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SHOWN TO THE RIGHT, ARE THE CONTENTS OF THE 11/27/12 LETTER SIGNED BY PRIORITY ONE CREDIT UNION PRESIDENT, CHARLES R. WIGGINGTON, SR. IN COMPLIANCE TO THE TERMS OF SETTLEMENT AGREED TO BY THE CREDIT UNION AND A MEMBER WHO SUED THE CREDIT UNION, ALLEGING THEIR WILLFUL VIOLATION OF THE PRIVACY ACT.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hiding Facts and Pushing Lies

OUR CRITICS

We too often find the infrequent comments posted on this blog by Priority One Credit Union's President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.'s defenders to be nothing less than incredible. 
They apparently suffer from tunnel vision and an inability to differentiate between right and wrong. Inexplicably, they possess the ability to ignore his well-documented history of abuses, business failures and horrendous personal behaviors which include sexually harassing a former employee and repossessing a member's automobile and afterwards, transferring ownership to himself without paying any money for the vehicle. His acquisition of the car defrauded the credit of money that should have been gotten from the vehicle's sale at auction and then applied to the unpaid balance due on the loan. 

Despite these and other atrocious acts, there are a few people who post on this blog, and consider the President a victim. Many of them apparently lack the ability to differentiate between right and wrong and lack the ability to comprehend the gravity of what the President has done and continues to do. Even his lies to the DFI seem of no concern to his handful of proponents who see the President through rose-colored glasses. 

Two comments recently posted by readers state that Priority One's employees are afraid they may lose their jobs if they comment about the President's behaviors. We understand though we find it interesting that the President has never shown any reservation about publicly disparaging employees, members and vendors.  

We recently received an email from an employee of Priority One who stated that Human Resources "clerk", Esmeralda Sandoval, recently told several employees that if they are unhappy with the way the President manages the company, them they should "move on." 

Miss Sandoval is apparently too obtuse to comprehend that what people don't like about the President is more than the way he chooses to manage the credit union, though that is but one issue, but it is his chronic violations of policy and state and federal laws. His abuses of staff, his indulgence in vicious gossip and his immersion in character assassination, have heavily taxed employees and damaged morale. One would have thought that as a staff member of the Human Resources Department that Miss Sandoval would have understood this. 

Some of the sporadic comments that have been posted are purportedly intended to defend the President by leveling attacks against us and include declarations that they know our identity, that "you better do your job" and that we will be fired sometimes in the near future. The comments apparently are full of assumptions. What his defenders consistently fail to provide is evidence disproving what we report and reducing their statements to nothing more than defensive babbling. We invite any of the President's defenders to please provide evidence disproving anything we've reported since March 2009, though don't expect us to hold our breaths waiting.


THE ELECTION

One of the topics in this post is the 2009 election which was conducted earlier this year to fill this positions which became available on the  Supervisory Committee. 

As we reported in previous posts, late last year the President and Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, conspired to disrupt the election by limiting the number of members who would receive the state-mandated announcement of the election and invitation to nominate themselves to vie for one of the available.seats. They published the mandated notice in the credit union's Winter Newsletter which is only mailed to members who have a checking account and excluding the larger contingent of members who only have a savings account. 

We exposed their plot which forced an emergency meeting at the credit union's main branch in South Pasadena, California. During the meeting, the Board and Supervisory Committee and President Wiggington convened to try and derive a solution. Unable to circumvent the illegal act perpetrated by the President and Board Chair, it was decided to hold a second election which forced the credit union to spend money reprinting ballots, reprinting notices, and of course, having to spend more money needed to mail ballots. The conspiracy concocted by the President and Board Chair forced Priority One to spend money to hold another election, bringing into questions the veracity of the President's statements made during last May's annual meeting in which he said he is reducing spending, "streamling" and "working smarter." The crime perpetrated by the President and Board Chair dispels any notion that either knows anything about "working smarter." 

Some employees spoke to an auditor at the Department of Financial Institutions ("DFI") who confirmed that all members in good standing must receive notice of the upcoming election and an invitation to members, to nominate themselves to vie for a seat on either the Board or Supervisory Committee. 

Before we reported his crime, the President confidently strolled though the South Pasadena branch confidant and jovial. However, the President's mood soured after we exposed his plot and the Board and Supervisory Committee decided to conduct an entirely new election rather than risking the chance that employees could potentially file complaints with the state which could prove costly and embarrassing to the already scandal-ridden credit union. .  

THE DAMAGE 

Though a new election was ordered and more money spent to repeat the electoral process tampered with by the President and Board Chair, there were no nominations submitted for the second election, though former Director, David L. Davidson, did submit his nomination to vie for one of the two seats available on the Supervisory Committee. Clearly, Mrs. Harris-Brooks's and the President's decision to violate state law compromised the integrity of the electoral process which had never been meddled with since the credit union opened for business in 1926. The complete lack of response by members may indicate that members have lost all interest in the credit union's future and may not want to be associated with the notorious organization. 

The President's and Mrs. Harris-Brooks' plan was to do all in their power to ensure the current Directors and Supervisors remained unchanged. Last year, the President disclosed that the current body of Directors and Supervisors "do everything Diedra wants them to do" and she, in turn, allows the President to realize all his plans- legal and illegal. What's more, this year, David L. Davidson, submitted his nomination. After Mr. Davidson' nomination was received the President complained that Mr. Davidson was not welcome on the Supervisory Committee. It's interesting and telling that both the Preident and Board Chair were threatened by the White former Director. Mr. Davidson, who is an ethical and forthright person, is hated by the President because in 2007, he delivered an anonymous letter mailed to his residence which exposed then AVP, Liz Campos, of incurring more than 24 individual NSF incidents to her Priority One checking account, to credit union attorney, William Adler. Following an investigation that proved Mrs. Campos had been kiting, the attorney ordered her termination. Following her departure, the President complained to employees that he had been "forced to fire Lz" and swore that he would "get Dave [Davidson]." 


REVENGE

In 2007, the President decided to hire a financial planner. He said that adding a financial planner to staff would increase business. He was wrong. 

Mr. Davidson was a financial planner employed by CUSO, When he learned about the position that was being create, Mr. Davidson contacted the President who promptly hired. Because employees of the credit union cannot also serve on it's Board, Mr. Davidson who was a Director, resigned his post. 

While employed, AVP, Lynette Fortson, contacted the President and complained about Mr. Davidson and describing him as rude and unprofessional. At the time, Mrs. Fortson had told some of her staff that she didn't like "that White man."  The President called CUSO, Mr. Davidson's employer and told him he was firing the financial planner. Mr. Davidson was fired by both the credit union and CUSO. The President used treachery and slander to avenge himself against Mr. Davidson. What the morally deprived President refused to acknowledge is that his AVP, Mrs. Campos, violated federal law. Not only should she have been fired, she should have been arrested, booked and prosecuted but the amoral President can never understand because in the end and like spoiled child, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. will do everything and anything to get his way. 


WHO IS JEFFREY CHEN?

When it was decided a second election would be conducted, Director, Bobby Thomas, joined the fray and told the President and Board Chair that he would find a candidate to run in the election which might help to dilute the number of votes that could potentially to to Mr. Davidson. Mr. Thomas found a postal carrier named Jeffrey Chen and easily convinced him that his inclusion on the Supervisory Committee would contribute in ensuring the safety, prosperity and growth of the credit union. Of course, Mr. Thomas' statements were nothing more than a disingenuous sales pitch. 

Mr. Chen was handed a nomination application and asked to submit it by the stipulated deadline. As the last day approached, when all nomination applications had to be submitted, Mrs. Harris-Brooks wrote to the member and asked that he return the completed nomination application as soon as was possible. This was the first and only time, Mrs. Harris-Brooks would write to a nominee and remind them to return their completed application. However, Mr. Chen did not return the application by the stated deadline.

After the deadline, the Board Chair contacted Bobby, asking he visit Mr. Chen and ask that he complete the application. At this point, the credit union was no longer, under the law, able to accept applications, simply because the deadline has passed. But as history has proven time and time again, the agendas of either President Wiggington or Board Chair, Mrs. Harris-Brooks, will never to deterred by something like laws, policies, or rules. 

A few days later and days after the deadline had passed, Mr. Chen visited the South Pasadena branch in South Pasadena and informed the receptionist that he was delivering his nomination to vie for a seat on the Supervisory Committee. According to Loan Department staff who sat a few feet from the reception desk, Mr. Chen became irate when the receptionist informed him that the deadline for submitting nomination applications had passed. Mr. Chen exclaimed that Director, Bobby Thomas, had told him he could submit his nomination application after the deadline. 


While Mr. Chen waited, the receptionist called the President and advised him that Mr. Chen was delivering a nomination application after the deadline date.  The President informed her that this was fine and asked her to thank Mr. Chen. The President arrived at the reception desk a short time later and taking the application in his hand, exclaimed loudly, "I've been waiting for this!"


DIRECTOR JANICE IRVING

The Board Chair, the President and the COO met and decided they would also campaign against Board Director, Janice Irving, because in 2008, Mrs. Irving voted for the termination of the President when evidence proved he sexually harassed a former employee. In the President's words, "It's time for her [Janice Irving] to go." 

Ms. Walker also inducted the assistance of Credit Resolutions Director, Yvonne Boutte, who told (not asked) her staff to make sure that they did not vote for Mrs. Irving, whose seat on the Board had come up for re-election. 


We must now wait for the election results to be made public but clearly, the President and Board Chair had no qualms in violating state laws and proving once again, that ethical conduct means absolutely nothing to the officers of what has become a credit union wallowing in losses. 

We hope members read the biographies which were provided with the ballots. Almost all the biographies were written in the third person, indicating they were not written by the nominees or incumbents. We've recently learned that President Wiggington contracted the services of Turner, Warren, Hwang and Conrad to write the biographies. Wasn't there a single person at the credit union who could write the biographies? Is this expense another way the President is "working smarter?" You may notice that David Davidson's biography is pushed to the bottom half of the page, strategically tucked away on the right hand corner. 

Though exposed of violating state law and forcing a second election, the President and Board Chair could not control their compulsion to corrupt the electoral process and found willing allies in COO, Beatrice Walker; Director, Bobby Thomas; and Credit Resolutions Director, Yvonne Boutte. 


THE PLUNGE

The credit union's financial troubles began after President William E. Harris retired and under his successor, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. Under President Wiggington, the credit union has found itself forced into obscurity. 

Losses are the result of President Wiggington's ineptitude as a leader. He has no comprehension of marketing and his decisions are borne out of his personal belief system.

The intrusion in this year's electoral process was designed to preserve the Board's and Supervisory Committee's current dynamic securely in place. But why? Not one of the Directors or Supervisors has contributed anything that has impelled growth. The reason why Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, and the President found it easy to break the law is because retention of the current Directors and Supervisors insures that the Board Chair's and President's agendas are realized. Election of a new Director or Supervisor could affect the ability of the two officers to realize their plans which are always self-serving and never benefit the credit union.

Since 2007, the President has always blamed other people for the acts he alone, perpetrated. In 2007 and 2008, he attributed the slow down in business on "the mess" he inherited from former President Harris. But wasn't Mr. Harris' last day of employment, December 31, 2006? 

Earlier this year, he found a new scapegoat in CFO, Manny Gaitmaitan, who he described as "difficult", "uncooperative" and "not a team player." 

A visit to NCUA.gov reveals that in the years while Mr. Harris served as President, Priority One remained in the BLACK. In fact, only since President Wiggington became President has Priority One found itself immersed in the RED. The following financial information was obtained from the NCUA's website: 

Net Losses/Gains
September 2009
-$235,353.10

YTD
-4,423,557.82

The month of Net losses and gains for the month of August 2009 was -$184,648.82 while the year-to-date total was -$4,188,204.71. As readers have pointed out, the credit union continues to lose money though the President continues to describe business as "good" and "growing." 

 Some Pre-Wiggington Financials

Net Income Total
Quarter Ending June 2006
$164,358,374

Net Income GAIN - September 2006
+$530,857

September 2006
3rd Qtr

Total Assets
$173,252,329

Net Income (Loss)
+$802,443
December 2006
4th Quarter

Total Assets
$172,250,649

Net Income (Loss)
+$706,969

The financials, shown below, were reported by the credit union for the quarter ending on March 2007. This is the first quarter following the January 1, 2007, appointment of Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. to President. . 

Quarter Ending 3/31/07 
Net Income Total 
$169,246,575

As shown above, during the first quarter of 2007 and under the leadership of President Wiggington, Net Income dropped by approximately $3 million. Why would the cycle of growth have been reversed under President Wiggington? 

On the quarter ending June 30, 2007, Net Income declined to $167,775,277. Why were losses continuing? 

In the quarter ending September 2009, Net Income declined to $165,516,581.

The cycle of losses that have impacted the credit union began almost immediately after Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. began his appointment as President. Coincidence? 

In mid-2008, in a desperate attempt  to improve the credit union's finanical standing on paper, the President obtained approval from the Board allowing him to borrow $20 million from the credit union's line-of-credit. By the end of 2008 and as a result of the $20 million loan, Net Income increased to $179, 651,326. 

Not one of the President's predecessor found it necessary to borrow money from the credit union's line-of credit. Furthermore, none was a slave to vanity. The imprudent decision to borrow $20 million was fueled by pride, to create the impression that Ne Income was $20 million higher than it actually was. But obtainment of the high loan came at a cost, forcing the credit union to pay more than $30,000 per month on interest alone. The President's decision was sanctioned by the ignorant Board of Directors and added to the credit union's debt and dispelling the President's self-authored myth that he is "working smarter." Nothing can be further than the truth. If anything, President Wiggington is working dumber.

Not only has his blundering decisions added to Priority One's debt but the loan did absolutely nothing to alleviate the credit union financial problems and in the end, amounted to just more smoke and mirrors from a man who relies upon deception in his quest to raise pretentious and empty facades. 

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23 comments:

Follower said...

More losses than in August! They got rid of 4 people and they are still losing money. The state should audit what the credit union is spending on, i.e., consulting, trips, catering. Something is just not right. Are deliquencies still rising? If they are increasing then P1 can't get the amount of loans each month, needed to offset losses. Wiggs supporters maybe too dumb to see the black and white on paper but even if they can't the proof is in the cu's financials.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how Wigg can turn around the credit union. Audits often target a few loan files, some teller transactions and other cases regarding exchanges between the credit union and the member. An in depth audit should be performed in which expenses are studied. It would be interesting to compare where expenses are actually be reported by the credit union as it is very possible, that Wigg hides these under catagories where they don't actually belong. It is also makes absolutely no sense that the board has given Wigg the responsibility of find solutions when he without doubt has been the one who has most damaged P1. Hiring a COO may benefit P1, but only if she is competent and proactive. What makes her hiring a bad decision is that it taxes the credit union already declining finances. Firing 4 employees may not have been done to help the credit union but to cover the COO's salary. Not the COO's fault but definitly poor planning by the board and the wigg.

Anonymous said...

The cu's asset size is $4 million less than when Mr Harris left. When the credit union pays off the remaining $10 million they borrowed in 2008, the assets will drop again by another $10 million.
Add to this the negative net income, the credit union's ruined reputation, damaged employee morale, and a boss who defies explanation and P1 is a BIG mess. Really sad and pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it 20 million borrowed?

John said...

You are correct, the credit union originally borrowed $20 million in mid-2008 (from their line of credit). Last month $10 million of that amount were paid-off reducing the remaining unpaid balance to $10million.

As a result of the payment, the credit union's asset size has now been reduced by $10 million. When the remaining $10 million are paid-off the credit union's asset size will again reduce by another $10 million.

Anonymous said...

The election results are out and Mr. Davidson lost. He should file a complaint with the dfi.

Anonymous said...

I want to know Wiggs defenders to explain why the credit union has lost so much money or why he thinks hiring consultants who are working as spies for him and Bea, is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Hiring consultants to spy? are you sure? if it's true-that is stupid!

Anonymous said...

Loren the consultant told the employees that he has worked with Bea while she was at Toyota cu and that they are friends. Employees met with him in groups and he told that the company wanted him to get each employee's personality type. Then after the big meetings he met with some employees and asked each of them about who in the company was unhappy and why. He promised he wouldn't share the info with anyone but he wrote it all in his laptop. If he's not going to share the info why write it down? What's he going to do with it? And why did the cu think its smart to spend over $20,000 profiling employees? He also got annoyed with employees who said things about how the cu is mismanaged.

Anonymous said...

I heard it cost closer to $40,000 to find out the staffs personalities. Way to go bea, got your friend thousands of dollars, hope you and jiggy enjoyed your kick-back.

Anonymous said...

P1 is supposed to help members and employees with their financial lives but Wiggington and the board don't know anything about spending wisely. I bet if they their accounting is audited with a fine tooth comb you will find they over spent on useless things. An audit should confirm how much the cu spent and where. Travel, non-business expenses, and what kind of charges were made to the cu's credit cards. How much was spent on consultants and why. What did they do with what the consultants
found? Did they create new programs and at what cost. As important, how are they reporting what they spend. I bet Wiggington has made cut backs that are meant to look like he's trying to reduce how the spend but will show that he and his other exec's have continued spending with no cutbacks and have added to P1's financial problems. Its not just that they are struggling to get new business or delinq's are up but that they are spending lots and lots of money. Did it ever occur to anyone that firing 4 people was not to cutback money but to offset the new COO's salary?

Anonymous said...

Document, Document, Document everything you see of questionable nature. Long lunches, favoritism, cooking the books, whatever factual evidence you can record will be useful. It won't be long before the DFI comes to talk to the guilty ones.

Anonymous said...

I agree, in the end what you document will be invaluable.

Anonymous said...

The DFI moves too slow, P1 will be long gone by the time they decide to look into anything.

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point. Of course P1 will be gone, in fact it already is. It's loses and lack of new business simply means it will die slowly rather than a quick end. BUT, based on what has been written here over the past year, it seems likely that criminal acts have taken place and those responsible could possibly be prosecuted. Even if there are no criminal charges, Wiggy and others could be barred by the NCUA for LIFE from ever working in another federally insured financial institution and at the very least he could never ruin another credit union. Document, Document, Document. BTW, someone should talk to Manny, he's got the goods on everything that Wiggy has ever asked him to do.

Anonymous said...

I was at a meeting where some people were talking about this blog but a lot were asking why he hasn't been fired. And I agree, the CFO could if he wanted to expose him. If a lot of ex-employees go together and went public that would probably do more good than even this blog.

Anonymous said...

Sonny the ex-auditor probably could have a lot to say about how Wigg does business. Its not only about how he reports finances or stale dates delinquencies but there are a lot of ex employees who can testify about employees working outside their classifications, how he abuses and slanders employees, etc. And of course Danny Wafa. The member has not reported Wigg because when they took his car it was so traumatic he just wants to forget and not deal with it though he should turn him into the DFI for not only taking his car but damaging his credit too.

Anonymous said...

Wigg is comfortable knowing Diedra protects him and that the Senior VP and probably COO, will protect him no matter how rotten he is. You would think that one of them would have the integrity to not compromise but their all rotten.

Anonymous said...

What about the rest of the financials?

Anonymous said...

If they accepted a nomination after the deadline then that's probably illegal. Is there proof they did?

Anonymous said...

Integrity at P1 is rare among management.

Anonymous said...

Let's play a game shall we... It's called "When will the NCUA take over P1 or at the very least put them under a NCUA Supervisory Agreement?"

My guess is after 1/1/10 and by or before 3/31/10. So I'll pick 2/22/10. Here's how I come to that conclusion:

On 12/31/08 Capital was 9.70% (very healthy and respectable, btw);

On 3/31/09 Capital was 7.34% BIG DROP... But keep in mind that a about 1/3 of that drop ($1.2m) came from the NCUSIF special premium. Had it not been for that (and Wiggy had nothing to with it) Capital would have been 8%+.

On 6/30/09 Capital was 7.15%. So it appears that the free fall is over but we do know that the 3rd quarter numbers are poo-poo stinky....I'm guessing that the NCUA Call report will show Capital somewhere between 6.8% to 7%. If losses keep up at the same pace in the fourth quarter as Q3, by February 2010 Capital could dip below 6% at which time the good fellas at the NCUA will be callin to say:

Mr. Wiggy, we need to have a few words with you. So what other guesses do we have???????

Anonymous said...

BEWARE POCU EMPLOYEES !!
WIGG IS LOOKING AT ALL YOUR EMAILS!!

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