A NOT SO PRETTY TRUTH
Our reporting has evolved from only exposing acts and abuses committed by President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr, which we believe are contributing to Priority One's decline, into a study in abherrent human behavior.
Though the President spent 2007 and 2008, committing rampant abuses and exceeding his authority, 2009 is being characterized by his reactions to disclosures made in this blog. It's apparent, that neither he or the Board of Directors ever thought that their acts were being observed or that they might eventually elicit a response to their decisions and behaviors. Their inability to understand the principle of cause and effect further attests to how ignorant these people really are.
SUPPRESSING THE TRUTH
Prior to January 2009, President Wiggington often walked through the various departments located int he main branch in South Pasadena, California, divulging the names of employees he terminated and the reasons for their terminations. His disclosures were violations of confidentiality, violations of the Privacy Act and all together, illegal. Thanks to the corrupt Board of Directors and equally corrupt Human Resources Department, the President escaped being terminated and sued.
The President also recently refused to withhold posting March's Monthly Income Statements which is a violation of state law. The President evidently forgot that the credit union's financials are posted each quarter on the NCUA's website. And though the monthly reports provides more specific information about the credit union's individual expenses, the quarterly reports provides sufficient data verifying the credit union's performance.
In their quarterly filing to the NCUA, Priority One reported that "Net Income" for the quarter ending March 31, 2007, totaled an amazing negative -$3,470,435.00. That is unprecedented in Priority One's 80-year history. Of that amount, -$1,271,678.00 is Priority One's portion of the NCUSIF Stabilization Expense owed to the NCUA. This leaves a negative balance of
On April 14, 2009, Human Resources issues forms to be read and signed by every employee at each branch and agreeing that they would not divulge confidential information and that they would report co-workers who they observed violating confidentiality. Doesn't sound like this will cause any problems, does it? On April 18th, a notice was posted on the credit union's website disclosing the annual meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 27, 2009.
Expect the meeting to be tightly controlled. The President and Board Chair will make sure to limit disclosures to what was achieved throughout 2008 and what lies awaits the credit union throughout 2009
if you expect the President and Board Chair or for that matter, the Board's Treasurer or the Supervisory Committee Chair to talk about Priority One's losses or provide insight into what they've done wrong in directing the credit union, the you will be disappointed.
The President and Board Chair are despots. They control what they want member-owners to know. As Chairperson, Mrs. Harris-Brooks is supposed to posses general knowledge about Priority One's operations and she's to act in good faith while exercising due diligence to ensure the credit union functions in accordance to all policies and achieving its identified goals. But Mrs. Harris-Brooks is not a Chairperson who is about to be inconvenienced by something like ethics or accountability. She after all is obsessed with control and covering up the illegal activities perpetrated by and under, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Harris-Brooks does not embody "integrity, business sense or morality" required of a Director. She also shirks accountability for the blunders committed by her hand-picked President and sanctioned by the Board. Under Mrs. Harris-Brooks none have suffered the consequences for the refusal by the President and the Human Resources department to abide to policies and procedures. What's more, not Mrs. Harris-Brooks, O. Glen Saffold, Thomas Gathers, Bobby Thomas, Joe Marchica, Janice Irving, or Richard Hale can be viewed as responsible or competent and none has done anything that has lead the credit union into a state of success.
Furthermore, not all of the Directors are committed or dedicated to satisfying their assigned responsibilities. To the contrary, some of the Directors habitually only attend some of thee Board's monthly meetings. A review of the Board's minutes will easily prove who is attending meetings and who is not.
As we've reported previously, education seems inconsequential to the Board which we believe is contributing to the credit union's ongoing decline. According
The Credit Union Department of Texas' policy states that "Credit unions operate in a dynamic, highly regulated environment, and the need for informed, competent directors has never been greater." Priority One's Directors are uninformed by choice. When sent to educational junkets to other cities, states and countries, they forgo classes and conferences to act like tourists.
The President, the Board Chair and the entire Board of Directors, has spent less time developing strategies that generate upward mobility than they've spent involved in cover-ups and distractions used to deter attention from the horrendous failures caused by Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. inept decisions.
Prior to his paid suspension in 2008, during which an investigation was conducted to determine if President Wiggington violated or didn't sexually harass a former employee, he often verbalized criticisms against Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, and the other Directors. Here are some of his most memorable statements:
- "They're (the Board of Directors) not too bright."
- "Diedra is an ass."
- "The board doesn't tell me what to do."
- "Diedra doesn't tell me what to do."
Clearly, his relationship with the Board is disingenuous. The fact is, the Board doesn't understand the credit union's financials. According to President Wiggington, they don't understand the reports that are provided to them and he must constantly interpret for them.
In 2008, the Board approved borrowing $20 million from Priority One's line-of-credit based on the President's insistence that he needed to the money to reverse losses when the purpose of the loan was to increase the amount of Net Income on paper, though at a monthly cost of $30,000 to $33,000 per month in interest payments, alone.
However, President Wiggington is incorrect when he says "no one tells" him what to do. Diedra Harris-Brooks does tell him what to do. After all, she reinstated him and covered up the evidence he sexually harassed a former employee. There is no denying, he made a pact with a devil and he now owes her his allegiance, insincere as it might be.
In our previous post, we published the Credit Union's notice, posted on their webiste and inviting members about the impending annual meeting which is scheduled to take place in South Pasadena on May 27, 2009.
Annual Meeting Notice Wednesday May 27, 2009
The annual meeting of Priority One Credit Union will be held Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 6:00 PM. The meeting will be held at South Pasadena Headquarters 1631 Huntington Drive South Pasadena CA 91030
At the meeting, the CEO will report on the status of the Credit Union.
In addition, the results of our election will be announced at the Annual Meeting. In accordance with the Credit Union’s bylaws, notice was given to the membership that Nominations by Petition were sought for one (1) vacancy on the Board of Directors, and two (2) vacancies on the Supervisory Committee. Nominations for these vacancies closed at midnight on February 28, 2009, and no nominations by petitions were received. Thus, in accordance with the bylaws, the nominees selected by the Nominating Committee for each of the positions will be deemed elected.
Except as provided above, no other new business will be conducted at the Annual Meeting.
Priority One Credit Union
Article IV, Meeting of Members, Section 400. Annual Meeting.
(a) The annual meeting OF THE MEMBERS shall be held each year in the month of May at 6:00 p.m. on a Wednesday to be determined by the Board of Directors unless such day shall fall on a legal holiday. In such event, the meeting shall be held at the same hour on the next succeeding business day that is not a legal holiday. Annual meetings shall be held at the principal executive office of the credit union or at such other place in the state as may be determined by the Board of Directors and designated in the notice of such meetings.
Though the notice states that "no other new business will be conducted, it is important that Members know that the by-laws all any member to request prior to the meeting, for specific topics to be placed on the agenda for discussion. Did the board forget to include this in their notice? Hardly.
At a time when the credit union is being intensely scrutinized you would think that the Board and Supervisory Committee would be more flexible and allow the discussion of topics not on their agenda. After all, they've proven no difficulty in defying polices, procedures and decorum to realize their purposes. If you have any questions, please visit the California Department of Financial Institution's website at:
You may complete a Complaint Form by visiting
Complaints and concerns can be submitted in writing to:
Department of Financial Institutions
1810 13th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
The President and Board Chair have exerted tremendous effort to hide the unethical and illegal acts they've committed. At this stage, its tantamount to hiding and elephant under a leaf.