VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW
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.
LIVE BY THE LIE
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.
THE BLAME GAME
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.
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?
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.