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Friday, March 27, 2009

A Lie, Preferential Treatment, and an AVP is Exposed

Promoting an Officer Who Violated Federal Law

As we've written about in several previous posts, in March 2007, an unsigned letter was mailed to the home of then Board Director, David L. Davidson, which exposed then AVP, Liz Campos, of writing more than 24 personal checks and making each out in monetary amounts exceeding her checking account balance. The incidents all occurred during the months of September 2006 through January 2007. Despite the immense number of NSF incidents occurring during a two-month period, in October 2006, then Vice President of Operations, Charles R. Wiggington,.Sr. announced that he was promoting Mrs. Campos to the post of AVP which would become effective on January 1, 2007, the same date Mr. Wiggington was to begin his appointment as President. 

The incident was only the first of what would become a long list well-documented business blunders and scandals that would wrack the credit union and establish the President's horrendous public reputation. 

On January 1, 2007, the President activated his new shiny and expensive AVP sector made up of former Burbank Branch Manager, Liz Campos; former Van Nuys Branch Manager, Sylvia Perez; former Director of Lending, Aaron Cavazos; and Redlands Branch Manager, Jodi Hurst. The people he promoted to be AVP's had been selected by the President in October 2006, immediately after the Board of Directors announced that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. would be successor to President and CEO, William E. Harris, who was scheduled to retire on December 31, 2006.

In October 2006, just a few days after his appointment was announced, Mr. Wiggington disclosed that Mrs. Campos and Mrs. Perez had been selected by him to serve has his first two AVP's. However, a week after announcing the promotions of Mrs. Campos and Mrs. Perez, the President informed then Director of Human Resources, Rodger Smock, while the men stood in the South Pasadena lounge room, that Mrs. Campos had overdrawn her credit union checking numerous times and laughingly said, he was "probably" going to have to talk to her.  

In March 2007, just 4 months after being promoted to the post of AVP, someone wrote an anonymous letter and mailed it to Board Director, Dave Davidson, in which they expose in great detail the more than 24 individual NSF incidents occurring on Mrs. Campos' Priority One checking account during the months of September and October 2006. 

The Director delivered the letter to the credit union's attorney, William Adler, who in turn, called Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, ordering an investigation of Mrs. Campos' credit union accounts. 

An investigation was initiated and an audit performed by in-house auditor, Sonny Pinot. The investigation gathered evidence that Mrs. Campos had been kiting, which is a violation of federal law. Mrs. Campos had written 'bad checks" from checking accounts opened at three different institutions, including Priority One.  Though the violation of federal law should have resulted in termination, arrest and prosecution of Mrs. Campos, she was instead terminating. 

The President was incensed because he had been forced to terminate her employment. He swore quite publicly that he would find out who wrote the anonymous letter but seemed completely unconcerned by the fact that Mrs. Campos violated federal law. 

The investigation also discovered that the NSF fees incurred by the more than 25 incidents were all reversed. The  President said the violations occurred before he was appointed President and thus had not knowledge of the free reversals, stating that the Member Services Department staff mistakenly reversed the fees for each incident. The  key flaw with his defense is that NSF fees cannot be reversed without authorization of the Vice President of Operations. Subsequently, the more than 24 reversals of NSF fees on Mrs. Campos' checking account could only have been approved by the Vice President of Operations, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. Evidently, the President statements that he had nothing to do with the reversals was an outright lie and one intended to help him escape culpability for an action he committed. 

Furthermore, in October 2006, Mr. Wiggington publicly admitted to Rodger Smock, that as going to have to speak to Mrs. Campos about her many checking account abuses revealing that he knew that she was in violation of credit union policy. 

During the years of 2004 through 2006, then Vice President, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., ordered the termination of two employees he alleged had committed account abuses, none which rose to the level of gravity attained by Mrs. Campos. In one incident, an employee was terminated for entering adjustment to her credit union account while in a second incident, an employee was terminated when an investigation revealed he reversed an NSF fee for a co-workers account. 

The President is more than a little hypocritical and possesses double standards. Clearly, he enforces policies for some employees while disregards those same policies for issues involving himself and employees he likes. 


Charles R. Wiggington., Sr. can't and shouldn't be trusted. When exposed of wrong doing which occurs frequently, he always resorts to the use of lies which are intended to exonerate him and while instead, focusing on his unsuspecting victims. 

In 2006, he promoted Liz Campos knowing she abused her credit union checking account privileges more than 24 times during the months of September and October 2006. And though he publicly discussed her account abuses in October 2006, while speaking to Director of Human Resources, Rodger Smock, in the South Pasadena lounge room, he would later lie and deny ever having known that Mrs. Campos abused her checking account privileges. 

He also lied when he told the credit union's attorney that he never reversed any of the more than 24 individual NSF fees charged to Mrs. Campos account. In fact, as Vice President of Operations, he was the only person who could have authorized the reversals. Instead, he placed blame on the Member Services Department, stating they reversed the fees not realizing that they should have deferred Mrs. Campos' abuses to him. So what the President wanted people to believe is that for years, Member Services referred all employee accounts that sustained overages to the Vice President of Operations but in September and October 2006, they suddenly forgot that they were to refer Mrs. Campos account to Mr. Wiggington. Is that what he hopes will be believed? 

The fact is, he knowingly promoted Mrs. Campos, despite her well-documented history of account abuses. Not only did he promote her, but when the investigation discovered she had kited- a federal offense, he became incensed with the person or persons who wrote and mailed their anonymous letter to Director, David L. Davidson. 

Weeks after Mrs. Campos was terminated, the President complained that he had been forced to terminate his hand-picked AVP, revealing has no concept of right or wrong or for that matter, legal or illegal. 


While speaking to the VISA Card Specialist President Wiggington disclosed that the person who composed the anonymous letter was the former Director of Lending. He was 100% wrong. 

We know who wrote the letter and it wasn't an officer of the credit union. Evidently, President Wiggington is as bad a detective as he is a President. The President's statement reveals again, that he relies on a fantastical belief system that is rooted in his own twisted imagination. As in the case of the anonymous letter, his conclusion wasn't based on an investigation and obtainment of evidence, it was rooted in what he imagined to be true and unfortunately for Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. his conclusion was off target............. again.

What the President failed to mention while speaking to the VISA Card Specialist while in the presence of 5 employees of the Loan Department is that during the investigation of Mr. Campos, he insisted he never knew she abused her checking account which of course was a lie. 

He also never told the VISA Card Specialist that he accused the Member Services Department of reversing each and every NSF fee incurred by Mrs. Campos when he, the Vice President of Operations, was the only person authorized to reverse NSF fees incurred by Priority One employees. 

Here are the contents of the anonymous letter sent to Director, Mr. Davidson:

March 1, 2007

Dear Mr. Davidson:

When an employee is hired, a credit report is ordered as part of their background check. One of the requirements of being an ambassador is their credit standing. Why then is financial responsibility ignored when promoting a person to the position of assistant vice president?

In 2007, Mr. Wiggington promoted Liz Campos from branch manager to assistant VP even though he knows she had continually abused her checking account several times from 9-06 to 1-07.

Here are the dates and amounts she overdrawn activity appears in her checking account.

9-05-06 -29.00
9-05-06 -68.72
9-05-06 -137.44
9-06-06 -137.02
9-20-06 -98.71
9-21-06 -89.73
9-29-06 -1.25
10-02-06 -25.95
10-03-06 -20.89
10-03-06 -11.41
10-03-06 -40.41
10-06-06 -29.00
10-17-06 -232.00
10-17-06 -261.00
10-18-06 -260.63
10-18-06 -910.63
10-19-06 -660.17
11-03-06 -29.00
11-13-06 -29.00
11-13-06 -58.00
11-13-06 -87.00
11-14-06 -86.91
11-14-06 -80.37
11-14-06 -109.37
11-14-06 -138.37

11-20-06 -29.00 
11-21-06 -18.46

11-21-06 -47.46
11-21-06 -77.45
11-28-06 -8.61
11-29-06 -4.27
11-29-06 -304.27
12-12-06 -1.25
12-12-06 -581.25
12-12-06 -124.25
12-13-06 -123.34
12-13-06 -263.11
12-18-06 -28.00
12-19-06 -17.24
12-20-06 -28.00
12-26-06 -2.60
12-26-06 -22.10
12-26-06 -40.10
12-28-06 -1360.30
12-28-06 -2236.30
12-28-06 -2256.30
12-28-06 -1663.64
12-28-06 -2256.30
12-29-06 -2144.93
12-29-06 -2173.93
12-29-06 -2296.91
1-2-07 -24.77
1-2-07 -30.25
1-2-07 -59.25
1-2-07 -88.25
1-2-07 -117.25
1-2-07 -146.25
1-2-07 -175.25
1-2-07 -30.25

There are 23 days in total in which account abused occurred. If any other employee had overdrawn their credit union account that many times what would the company have done? Would that employee be promoted to assistant vice president? Mr. Wiggington also sent out a company memo in 2006 telling employees that NSF fees would not be written off. Where are the NSF fees for Mrs. Campos account? Why was she allowed to abuse her account? Are there two sets of rules. 1 for employees and 1 for managers?

Thank you.

The President knew of the abuses being committed by Mrs. Campos. He lied when he said he didn't and he lied when he blamed the Member Services Department's staff of reversing all NSF fees without his authorization.

The fact federal law was violated was inconsequential to the morally and ethically deprived President who vilified the unknown person who exposed Mrs. Campos of violating federal law and focused his efforts to find and punish the whistle blower. 

He found yet another victim in the Director of Lending, who he publicly disclosed, was the person who composed the anonymous letter. He was wrong. He can offer no evidence to support his statements except to alluding to an alleged complaint by Mrs. Campos, the woman who kited, in which she allegedly stated that the Director of Marketing wanted to drive her from the credit union. There is no evidence provided by the President proving this to be true. Furthermore, he persecuted the Director of Marketing and finally laid her off based on the far-fetched concoctions of this twisted and undisciplined imagination.

The President's need to be vindictive trumped the fact federal law had been violated by his hand-picked AVP which brings into question the abilities of President Wiggington to responsibly perform required investigations that determine that an employee is qualified to be promoted. Clearly, he didn't protect the employee who was eventually fired. He didn't protect the credit union whose checking account was abused while the AVP was kiting. Does the President even understand that his responsibilities require he protect Credit Union assets, members and employees? 

In the meantime, he failed to counsel Mrs. Campos about her checking account abuses. He also ignored those abuses when he chose to promote her to the position of AVP. He also chose to disparage employees of the credit union while speaking to the VISA Card Specialist and he violated confidentiality when he publicly discussed why he terminated the Director of Lending. Clearly, President Wiggington hates policies otherwise why make such a pubic and concerted effort to violate them? 

And why has the Board of Directors and more specifically, its Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks never addressed the President's horrendous behaviors and his obvious violation of the policy governing confidentiality? Furthermore, Mrs. Harris-Brooks reprimanded Director, Mr. Davidson, during a Board Meeting and told him the anonymous letter should have been delivered to the board and never to the credit union's attorney, William Adler. Why? Mrs. Harris-Brooks isn't an attorney. She's a retired postal worker who is clearly unqualified to investigate violations of federal law. Of course, this is the same woman who lead a contingent of three other officers to vote for the reinstatement of the President after evidence was provided that he indeed did sexually harass a former employee. 

The Mouth that Ate Priority One

Unbridled Verbosity

Have you ever seen those plastic wind-up teeth that when wound, move across a flat surface, chattering incessantly? That's what its like to be forced to endure the daily non-business related ramblings of Priority One Credit Union's President, Charles R. Wiggington,.Sr. Each day at the credit union's main office in South Pasadena, California
while employees work, the President stops off to jabber about the same stale topics- his allegedly above-average intellect, his profound skills as President, and most often, he talks about subjects that are deemed highly confidential. 

Despite his uncontrollable verbosity, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. is not an interesting speaker though that's probably because the scope of what he has to say is extremely limited and always about the same thing. 

We thought it only appropriate to share SOME things that the President has talked about over the past 4 years that make Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. what he is. 

October 2005

While speaking to the Real Estate Loan Officer, he recounts how while at the home of the Director of Human Resources, Rodger Smock, he noticed a frame photograph of a former employee named Henry Campos atop Mr. Smock's nightstand. Mr. Wiggington states that Rodger Smock is a homosexual and laughingly describes him as a "sissy." 

April 2006

The President mocks the Real Estate Loan Officer, the same woman he's sexually harassed for years and in front of her co-workers, accuses her being attracted to Director, O. Glen Saffold. He exclaims loudly "You like Saffold. You want him. Leave Jenny's (Generis Kirby's) man alone." 

June 2006

Mr. Wiiggington explodes into a rage when he learns that the Board of Directors has asked President William e. Harris remain at the credit union to at least, the end of the year. He calls the Director of Human Resources, Rodger Smock, and the CFO, Manny Gaitmaitan, into his office and complains about the Board's request. He had been told months earlier that Mr. Harris would be retiring in June 2006 and had been lobbying to be named the President's successor. 

Wednesday August 16, 2006: About a Member

While a young and attractive member walks through the lobby of the Loan Department in South Pasadena, an excited Mr. Wiggington enters the cubilcile belonging to Director of Lending, Aaron Cavazos, and though  the Director is in the midst of a meeting, Mr. Wiggington leans over his desk an says audibly, "Man, oh man, I'd sure like to hit that ass. Look at that ass!"

Monday, May 14, 2007

While on the phone, speaking to officer, Karen Burgon of the Riverside office, M. Wiggington becomes incensed when Ms. Burgon informs him that the instruction he's just provided is incorrect and not consistent to credit union procedure. After conclusion of the call, he states, "I'm gonna get that woman. You'll see."  

June 16, 2007 

Lead Consumer Loan Officer, Georgina Duenas, conveys a meeting with the Loan Department staff during which she informs them that President Wiggington is displeased about how trash is being discarded into employee trash cans. She states that on June 8, 2007,  the President conducted a meeting in the Board Room during which he told managers and leads that an audit of the company's procedures had revealed that some documents being thrown into employee trash cans contained confidential member information. 

He also held up a photograph of the alleyway located behind the South Pasadena branch which had been taken by the credit union's security camera and showed an image of a man scavenging through the credit union's large metal bin. He told attendees that the man was searching for information about credit union members though no one asked the man what it was he was searching for. It was pure conjecture based on what the President believed to be true. 

Incensed that employees were discarding documents containing confidential member information, the President ordered that all trash including metal soda cans, Styrofoam cums and any other materials intended to be discarded, be placed in recycling bins. When informed that the cans were only to be used for discarded recyclable materials, he angrily replied, "Fuck them (the company which provides the cans). If they don’t like it, we can go with another company.” 

Thursday, July 19, 2007: 

Board Director, Joe Marchica calls the South Pasadena branch to schedule an appointment to meet with President Wiggington to discuss some of the acts the former Director of Marketing had been subjected to. 

Later that day, while walking with Rodger Smock through Credit Resolutions, the President complains loudly that he does not wish to meet with Mr. Marchica and insists that his administrative assistant could have made more of an effort to send Mr. Marchica away. 

Thursday, July 26, 2007

While standing in the lounge room speaking to Assistant Vice Presidents, Dane Simmons, the President tells a story of how during a recent business trip to Chicago just a few days earlier, he danced with a “fat 25 year old woman” who he insisted, “she wanted it man. She really wanted it.”

Friday, October 19, ,2007

The President tells the Loan Officer, Sonia Villa, "Oh come on, don't tease him", referring to Director of Lending, Aaron Cavazos. "I like him. He reminds me of when I was younger. A real go getter. He sets his goals and accomplishes them." He continues, describing Mr. Cavazos as a man who always provides for his family.

The comments contradict disclosures made over the years in complaints filed about Mr. Cavazos which accused him of abusively harassing staff, of sexual harassment, retaliating against employees he said did not like him, of returning to work inebriated following 2 and 3 hour lunch periods, and of using his office in South Pasadena for personal business. 

Though in 2006, the President ignored the complaints and promoted the Director to Assistant Vice President of Operations, in 2008, following an argument, the President used the complaints filed over the years to terminate Mr. Cavazos.  

December 31, 2007

Languishing comfortably on a loveseat located alongside the VISA Card Specialist's desk located in the Loan Department, President Wiggington, Sr. loudly complains about former Card Specialist Whitni, who recently transferred to the LAPDC to serve as Lead Loan Teller.

He laughingly recounts how Whitni once complained that she was over-worked and her work had become backlogged. She asked her supervisor, Aaron Cavazos, for assistance but he refused to assign anyone to help her. The President and says that Whitni told him, "I am so stressed I had to go see a shrink!"

The President states that because she had been the subject of numerous complaints over the years that he was forced to "put her in her place." 

The new Card Specialist asks why if Whitni's performance were that unsatisfactory, then why did he approve her transfer to the LAPDC and her promotion to Lead Teller.

The President pauses momentarily and says, "I admit that was a mistake. I feel like calling Lynnette and telling her about it" adding that what he liked about Whitni was her "aggressiveness."

The Director of Marketing

In August 2007, while languishing comfortably in the Consumer Loan Department, the President wove a tale while 5 loan processors and officers sat within hearing difference about how earlier that year, he was visited in his office by AVP, Liz Campos. During their meeting, Mrs. Campos allegedly complained that the Marketing Director was "out to get me." He said that he knew that the Marketing Director had never liked Mrs. Campos. 

He also disclosed that he knew for a fact that it was the Marketing Director who mailed the anonymous letter about Mrs. Campos' checking account abuses, to Board Director, David Davidson. Mr. Davidson delivered the letter to the credit union's attorney, William Adler, who afterwards contacted the Board and ordered an investigation of Mrs. Campos' Priority One accounts. An investigation and audit conducted by in-house Auditor, Sonny Pinat, disclosed Mrs. Campos had been kiting- a federal offense. Furthermore, it was discovered that she used checking accounts from three financial institutions, including Priority One Credit Union, to violate federal law. 

The President's tall tale suggests he is more than a little daft. The fact is, he had no evidence proving the Director of Marketing exposed his hand-picked AVP of kiting. His story reveals that President Wiggington is a man who can't at all comprehend the gravity of the acts committed by Mrs. Campos. He is obsessively focused on the anonymous individual who wrote the letter. What's more, from his story, it is the person who exposed the violation of federal law who is the villain in his little tawdry story distorting what actually transpired. Could it be the President lacks the emotional stability to accept the fact that one of his AVP's violated federal law? Is it so unpalatable to his sensibilities to accept that his AVP commented more than 24 separate NSF incidents to her Priority One checking account during the months of September and October 2006? Did President Wiggington forget or intentionally erase from his memory that he authorized the reversal of each NSF fee incurred by each of Mrs. Campos' abuses? 

Furthermore, it was the Director of Marketing who submitted a recommendation to former President, William E. Harris, which resulted in Mrs. Campos promotion from Business Development Representative to Branch Manager of the  Burbank office.

What evidence did the President have that proved the former Director of Market composed the letter sent to the Board's Director? Absolutely nothing. President Wiggington is not a man who wishes to inconvenienced with something like evidence. Over the years, whenever he received complaints that an employee violated policies, he bypassed obtaining evidence and immediately sought to implement disciplinary measures. 
And why would the alleged defender of credit union policies sit on a loveseat and divulge highly confidential information to the VISA Card Specialist that she should not have been privy to? And why did he deem it appropriate to verbalize loudly in the presence of 5 members of the Loan Department? 

It's important to remember that the President is a man who rarely tells the truth, often avoids accountability when exposed, and addictively needs to delve out scapegoats for his horrendous decisions and inappropriate statements. 

January 4, 2008

During January 4th, President Wiggington could not refrain from spending the day sharing his disparaging opinions about some of the credit union's past staff members. While conducting what should have been a closed door meeting, President Wiggington told AVP, Patricia Loiacano, he stated that he was selected to President and CEO because "I played the game and won" and "I beat the others. Where are they and where am I?"

His statements disparage the Board of Directors who admitted they selected him because of what Priority One "needs a Black President." The fact is, the Board should have been colored blind and their reasoning for choosing Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. was absurd and smacks of racism. The President statements suggest the Board is so unintelligent that the easily manipulated each Director because in his words, he "played the game and won." 

The President also admitted to Mrs. Loiacano that he terminated the former Director of Marketing because she "complained about Liz Campos." and continuing to speak abou the former Director of Marketing, he arrogantly asked, "The one who complained [about Mrs. Campos] isn't here anymore. Do you see her?"

What President Wiggington failed to state during his bragging session is that Mrs. Campos was found guilty of kiting and thus, violated federal law, She should have been arrested, booked and prosecuted but for some reason, the gabby President failed to mention this. 

About Former President, William E. Harris

Later, that same day, while lounging on a love seat located alongside the VISA Card Specialist's desk and while the Loan Department staff were all president, The President criticized his predecessor, William E. Harris alleging that Mr. Harris was "always jealous of me" and describing his predecessor as "old school" and lacking the vision that would carry Priority One into the future. 

We can't imagine anything that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. possesses to be jealous of. Can you? I can't be his ghettoization of the English language. I certainly isn't his hygiene. And its certainly not his keen abilities as a strategist. Does he believe people are jealous of his sexual escapades he once bragged about on a daily basis until an investigation proved he sexually harassed a former employee? The President should know that no one at any branch has ever believed his stories about sex. 

Under Mr. Harris, the credit union consistently grew in size and in membership. He introduced technologies and Priority One was a credit union for offering quality products and services. Why then, would Mr. Harris ever feel even slightly jealous of an uncouth officer who in 2008 was found guilty of sexual harassment?

President Wiggington is a man whose personal habits are an embarrassment and include the public scratching of his genitalia or his enunciation which caused him to pronounce Indianapolis not Annapolis! By the way, its Toyota not Tajota.

While speaking to the Card Specialist (and the entire Loan Department staff) he described the merger with Inland Counties Postal Credit union as "a mess" and "bad move" orchestrated by his predecessor and said that the had spent months and months “trying to clean up Harris' mess.” Why did should the VISA Card Specialist have been privy to this information?

About Lynnette Fortson, AVP

The President also disclosed that he recently decided to prohibit the AVP of the Los Angeles and Airport branches, Lynnette Fortson, from accessing PEMCO but chose to return it to her “to keep her mouth shut” and avoiding listening to her complain for "taking (PEMCO) it from her and having to listen to her complaints is more trouble than it’s worth."

About O. Glen Saffold, Board Member

He expressed his disdain for Board Director, O. Glen Saffold who in his words, "had the audacity" to advise that the President "to dress more like a CEO." He described Mr. Saffold as "having some nerve" and said Mr. Saffold should focus on his own fashion and added that Mr. Saffold is "useless." 

We don't disagree with Mr. Saffold. His advice was sound. What we disagree with is Mr. Saffold's hypocrisy and his constant racist declarations that "the White man is the cause of all of the Afro-American community's problems. We also advise that the self-proclaimed Christian take an introspective at his beliefs because we're certain that supporting the illegal acts perpetrated by and under Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. is a violation of t he commandments upon which his spiritual beliefs are allegedly based. 

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The President recounted an incident that occurred during a receent visit to the home of Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock. While in Mr. Smock's bedroom, located on the second floor of his home, the President noticed a framed photograph standing atop one of the Senior Vice President's night stands. The photograph was of  former FSR, Henry Campos. 

The President exclaimed, "I don't get the guy (Rodger Smock). Can you believe him and his lifestyle? 

The only question we have is, what was the President doing in Mr. Smock's bedroom?

February 2008

While visiting Rodger Smock's office, the President tells the Senior Vice President that earlier that day, he received a telephone call from Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, and informed him that though Director, Fernando Kelley, lost the recently held election, she was going to try and reinstate him as a non-voting member. He laughingly declared that this was a wonderful plan that would personally, help him out. 

February 2008

Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, informs President Wiggington that Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, has ordered that all advertising mock-ups be submitted to her for review and approval before these are sent to the credit union's contracted printing company. Irked, the President says, "Diedra is an ass. She can't tell me what to do!"

November, 2008

During a credit union luncheon, President Wiggington tells some of his staff that while in his early 20's, he and a friend went to a night club. Later that evening, they returned to his apartment with three women in tow. One of the women, "a fat girl" took Mr. Wiggington by his hand and "dragged" him into the bedroom." While he and the woman had sex, his friend and the other two women left the apartment because, according to the President, "they felt uncomfortable." He tells the employees who were forced to listen to his story that the experience taught him that "fat women are good in bed" and "always grateful.”

To describe President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. as merely incorrigible is a huge understatement. The highest officer of the credit union has proven time and time again that he is uncouth, vulgar and clearly, not what any company should ever want in a President. 

There's no argument, the man has issues- many personal issues. There is some disturbing about a man who continually feels a need to talk about the most confidential and personal subjects. He is a brute who forces his staff to listen unendingly to his distorted opinions and perverse stories. 

His disclosures are also a clear violation of credit union policies and his statements are fodder for gossip which nowadays rages across the once thriving credit union. Maybe if he focused on resolving the many problems he's intentionally and unintentionally created. Choosing to act as a dictator and not an elected officer is what differentiates President Wiggington from other Presidents. Clearly, he's exceeded his appropriated authority. What's more, its difficult if not impossible to understand why the highest officer of the credit union deemed it appropriate to stretch comfortably across a loveseat and divulge highly confidential information about credit union personnel to the VISA Card Specialist and in the presence of 5 members of the Loan Department. Should he be subjected to disciplinary actions described under policy? Yes, of course. 

Are You Really Their First Priority?


We decided to take a short break from the blog during which we conducted research and read the emails we receive from what are apparently current and former employees of Priority one Credit Union. 

The accounts provided by current and former staff describe disappointment over the harm caused by President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. to what was once a thriving and growing credit union and one often referred to as "home" by many employees of the United States Postal Service. 

What we noticed was that many of the accounts reference the same complaints. President Wiggington has often labeled employees who dislike his mode of administration, as disgruntled but the number of similar complaints lend credence to the accusations leveled against the undisciplined CEO. 

We've learned that the President has become very moody as of late. We empathize. He must be in an uncomfortable position knowing that what he fought to keep secret is now in the open. We've learned that he has grown paranoid and sarcastic and is often seen skulking about the South Pasadena branch visiting Credit Resolutions where he spends hours and talks incessantly about his life to the department's new manager, Yvonne Boutte. 
He has also openly berated his staff, blaming them for the information which is published on this blog. 

Since his appointment, President has appointed managers, who like himself, are unqualified to carryout their assigned responsibilities. In 2006, he announced he would be installing a sector of Assistant Vice Presidents ("AVP") on January 1, 2007, to help manage the credit union's vast territory which extends from the Santa Clarita Valley to the Riverside/San Diego County border. He also divulged to some staff that the AVP's would be responsible to bring in new business while he could just sit back in his office and in his words, "watch the business come in." His plan derailed as time proved the AVP's were quite incapable of managing their assigned regions. What's more, one was terminated for kiting and a second was terminated following deterioration of his former friendship with the President.  

On January 1, 2007, he promoted the Burbank Branch Manager, Liz Campos, to the position of AVP. She lacked the education and experience to manage the responsibilities of AVP but according to the President, he promoted her because she was his "buddy." Three months prior to the date of her promotion, Mrs. Campos incurred more than 25 individual NSF incidents on her credit union checking account and President Wiggington approved the reversal of each NSF fee. The abuse should have been sufficient grounds why not to promote her and would have justified her termination, but the President allowed his friendship with the Branch Manager to influence his decision.

In 2007, he also promoted the Director of Lending, Aaron Cavazos, to the post of AVP of Operations though Mr.Cavazos had absolutely no experience in operations. He also assigned all marketing to Mr. Cavazos though Mr. Cavazos had no experience or education in anything related to marketing. 

In 2007, he also appointed the Van Nuys Branch Manager, Sylvia Perez, to the post of AVP despite the fact Mrs. Perez had no education or experience needed to fulfill the
responsibilities of the post. Mrs. Perez also had a well earned reputation for being rude to employees and for speaking to them in the most condescending manner. She was also known to be a micromanager with a penchant for being chronically impatient.

On January 4, 2007, he announced that he would be revamping how Priority One does business including installing a retention program to reduce account closures and providing employees with tools that would empower them. However, his so-called improvements were never realized and instead many good and knowledgeable employees were harassed, driven out of the credit union or terminated. And though the President was suspended while an investigation was conducted to determine if he sexually harassed a former employee, the President was eventually reinstated by the Board and since his return, the credit union has continued to hemorrhage losses. 

The President has also brought an end to staff development, choosing instead to retain staff who are ignorant of many procedures and who are ill-equipped to cross-sell the credit union's aging financial products and services.

His $600,000 phone system has proven a technical disaster, forcing the credit union to spend hundreds of additional dollars each month on technicians whose repairs are temporary at best. 

At about 1:30 pm, earlier today, we called the South Pasadena branch and a recorded message informed us that no one was available to answer our call. We pressed "0" and the same recorded message came on. We continued to press 0 at on the 9th attempt, a woman answer the phone. At our request, she transferred us to the Loan Department but a recorded message answered and asked that we leave a message. 

Hanging up, we called the company again and after 5 attempts, the same woman we spoke to earlier, answered the phone. She transferred our call to Member Service and after several rings, our call was again answered by a recorder. I invite anyone to call 626.441.1999 and see if they too aren't frustrated by the credit union's subpar service standards. 

We received the following message from "Frustrated":

I called the South Pasadena branch earlier today to ask questions about their 2.99% auto rate.A representative explained that to qualify I need to put 10% down payment, have direct deposit, and open a checking PLUS have a credit score of 680or more. No problem as the auto dealer I visited ran my credit which showed I have a 750 credit score.

Everything seemed fine until I asked what my monthly payment would be. The amount I was given was a lot higher than what I calculated. When I asked why, I was told that the though I qualify for the 2.99% rate, my payments are calculated at 3.99%! I was told that the credit union deducts .50% if you pay the loan through automatic payments or payroll deduction and that they deduct another .50% if you have a checking account. That gives you the lower rate but the payment they calculate is at 3.99% and not at 2.99%.

I was told that this reduces the amount of your financing over whatever term you agree to. I was also told that by calculating the payments at 3.99%, I would pay off the loan faster than if they calculate the payments at 2.99%. Maybe, but isn't the credit union advertising a 2.99% rate and shouldn't the monthly payments be calculated this rate and not at 3.99%?

I visited Priority One's website to see if I could find what I was told, written somewhere on their site. I looked and looked but I did not find anything which said that monthly payments are calculated at 3.99% even though you qualify for the 2.99% rate and I did not read anything which said that by agreeing to calculate your payments at 3.99%, you will pay off the loan sooner.

Believing the person I spoke to did not understand what I had asked, I called another branch. This time a representative explained to me that I do qualify for the 2.99% rate but they calculate payments at 3.99% just in case I cancel direct deposit or automatic payroll payment of the loan. This, by the way, is also not stated on the credit union's website.

I decided to call yet another branch and this time was told by a rep that she did not know why the credit union calculated my loan at 3.99% even though I qualify for the 2.99% rate and I was told to call the South Pasadena branch, instead. Since the loan was to refinance the balance due on my daughter's automobile, I called another credit union. They offered to match the rate advertised by Priority One. I have now visited them, obtained the loan and opened a checking account. And my monthly payments have been calculated at 2.99%!

Calling Priority One was frustrating. Three branches provided three different answers. The branches I called were Burbank, Van Nuys, and Valencia.

As I wrote previously, nowhere in their ad or on their website does it say they will calculate payments at 3.99% in case you cancel automatic payment of the loan or because you will pay the loan off quicker. From my experience it is obvious that the staff is poorly trained, ignorant about how loans are calculated, and unable to answer what should be simple questions.

The problems afflicting the credit union's telephone system are all attributable to President Wiggington. He is after all, the person who picked the system without consulting the CFO or IT Supervisor. He is also the person who ordered that ALL calls be diverted to the Los Angeles and South Pasadena branches. He is also responsible for staff development and evidently, based on the experiences being reported by members, development is non-existent. 

"He who tries to conceal the terrible things he does, will never prosper; but the person who confesses his wrongdoing and STOPS, will find compassion."

Proverbs 28:13

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Camlot No More

Priority One and the Acquistion of WesCorp by Federal Regulators

On January 1, 2007, the date Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. began his appointment as President of Priority One Credit Union, he inherited a credit union that was in the process of growing and whose Net Income exceeded $172 million. For all intents and purposes, the credit union was financially stable and the future looked promising. 

This past Saturday, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times, describing the seizure by Federal regulators of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union of San Dimas ["Wescorp"] and the U.S. Central Federal Credit Union of Lenexa, Kansas. The take-over is going to have an impact on all credit unions, including negative ramifications on those credit unions that are struggling financially. 

But what will this mean to Priority One whose business is in decline as a result of poor management and the erratic and failed and business decisions of its incompetent President and ignorant, Board of Directors. 

He started his appointment on January 1, 2007, inheriting a thriving credit union free of internal conflict and few external adversities. So what will he do, not that Westcorp seized? 


March 14, 2009

Regulators seize top two U.S. 'wholesale' credit unions Western Corporate Federal Credit Union of San Dimas and U.S. Central Federal Credit Union of Lenexa, Kansas, are placed under conservatorship to stem mounting losses caused by mortgage-related bonds.

By David Pierson and William Heisel
March 21, 2009

Federal regulators seized control Friday of the nation's two largest "wholesale" credit unions -- with combined assets of $57 billion -- in an emergency move to stabilize the nonprofit banking system used by 90 million Americans.

The National Credit Union Administration abruptly placed Western Corporate Federal Credit Union of San Dimas and U.S. Central Federal Credit Union of Lenexa, Kan., under conservatorship to stem mounting losses caused by mortgage-related bonds.

The so-called wholesale, or corporate, credit unions serve the broader industry and not individual consumers.

Western Corporate is one of 27 wholesale credit unions that serve the nation's 8,000 retail credit unions.

U.S. Central is even larger, serving Western Corporate and the other wholesalers.

Despite the seizures, the NCUA said service would not be interrupted for either institution. U.S. Central holds $34 billion in assets and Western Corporate has $23 billion in assets and 1,100 retail credit union members.

Though it has not experienced the same financial pain as banks, the traditionally conservative credit union industry has suffered significant losses in recent months after venturing into new areas such as commercial loans.

Both U.S. Central and Western Corporate have seen a dramatic drop in their capital positions because of the rapid loss in value of their mortgage-backed securities holdings.

Friday's action was taken after the federal government completed an analysis of mortgage- and asset-backed securities at the nation's corporate credit unions and determined "an unexpectedly high concentration of risk resided only in the two conserved corporate credit unions," the NCUA said.

In January, the government announced that it would guarantee uninsured shares at the corporate credit unions and infuse U.S. Central with $1 billion in capital in response to diminishing liquidity and asset values.

The cost to the newly established insurance fund as a result of the two conserved credit unions' devalued assets is estimated at $1.2 billion apiece, said John McKechnie, a spokesman for the credit union agency.

"All the insured institutions will ultimately have to replenish the funds," McKechnie said. A formula to do so has yet to be determined, he added.

An important measure of credit union health is the ratio of the fair value of investments against the fair value of liabilities. The NCUA wants to see credit unions stay above 3%. Western Corporate was at 3.32% in December 2007.

By December 2008 it had dropped to negative 8.2%. U.S. Central had an even steeper drop, from 1.6% to negative 27.58%.

The credit union agency's rules require it to run financial performance tests on a credit union that drops below 3% every month until it climbs back above that threshold.

Central had $46 billion in assets in March 2008 and was down to $34 billion before the seizure. Western Corporate had dropped from $29.8 billion in assets to $23 billion.

"I think they're trying to stabilize them now before their credit union members start pulling their deposits out," said Bert Ely, a Virginia banking consultant. "This is something that has been building for a long time and the NCUA has had a pretty good handle on it. Obviously they decided that they needed to take more serious measures than they have taken in the past."

Unlike in last year's seizure of IndyMac Bank, none of the credit unions' customers are likely to lose any money with this takeover because of the guaranteed insurance measures.

There has been a lot of consolidation in the industry over the last two years, and at least one of the two credit unions could end up merged with another, Ely said.

The move came unexpectedly to Western Corporate employees late Friday afternoon.

"I was taken by surprise by this just like everyone else," said spokesman Walter Laskos, speaking from his car after he had to turn around on the freeway and head back to his office. "There's a number of [federal regulators] at our corporate headquarters right now."

Another spokesman for the credit union, Kevin Lytle, said the regulators at the headquarters announced that they had already installed a new chief operating officer.

"We're just trying to figure out what's next," Lytle said.

A spokesperson for U.S. Central could not be reached.

Currently, Priority One Credit Union is juggling several problems, all which have simultaneously undermining the credit union's ability to develop new business. Inexplicably, t he credit union's members and potential members, don't seem as interested in what Priority One has to offer as they were in the years before Charles. R. Wiggington, Sr. was appointed President. Another problem is that account closures have increased and are offsetting the number of new accounts opened each month. 

In 2007, he declared he would take Priority One to heights never achieved under his predecessor and last year, he selected without assistance and purchased a $600,000 phone system that has been marred by continual technical problems. What's more, the credit union is having to pay out hundreds of dollars per month, needed to hire technicians to respond to the ongoing issues affecting President Wiggington's phone system. 

Last year, the credit union spend immense amounts on legal fees, primarily to protect the President when he was accused of sexually harassing a former employee. The credit union also paid out a large sum to the investigator who conducted inquiries which in time proved the President had in fact violated federal law. 

Recently and out of desperation, he asked the staffs of all branches to please submit suggestions on how to reduce spending and increase new business. 

The problems he's introduced have not only serve to deplete the credit union but have caused it to lose its competitive edge. What's more, his illegal acts and business failures have all been sanctioned and subsequently, covered-up by the ignorant Board of Directors. 

Last year in an effort to create the appearance of success, the President borrowed $20 million from Priority One's line-of-credit, something no prior President had ever done. The reasoning behind his decision to immerse the credit union in added debt was to apply the loan to the credit union's net income and thus create the appearance that net income had increased as a result of new business. Nothing could be further from the truth. What's more, the credit union has been forced to pay $30,000 to $33,000 each month, in interest alone while the principle remains unpaid, to date. 

So what will President President Wiggington do to ensure Priority One is able to pay its fair share to the NCUA and needed to stabilize the losses which impacted Wescorp?

Pinnocchio and the Green Eyed Monster


Priority One Credit Union's President, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., has spent the last two-years expending tremendous energy, time and credit union monies creating charades and ruses used in the termination of employees he believes are part of an underground network of rebel leaders and their confederates. For President Wiggington, gathering actual evidence needed to implicate employees in wrong doing is too laborious a process so with the help of Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, and Board Chairperson, Diedra Harris-Brooks, the always malicious President prefers creating evidence and disparaging rumors that taint an employee's reputation. The President seems adhere to the adage that rules are made to be broken. 

The following, rather complicated account, involves two employees, one an employee of Priority One and the other, an employee of Associated Management Company (Associated Management), the former collection agency who the credit union contracted for several years until the President's recent termination of their services. 

The incident, which we describe below, occurred in 2008 and was brought to our attention by employees of the credit union and of Associated Management Company. The account describes a plot, forged by President Wiggington, in which he tried to implicate three employees of wrong doing. His accusations were unsubstantiated by evidence- tangible or circumstantial. 
At the start of 2008, President Wiggington began complaining that Associated Management was not recuperating sufficient monies from their collection efforts to justify the monthly charges for their services. He also revealed that he believed the agency was not turning over all monies collected from delinquent accounts. He explained that he had decided to create an in-house collection department. By doing so, he would eliminate the money spent on the services of an outside contractor and surmised that in-house collectors would be more motivated to collect delinquent monies than would be an outside agency. 

In June 2008, he asked AVP of Lending, Patricia Loiacano, to meet with Mike Lee, the owner of Associated Management, and hand him a letter that Rodger Smock composed and the President signed, informing him that Priority One would not be renewing its agreement with the agency. 


The President would later add that he had learned that Associated Management did not perform in depth background checks of its employees. He pointed out that the agency did not finger print newly hired staff. We can't explain  why President Wiggington suddenly became concerned with the credit union's security and why he began questioning the integrity of the collection agent. 

While Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. served as Vice President of Operations, he with the help of Mike Lee, the owner of Associated Management, committed collusion when the two repossessed an automobile from a member who had signed a repayment agreement so that he could become current with his automobile loan payments. 

At the time, member Danny Wafa, became delinquent with his automobile loan payments due to illness in his family. The illness forced him to frequently travel out of state to care for this relative. At the time, the supervisor of the collections department visited Mr. Wafa at his home to draw up a repayment plan that would help Mr. Wafa become current with loan payments and avoid having his automobile from being repossessed. The member signed the tentative agreement and his supervisor returned to the South Pasadena branch to obtain the approval of his supervisor, Mike Lee. 

While reviewing the agreement, Mr. Lee noticed that Mr. Wafa's car was a BMW- Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. vehicle of choice. Mr. Lee visited Mr. Wiggington in his office, informed him about the repayment agreement and because the car was a BMW, asked if he wanted the agreement approved or if he would prefer having the vehicle repossessed. Mr. Wiggington ordered that the agreement not be approved and the vehicle confiscated. 

Both Mr. Lee and Mr. Wiggington drew up documents to create the appearance that the automobile had been sent to auction to be sold. But the vehicle was never physically sent to auction. The automobile was picked up and delivered to Mr. Wiggington and ownership transferred to his name. The proof that the vehicle was never sent to auction lies in the fact that when a vehicle is repossessed and afterwards, sold, any money obtained from the sale is applied to the outstanding (unpaid) balance. In the case of Mr. Wafa's unpaid loan balance remained unchanged and there is no record of money being applied to the unpaid amount after the date the automobile was repossessed. 

Another incident that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. was aware of is that Mr. Lee repossessed a pick-up truck from one of the credit union's members and afterwards, transferred ownership to his daughter. His daughter's loan file containing records of the repossessed truck remain in South Pasadena.  

In 2008, Mr. Lee repossessed a beautiful Mercedes Benz and afterwards, offered the automobile to Clayton, one of his employees, before sending the vehicle off to auction. 

Two days later, Arial, an employee in the IT Department learned about the repossessed vehicle and informed Frank, a partner of Mr. Lee, that he would like to purchase the Mercedez Benz, but would have to first the automobile which was being stored at an impound yard. Frank informed Arial that the impound yard doesn't allow inspections. Arial continued to insist he must inspect the automobile before he could agree to buy it. 

In the meantime, Mr. Lee sold the vehicle for $5000 to one of Clayton's friends. When Arial discovered the automobile had been sold he became incensed and lodged a complaint with Frank. An agitated Mr. Lee immediately contacted Clayton and angrily told him he would never offer another employee of his company the opportunity to purchase a repossessed automobile. 
Mr. Lee's uncontrolled emotional reaction which tried to blame Clayton was an absurd and irrational reaction to the blunder he alone committed when he chose to offer the vehicle to one of his staff. This was actually an honest transaction unlike the repossession of Mr. Wafa's automobile or repossession of the truck whose ownership he transferred to his daughter. 

Clayton reminded Mr. Lee that it was he, who offered the Mercedes Benz which was scheduled to be sent to auction. What's more, Mr. Lee sold the vehicle to Clayton's friend. In the meantime, Ariel visited President Wiggington in his office and complained that he had been duped out of purchasing the automobile. The hypocritical President who years earlier took possession of Mr. Wafa's car, became incensed and took Arial's side. 

President Wiggington called Frank and concocted a story, accusing the loan collector of funding fraudulent loans. The President's story was absurd and completely untrue because Clayton had no experience or rights to fund loans and was unfamiliar of the procedures to do so. But President Wiggington's story was about to become even more preposterous.  He told Frank that Clayton seemed, in his opinion, to live far above his means. 

It's nothing less than amazing, that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., the man who told the Board he had no idea his hand-picked AVP, Liz Campos, had been kiting and who was found guilty of sexual harassment and who took possession of a member's automobile while defrauding the credit union of money that would have been obtained from the sale of the car, was now accusing others of stealing?  And how did the President know that Clayton lived above his means when he had no personal access to Clayton's payroll records? Clayton after all, was not an employee of the credit union. 

The President's story became even more outlandish as he told Frank that Clayton was being aided by the Assistant Branch Manager in Los Angeles and former Real Estate Loan Officer once assigned to South Pasadena and also the same woman the President sexually harassed for a number of years. 

The President also dragged Anwar, a temporary employment of the credit union assigned to the Van Nuys branch, into his absurd story and accused Anwar of aiding Clayton and the former Real Estate Loan Officer. 

The President concocted an amazing story; a fantastical conspiracy in which he targeted employees he was jealous of. It was no secret that he was jealous of Clayton and Anwar because of the attention they drew from women. It was also logistically impossible for the three employees to physically perpetrate loan fraud. Clayton was assigned to the collections department located in South Pasadena. The Real Estate Loan Officer had been working out of the Los Angeles branch on the corner of Central and Florence Avenues in South Centrol Los Angeles while Anwar was assigned to the Van Nuys branch. 
The five bad loans funded by the Van Nuys branch had all been reviewed and approved by Assistant Branch Manager, Neelam Verma. After approving these, she ordered Anwar to fund them, however, Anwar had absolutely nothing to do with approving them. 

The President's story was nothing more than another of his emotionally-driven ruses designed to slander employee reputations but his plot failed and attests to what an incompetent conniver he really is. 

After leveling his accusations against Clayton, the Real Estate Loan Officer, and Anwar, Frank called Mike Lee. The owner of Associated Management never demanded evidence needed to solidify the President's wild accusations and instead, called Clayton and informed him that he was suspected of conspiring to process fraudulent loans. Clayton not only denied having been involved in any such activity but he told Mr. Lee that it was impossible for him to do so since he did not possess the knowledge needed to fund loans nor did he have the security clearance to do so. 

We also believe that the President targeted the former Real Estate Loan Officer because she never responded to his sexualized commentaries made to her while she was assigned to the South Pasadena branch. 

A few weeks later, the President terminated Anwar for funding 5 bad loans when he should have instead terminated the Van Nuys Assistant Branch Manager, Neelam Varma. 

A few months later, he terminated the former Real Estate Loan Officer, allegedly for writing a bad check. In 2007, he was incensed because his hand-picked AVP, Liz Campos, was terminating for kiting and sustaining more than 24 NSF incidents on her Priority One checking account but he somehow felt justified to terminate the former Loan Officer for a single bounced check. 
President Wiggington is a man whose moral compass lies shattered on the floor. His proclivities are character assassination and harassment. As business declines, his focus is concocting scathing plots that victimize people who in his mind, jar his twisted sensibilities. Underneath his cracked veneer is a confused little boy who is quite incapable of discerning right from wrong and who lacks the self-discipline to bring his behaviors and verbalizations into check. 

"It is better to encounter a mother bear whose cubs have been taken than keep company with a fool."
King Solomon

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