frankly, the Board should also be investigated.

John said...

I should have added that exposing wrongdoing is risky. There are laws, which assure whistle blowers protection, but this does not mean that an employer won't seek ways of persecuting those employees who reveal wrongdoing. Mr. Wiggington, Sr. is known to be vindictive to the point that his behavior is almost childish. He has no qualms in resorting to whatever means he needs to decimate those who stand against him. He will certainly seek reasons needed to justify the termination of employees he considers a threat. To employees who seek to carry out their assigned duties compliant to credit union procedures and in adherence to credit union policy, these behaviors are inappropriate in the workplace and are reprehensible. In the case of Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., this is just who he is. Remember, those who trusted him before his appointment now regret having supported him

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