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Monday, March 9, 2009

Human Resources: Wiggington's Weapon of Choice


Since his appointment as President and CEO of Priority One Credit Union on Jaunary 1, 2007, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. has carried out a campaign which has targeted employees he wishes banished from the credit union. In 2007 and 2008, his goal was to rid the credit union of employees who had once been loyal to his predecessor, William E. Harris. 

In 2008, he altered his focus, this time targeting employees he believed had provided testimonies to an investigator and which confirmed President Wiggington had sexually harassed a former employee. 

Since the inception of this blog this past January, the President is now focusing flushing out a group of invisible employees who he says are jealous that he was named President and CEO by the credit union's Board of Directors. 

Starting in mid-2007, the President began divulging publicly the names of employees he had terminated and employees he intended to terminate. His disclosures were a violation of the credit union's policy governing confidentiality but thankfully, Human Resources is not about to counsel the talkative President about anything related to his abuse of policies. Furthermore, he has found protection from the credit union's inept Board of Directors who in 2008, squashed all evidence proving that he sexually harassed a former employee. Fortunately, one of the Board members who voted for his termination, disclosed how Board Chair Diedra Harris-Brooks pushed for the President's reinstatement which succeeded when she along with three allies outvoted the two dissenting votes that demanded his removal. 

The Credit Union's Human Resources Department is headed by Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock. Though Mr. Smock has periodically described himself as a "peacemaker" he is actually the President's personal tool and has willingly ignored enforcing the very policies he is appointed to oversee. It is through Mr. Smock that the President has succeeded in persecuting and harassing employees and often utilizing fraudulent documented evidence by which to seal employee terminations. 

What Mr. Smock has done is violate his role as Director over Human Resources Department which was intended to serve as an impartial liaison between the credit union and employees. Instead, he has intentionally allowed the President to use the department as a vehicle through which targets, victimizes and ultimately, terminates employees Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. imagines are his enemies. 


It is a known fact at the credit union's main branch in South Pasadena, California, that in 2007, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. forged a plot to persecute, demean and eventually, terminate the Director of Marketing. The reason his plot is common knowledge at the main branch is because President Wiggington spent weeks in early 2008, boasting publicly, while sitting in the Consumer Loan Department, about how he believed the Marketing Director was the author of an anonymous letter sent to a Director of the Board, exposing one of hand-picked AVP's of kiting. At the time, he bragged that he knew without evidence that she was the author and that he terminated her using the excuse her position was being phased out. 

He also boasted about terminating D. Centeno, a former Branch Manager of the Van Nuys office after Mr. Centeno discovered that the former Branch Manager, Sylvia Perez, had allowed her staff to violate state banking standards when counting money. Mrs. Perez was so offended, she complained to her "friend", President Wiggington, who ordered D. Centeno's termination using false and unbased allegations. 

The President also openly slandered former business development representative, C. Freed. On the day of her termination, Ms. Freed demanded evidence proving the allegations leveled against her by the credit union but Rodger Smock refused to provide her with the basis for her removal merely stating that the "allegations against you stand as they are." In the documentation she received during her termination, Mr. Smock noted that C. Freed's termination was "voluntary" and "mutually agreed to." 

In December 2006, Mr. Smock was present at Carmine's restaurant in South Pasadena during the Loan Department's annual Christmas party. During the gathering, Charles R. Wiggngton, Sr. made several sexualized-charged comments to one of the employees while Mr. Smock laughed boisterously. 


During the months of September and October 2006, then Burbank Branch Manager, Liz Campos, incurred over 24 separate NSF events to her credit union checking account.  In early October the then Vice President of Operations, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. announced that Mrs. Campos was being promoted to the post of AVP which would become effective on January 1, 2007. Later, that same month, while standing at the coffee machine located in the employee lounge room, Mr. Wiggington loudly told Rodger Smock that he was going to have to speak to Mrs. Campos about her numerous checking account which had been overdrawn numerous times "during the last two months." Its interesting that he chose to discuss confidential information about an employees account while in the lounge room and in the presence of several employees. 

On January 1, 2007, Mrs. Campos began her role as AVP but in March 2007, then Board Director, David Davidson, received an anonymous letter exposing Mrs. Campos checking account abuses. The Director delivered the letter to the credit union's attorney, William Adler, and Mr. Adler contacted Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, ordering an investigation of the allegations. 

During the brief investigation which followed and included an audit of Mrs. Campos' checking account, it was discovered that she had been kiting- a federal offense. She had written numerous checks for amounts exceeding her account balances using checking accounts held at three different institutions. It was also discovered that every one of her NSF fees charged to her Priority One checking account, had been reversed. 

When asked if he had been aware of the abuses, the President denied all knowledge though as stated previously, in October 2006 he openly and in the presence of several employees discussed Mrs. Campos' abuses with Rodger Smock while standing in the South Pasadena lounge room. Furthermore, at the time the abuses occurred, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. was Vice President of Operations and the only person who could authorize the reversal of NSF fees charged to employee checking accounts. When asked if he reversed the NSF fees, Mr. Wiggington told the credit union's attorney that the fees had been reversed by the Member Services Department without his knowledge. His statement was a lie. 

What we find incredulous is that despite having incurred more than 25 NSF events in a 60-day period, Ms. Campos was promoted by Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. to the post of AVP and with the promotion, given a substantial increase in salary. We think this may be one of a few incidents in which the President is actually generous though at the same time unethical and corrupt. 

What's more, Rodger Smock was fully aware of Ms. Campos' abuses and as the Director of Human Resources, should have informed the President and Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, that Mrs. Campos could not be promoted. Mr. Smock chose to turn a blind eye to the abuses and to what turned out to be a violation of federal law. 

In October 2006, the President also informed then Director of Lending, Aaron Cavazos, that he would be promoted to AVP effective January 1, 2007. Mr. Cavazos was known by the staff of the Loan Department for taken 2 to 3 hour lunches, sometimes returning to inebriated, and for harassing and retaliating against employees he didn't like. He, like President Wiggington, was known for making sexualized remarks to both male and female staff members. 

During the years of 2005 through 2008, numerous complaints were filed with Rodger Smock, describing abuses perpetrated by Mr. Cavazos yet the Director of Human Resources chose not to investigate the complaints or enforce those policies which had been violated by Mr. Cavazos. 

What's more, whenever employees complained to Mr. Smock, the aged Director never documented what he was told later asserting that he doesn't document complaints because "I retain everything to memory." 

The credit union's Employee Handbooks clearly states that all complaints will be investigated and that once the investigation is completed, the complaining employee will be informed of the remedial action taken by the credit union. NO EMPLOYEE EVER LODGING A COMPLAINT WITH MR. SMOCK HAS EVER RECEIVED A RESPONSE WHICH ADVISED THEM HOW THEIR COMPLAINT WAS RESOLVED. 

Of course, if Mr. Smock wishes to contest our accusations, all he has to do is provided documentation proving he recorded each complaint and showing that he investigated and resolved each grievance. Anything less than this, won't do.

Prior to leaving the credit union, the employee who had been subject of Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.'s unwanted sexualized comments and gestures, distanced herself from the corrupt officer. Noticing a change in her demeanor, the President began publicly mocking her attired. Tired of his verbalizations, she visited Mr. Smock's office and complained but the Director again, refused to document her complaint though he did try and excuse the President's behaviors by telling her the President was "only joking" and "maybe you misunderstood what he said." 

In 2005, the employee was further victimized by her then supervisor, Aaron Cavazos, who began spreading rumors criticizing the employee's abilities as a Loan Officer and soon, began making fun of her attire. His campaign disparaging her person was witnessed by employees of the Consumer and Real Estate Loan Departments. 

Mr. Cavazos campaign escalated shortly after he was contacted by his friend, Mike Fahim of CU Partners who informed him that his company was about to lay-off several employees. Mr. Fahim told Mr. Cavazos that he had an excellent candidate for the position of Real Estate Loan Officer though there was no available positions for another Real Estate Loan Officer in the South Pasadena branch.
Mr. Cavazos complained to Mr. Smock that his current Real Estate Loan Officer was not working out and that he questioned her ability to carryout her assigned responsibilities. Mr. Smock approved transferring the employee to the Consumer Loan Department and replacing her with the new Real Estate Loan Officer recommended by Mr. Fahim. 

Is it coincidental that the highly competent Real Estate Loan Officer's performance suddenly changed at about the time Mr. Fahim recommended that Mr. Cavazos hire one of his staff? 

Unlike the former Real Estate Loan Officer, her replacement was provided assistance to help her with the desk. Despite having asked for assistance for more than a year, Mr. Cavazos refused to provide the former loan officer with any help. 

Irked because the former Real Estate Loan Officer complained to Human Resources about his alleged abuses, Mr. Cavazos continued his attacks on the officer and on September 20, 2005, accused her of insubordination. Mr. Smock suspended her for 3 days. In a memorandum dated 9/15/05, sent to Human Resources, the former Real Estate Loan Officer wrote: 

I have been suspended by my employer for alleged statements made against Aaron Cavazos, though I informed my employer that the accusations are all untrue.

On Monday, September 12, 2005, at about 8:40 a.m. Aaron Cavazos called me to his desk and told me that I had been replaced by a new employee and that I would no longer serve as Priority One’ real estate lending officer. Shocked, I returned to my desk. Later that morning I asked Mr. Cavazos if I could speak with him, in private. He said that I could and the two of us walked to Mr. Smock’s office.

During the meeting which followed, I told him I was not angry with him but in an angry voice, he said, “I dare you to dispute my decision with the way you messed up that desk [real estate desk]!” He continued, accusing me of having committed several errors. He said that in processing the loan for Mr. Layarte, I took too long to complete the signing. I replied that he had provided me with an incorrect address for the member which I entered into the Title Report. I later had to correct the reference in both the Title Report and the AVM. I told him that after discovering the error, I ordered a corrected title which affected the property value, forcing Mr. Layarte to obtain an appraisal.

I proceeded to explain that after a corrected title was received by our office. I discovered that there were 2 liens of Mr. Layarte’s property, both of which had to be resolved. As we conversed I was able to provide ample justification for every one of his allegations.

Frustrated and angry, Aaron ignored everything I said and proceeded to informed me that I am to assist the Consumer Lending sector of the Loan Department and any branch personnel calling to request assistance with consumer loans. Irked by the way he spoke to me, I told him that before moving, I would like to return the Real Estate folders I left atop my desk, to the File Room, but Aaron raised his voice and yelled that I am to “sit and do as you are told!”

The meeting over, I left Mr. Smock’s office and returned to Georgina Duenas’ desk where I had been told I am to sit until a new desk is prepared for me. I remained seated at her desk for about 30 minutes without having anything to do. I rose from my seat and walked into Mr. Cavazos’ cubicle, asking if I could at least file the deed folders in the cabinet located just behind from where he sits. He said that I could.

On Tuesday, September 13, 2005 at approximately 8:20 a.m. I entered the Loan Department. As I walked across the room towards Georgina’s desk, I continued to speak to my cousin who lives in New Orleans, using my personal cellular. Because it was before 8:30 a.m. no other Loan Department personnel had arrived at their desks.

During our conversation, I told my cousin that “some people are warriors” and thus “resilient.” I was not aware that Aaron sat quietly in his cubicle listening to my conversation. The sound of his angry voice startled me, as he ordered me to end my call so that he could speak to me. I told my cousin I would call her back and followed Mr. Cavazos to Mr. Smock’s office.

Once inside, Aaron closed the door behind us and said that he would not tolerate my accusations that he is racist. and even alluded to the fact that Mr. Harris is Black. I was shocked because in choosing to eavesdrop, he took my conversation completely out of context. I denied his accusation, but to no avail. He accused me of having a negative attitude and of adversely affecting my co-workers and said he would not tolerate my behavior.

During the day, several employees asked me about the altercation with Mr. Cavazos. I was surprised that they knew as no one was present in the department at the time the incident occurred. I was told that Aaron had gone about the office telling co-workers and managers that I accused him of racism.

I know that the reasons why I was demoted and the allegations used to support my suspension, were all untrue.

I now only ask that you file this document in my personnel folder though I would like to speak to you about what I have documented, at a mutually convenient time. Thank you.

Though he received the Loan Officer's letter, Mr. Smock never acknowledged or replied to any of her statements. Additionally, then Vice President of Operations, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. complained to Mr. Harris about the Officer, describing her as insubordinate and disruptive. Mr. Wiggington also informed the Board that the Loan Officer had been been placed on suspension, a fact they should not have been privy to. 

In spite of the well-documented record of abuses, Mr. Cavazos like Mrs. Campos was promoted to AVP effective January 1, 2007. Evidently, Charles R. Wiggington., Sr. promotes people who like himself, are guilty of misconduct and egregious violations of credit union policies. 

Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. always resorts to the use of the same tactics making him predictable. When selecting people to promote, he considers only whether he likes them or not. Competency and ethics are inconsequential to the man who judges people by whether or not, they are his "buddy." Furthermore, his abuses are well protected by Rodger Smock and apparently, sanctioned by the Board of Directors. Rodger Smock's decisions appear based purely on what is politically advantageous to himself. 

Defaming employees and subjecting them to harassment is what has come to characterize President Wiggington's mode of administration. In his regime, no one holds value if they are not in some way feeding his bloated ego. It must be awful to be Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. 

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Dancing Piggly said...

Sir Charles is guilty of human resources mayhem. He uses his position as CEO and the powers of Human Reources to harrass employees who he feels are out to "get him."

In reality employees want to do a good job but they are leery of his backstabbing tactics. If anything goes awry Sir Wiggy is quick to blame others.

I suggest if the credit union posts red-ink Sir Wiggy look directly in the mirror to find the party responsbile for the negative bottom-line.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm mystified at all of the round about methods the CEO used to replace "his enemies."

In California, we have employment at will. This means either the employer or the employee may terminate an employment relationship without cause and without notice.

All the CEO would have to do was to say the now departed ones was something like "I'm taking the credit union in a different direction and you do not fit with the team that is going forward."

End of employment; escort now former employee out of the building; roll closing credits.

Of course, this would require some degree of personal integrity and courage to take such an action; personality traits that seem to be lacking with the current CEO.

Reading the blog is like watching a train wreck in super slow motion; it is so sweet and juciy and morbid, all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

This is like watching a really bad train wreck, in slow motion. This is not the US Airways heroic crash landing in the Hudson. Who needs Ugly Betty with drama like this.

Anonymous said...

that is so weird I just said that!!

Gary said...

Can a class action suit be brought against Wiggington? The credit union has lost money and is threatening employee jobs.

Lexington Steele said...

Sir Charles Wiggington has many admirable qualities......... I just can't think of any.

Oh wait, I just thought of one. He can turn a wonderfully run credit union into a train wreck within a very short timeframe.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wiggly brain is a straight out lier, John!!!!!! I remember the situation with this BMW and Mr. Wafa as a matter of fact I can get Mr Wafa's phone #. He attempted to pay his delinquent account but was told by someone in Collections that the vehicle has been sold. Mr wiggles is an immature adolescent totally ghetto style, he needs to be prosecuted for his crimes. or should we give him a chance and let him sell tacos on the corner in south central l.a. or pasadena???i will get mr wafas # and give 2 u john.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wiggles and Mr. Schmock are liars! And if you lie, you will steal and if you steal, you will kill.

Anonymous said...

i am very glad that this incident between Mr. Panson/Chaparo/Kabron Cavazos and Mr. Piggly Wiggly happened. Because Cavazos had it made there at p1cu for too long. what i mean by that is because he was constantly on the phone with his own clients trying to sell them houses, when he had a call form a p1cu member he would tell the loan dept staff to take a message and would never return their call unless it was a popular member of mr. harris's or wiggles.aaron didn't give a damn about p1cu, it was a perfect place to run his own business. of course he worked on assignments that were reviewed by harris and wiggles. hello! other than that he ran his own show. and not to mention his 2-4 hour lunche/drinking sprees. it was very obvious when he was drinking with that jacked up little laugh he had. hee hee hee! donkey!!!!

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