THEY’VE BEEN SERVED
Last week, President, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., became the recipient of a subpoena, naming him a Defendant in a lawsuit filed by the former Valencia Branch Manager.
Immediately upon receiving the subpoena, the President contacted Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, and Board of Directors Chairperson, the infamous, Diedra Harris-Brooks. The attorneys were contacted immediately, thereafter. Apparently, the reverberations of years of heinous acts committed against employees by and under the President and his public defiance of credit union policy and state and federal laws, are serving to accelerate Priority One’s evisceration.
In the more than three years we’ve reported upon the abuses committed by and under President, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., we have never observed as much unraveling of the Credit Union’s internal operation as occurred during the months of December 2011 through June 2012. The credit union, the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Committee, and their attorneys, had received more than ample warning of an impending lawsuit along with a request that they settle, the Plaintiff’s contentions, or proceed to court. As is customary with the credit union’s deficient brain trust, they chose not to respond to the allegations, possibly believing they would miraculously just go away.
The latest lawsuit also dispels the President’s and AVP of Support Services, Yvonne Boutte’s, adamant assertions, verbalized in May and June, denying Priority One is the subject of a third lawsuit. Evidently, Priority One IS being sued.
We believe the President received the subpoena on or about, Tuesday, June 26th. On the 26th, the President could not be found in his office in South Pasadena while AVP, Yvonne Boutte, spent most of the day immersed in meetings held privately, within the company’s boardroom. Her subordinate, gossip-addicted collections supervisor, Alex(is) Suarez, was unusually quiet and left work early. There was also a Board meeting conducted earlier that same day and following conclusion of the meeting, Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, walked through the South Pasadena branch, appearing both grim and rattled. Her momentary smiles to passing employees were betrayed by the concern shown in her eyes. Yes, its purely circumstantial but indicative that something was amiss at Priority One, on that day.
Mrs. Boutte may be especially concerned by the third lawsuit, for it is no secret that in 2009 and 2010, she was the confidant and best friend of the former COO. In fact, their relationship was so close that Ms. Walker told employees that she and Mrs. Boutte would often meet for lunch and drinks on weekends and that Mrs. Boutte would sometimes stay at the COO’s home on weekends. They were also often witnessed whispering to one another on the bridge connecting the executive wing to the back offices or meeting no-so-secretly on the streets located around the main branch. They would also spend hours each day, in the months before their falling out, visiting in each other’s offices.
But the latest lawsuit is only one of their two newest legal problems afflicting the credit union. In our April publication, titled “Intentionally Spreading Rumors”, we reported upon comments posted by a poster using the handle, Priority MC. The poster’s initial comments were intended to mock the Plaintiff in the second lawsuit filed against the Credit Union in mid-2011; and divulged highly confidential information pertaining to his lawsuit which may soon prove a violation of the agreement entered into by the Plaintiff and Priority One. As we pointed out in that post, the information pertaining to the Plaintiff’s lawsuit, originated from the offices of Priority One’s attorneys and could only have been known by the Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, and the President. We’ve no doubts that the President, in a moment of uncontrolled giddiness, divulged the confidential information to his staff, one of who quickly published it on this blog. A few days later, in an all too obvious effort to rescind the comments about the Plaintiff, Priority MC again posted, this time publishing highly confidential about a member who is a co-defendant with Priority One, in a lawsuit filed by Farmers Automobile Insurance, Inc.
During the week of June 18th, the President received a telephone call from an exasperated, angry, and worried Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, who told him she received a call from the member, whose confidential information had been published on this blog by Priority MC. Even the no so bright Board Chair knew that the information could only have originated from a member of the management sector. Mrs. Harris-Brooks also said the member threatened to file a complaint with the government and was in the process of seeking legal representation to file a lawsuit against Priority One. As described in our previous publication, the disclosure of the member’s personal account information constitutes a violation of the Privacy Act. Though the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act does not provide recourse needed to file suit against a financial institution, it does allow for the filing of complaints citing violations of the Privacy Act. However, California may have laws in place, which allow the filing of lawsuits against financial institutions alleged to have violated the Privacy Act.
It is apparent that neither the President or his immediate staff, have learned anything about the consequences of violating laws, including the Privacy Act which all financial institutions are required to abide to. Two lawsuits; numerous employee complaints; and the abuses reported on this blog including our publication of documentation proving our assertions, have all failed to teach Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. and his managerial staff, that they are not exempt from abiding to state and federal laws.THIS POST
This post, provides information about some of the violations alleged in the latest lawsuit. We also introduce readers to the Credit Union’s blue ribbon lead attorney, who has the daunting task of “creating” a defense for the President’s egregious acts.
We’ve also included a description of alleged abuses committed by Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, and former COO, Beatrice Walker.
We will briefly touch upon a developing phenomena impacting the credit union’s internal operation and resulting in a growing number of medical leaves citing stress as the cause of illness.
In June, the President and some of his pack, inaccurately proclaimed victory over the first and second lawsuits filed against Priority One in 2010 and 2011, despite the conspicuous fact that Priority One offered and entered into settlements of each complaint. We attribute the President’s twist of the facts, as nothing more than wishful thinking and apparently motivated by a deep-seeded need to changes history. If Priority One had proceed to court and lost, they would have been required to pay:
- · The attorney’s fees.
- · All fees levied by opposing counsel.
- · Court fees; and
- · Any settlement awarded to the Plaintiffs.
The third lawsuit poses a more viable threat to the President, for if it proceeds to court, he will finally be publicly exposed as will former COO, Beatrice Walker. The trial may also finally bring into the open, the abuses committed by and under some of the President’s managerial staff and the abuses allowed, by the Credit Union’s Human Resources Department (“Employee Development and Education”). Some allegations contained in the first and second lawsuits, included:
- · Age Discrimination
- · Racial Discrimination
- · Sexual Harassment
- · Defamation of Character
AVP, Joseph Garcia, may also prove to be a valuable source of information, as he remained a supporter and confidant of Ms. Walker until losing favor with her in late 2010.
A court trial could also provide the perfect setting for Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, to explain why he played opossum for years and willingly allowed the abuse and termination of targeted employees.
And maybe this would provide a wonderful opportunity in which to subpoena Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, who can explain why she and the Directors of the Board, ignored employee complaints and defended the continued employment of President Wiggington, despite the fact, they were provided evidence in 2008, by attorney and investigator, Scott Barer, of EXTTI, Inc., proving the President sexually harassed a former employee.
The third lawsuit accompanies a lawsuit filed on January 23, 2012, by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.
The latest filing has brought a blunt end to the President’s former, public exclamations that he is victim of an unnamed band of rebel employees who are “jealous” of his achievements and position and wish to topple his power. Yes, it is just another delusion from a man who is addicted to distorting the truth and who must always try and rationalize his heinous acts. Then again, what else can one expect different from Charles Roger Wiggington, Sr.?
The third lawsuit also dispels the confused ramblings posted by poster, Priority MC during the months of April and May. The following, is an excerpt of “Priority MC’s” May 15, 2012, comment:
“There is no lawsuit from Suzanna like you keep on saying!”
Priority MC , May 15, 2012 2:16 PM
To Priority MC, our statements are published and we’re never “saying”. Having witnessed the type of defenses the Credit Union’s attorney team is capable of raising, we have to admit they are no slouches in utilizing cunning tactics. As we saw during the first lawsuit, the attorneys were willing to ignore the documented reasons underlying termination/lay-off of the former Burbank Branch Manager, so they could push a defense which relied on declarations the Manager had been an incompetent, insubordinate and a racist.
We can’t comprehend why the same attorney(s) chose to stall and not respond to the third complaint. Did they believe that if the complaint was ignored, it would never escalate into an official, allegation-touting lawsuit? Or was it all part of an effort to create an impression they were not concerned or intimidated by the latest allegations and would never concede to the demand they settle the complaint? Whatever the goal, it failed unless their hope was that subpoenas would be issued. If so, then all we can say is, what an interesting strategy.
INTRODUCING THE CREDIT UNION’S star ATTORNEY!
In 2012, It’s No Longer a Man’s WorldThe entertainment industry has often portrayed lawyers as uncommonly wise, sometimes sexy, and often possessing a keen wit and a resolve, to ensure justice is realized. Of course, these are stereotypes of flawed human beings.
From what we’ve observed thus far, Priority One’s attorney(s) are masters at coordinating settlements and succeeding in averting the credit union from proceeding to potentially embarrassing and costly court trials. We’ve yet to see anything tangible which proves they are skilled tacticians in a court setting. And though the President and Board Chairperson, declared settlement of the first and second lawsuits were outright victories for the credit union, the fact is, these represent a resolution and not a victory. The settlements serve as yet another blot on the credit union’s deteriorating reputation.
During the months of April and May, the President shared information with some of his staff, which he said originated from the offices of the credit union’s legal counsel and which was soon, afterwards, posted in the comments area of this blog by poster, “Priority MC”. We have since learned that the lawyer assigned to the third lawsuit, is the same attorney who represented Priority One during litigation of the second suite. Their blue ribbon attorney is Paul F. Schimley, of Richardson Harman Ober PC (http://www.rh4law.com/web/pageid/67272/pages.asp). According to the law firm’s web site, Mr. Schimley’s expertise includes “an emphasis on defense of wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment claims” and handling “major litigation and administrative proceedings” and counseling “employers with regards to employment practices”.
Last week, the President described Mr. Schimley as vexed by the filing of the third lawsuit. We found this peculiar, since he evidently had no problem affirming his confidence during litigation of the second lawsuit. But why would Mr. Schimley be vexed? We know that during the first lawsuit, which was assigned to his associate, statements were obtained from a former Branch Manager of Valencia and from AVP, Sylvia Perez, which asserted the Plaintiff, Linda Nisely, refused to carryout business development efforts within the community served by the no longer existent Burbank branch and that the Plaintiff was a racist who hated Latinos. Though proven racism is a violation of federal law, the credit union never investigated. Despite the fact, racial discrimination is a federal offense, the credit union never investigated Mrs. Nisley to prove if the allegations of racism were true, nor was she terminated for being a racist. Then again, the President was never terminated for being a sexual harasser, despite the fact he was found guilty during a 2008 investigation.
To be fair, we must admit that there is some evidence of Mr. Schimley’s possible intervention in the credit union’s hiring practices. During litigation of the first lawsuit, the Plaintiff, the former Burbank Branch Manager, leveled allegations that she had been the victim of age and racial discrimination, asserting that Latino employees of the Credit Union are shown preferential treatment over Anglo (White) employees. During litigation of her lawsuit, the Credit Union suddenly began hiring more non-Latino employees. Regrettably, Mr. Schimley’s single possible accomplishment is undermined by his gross inability to drive home the point to the President and his cronies, that they must desist in divulging confidential information. We of course hope, the President continues frothing at the mouth as his indiscretions and violations of laws and policies, fuel this blog.
Attorney Schimley’s bio also states he addresses a “number (unspecified) employer groups on relevant legal topics, including the mandated sexual harassment training under Government Code Section 12950.1.” Sexual harassment, huh? Well, Mr. Schimley certainly hit the jackpot with Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., who for years found it appropriate to publicly tell stories of his sexual escapades and prowess in bed and who for years, extended very public invitations to a former employee, offering to whip and spank her “ass.”
We’ve also recently confirmed that the attorney representing the former Valencia Branch Manager is the same attorney who represented the Burbank Branch Manager in the first lawsuit filed against Priority One in October 2010. The attorney is also female. The attorney’s expertise evidently proved key in achieving victory for her client, the former Burbank Branch Manager. She has more than proven her competency and we have full confidence, she will again shine in her representation of the former Valencia Branch Manager. We are also of the opinion that she is neither intimidated or impressed by the Head of Richardson Harmon Ober PC ‘s Employment Practices Department.
The Credit Union and its attorneys may feel wedged, between a rock and a hard place, knowing they must raise a new defense which protects, versus actually exonerates, the credit union. Mr. Schimley will have to concoct a defense convincing his client is ethical and incapable of violating state and federal laws and the credit union’s own policies. He must ultimately show, that the President and COO were above reproach. Mr. Schimley will also have to prove that the President Wiggington interceded and tried to stop the vengeful campaign carried out by COO, Walker. Since no documented evidence exists proving the President carried out due diligence, we anxiously await to see or read whatever defense the lawyer pulls out of their bag of tricks. We suggest the Credit Union’s attorney take comfort in the fact his firm is paid lots of money to defend the reprehensible President. Though the attorney is not in an enviable position, we believe he possesses the ability to dredge up whatever is needed to paint a picture of an ethical President who only seeks out what is best for the credit union and its valuable staff. By the way, good luck with that.
We believe that whatever defense is created, it will be intended to exculpate the President and possibly implicate the former COO of having acted alone without approval of the President, the Board or the Human Resources Department. Of course, the attorney will have to explain why the infamous COO was terminated in July 2011 and was her campaign against the former Valencia Branch Manager, referenced as one of the reasons for her ouster?
We certainly hope Mr. Schimley is a far better spin doctor than attorney, because it will take nothing short of genius or great story-telling abilities, to defend the President, the former COO, and any other members of the President’s voracious pack, who are implicated in the latest allegations.
AN UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD: WHAT MIGHT WE EXPECT
CHOOSING THEIR WEAPONSThe latest lawsuit, may have forced Priority One’s legal counsel into a conundrum of sorts. In spite of Mr. Schimley’s extensive expertise, as described in his bio, he is faced with the unenviable task of raising another formidable and believable, defense. He must also succeed in proving that President Wiggington and Rodger Smock initiated an investigation of the former Valencia Branch Manager’s allegations, commensurate with Credit Union policy and state and federal law.
Will the law firm again offer free representation to another witness, as they did with long ago Branch Manager, Nora Torres, when she was disposed in the lawsuit filed by former Burbank Manager, Linda Nisely?
So what type of defense can we expect from the Credit Union’s elite legal team, during this third go-around? Interestingly enough, we recently obtained a record of disclosure once again made by the President, which provide possible insight into how
Well, we think they will look for whatever they can to disparage the reputation of the former Valencia Branch Manager. The problem is, she was respected and under her leadership, the Credit Union prospered. This, all of course, before Beatrice Walker waged a smear campaign impugning the former Branch Manager’s professional and personal reputation.
Another problem we foresee for the Defense is that they must defend a horrendously dishonest President and his equally reprehensible Senior Vice President. There is also the issue of infamous, former COO, Beatrice, whose two-hear reign of terror, left employee morale in tatters and the Credit Union’s ability to procure new business, in shambles. Her employment ended in July 2011, when she was terminated by the Board of Directors and banished, though due to the latest lawsuit, not forever.
There is also the topic of the second lawsuit. In April and May, the President was the recipient of information provided by the Credit Union’s attorney’s, the law firm of Richardson Harman Ober PC. Violating confidentiality and distorting the facts, the President informed some of his staff, including AVP of Support Services, Yvonne Boutte, and Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, that the lawsuit had been dismissed because it lacked merit and that the attorney representing the client, had resigned. A few days later, he informed some of his staff that the Credit Union was hammering out a settlement, but that the amount was “affordable” and would not in anyway, negatively impact Priority One.
The settlements attest loudly to Priority One’s guilt. Furthermore, each lawsuit leveled highly serious violations of federal law, including age and race discrimination, and same-sex sexual harassment. The Credit Union’s attorney tried to implicate the Plaintiff in the second lawsuit, just as had been done in the first lawsuit, of violations of Credit Union policy, including allegations that the Plaintiff violated the credit union’s rules governing confidentiality. Interestingly enough, the latter is the same violation of policy chronically committed over the years by sexual harasser, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, and former COO, Beatrice Walker.
So how exactly, does one defend the troublesome and embarrassing President and how does one depict the Senior Vice President as a responsible, ethical and morally inclined officer who enforced policy consistently and quickly responded to all complaints alleging violations of state and federal laws? Mr. Smock may no longer officially oversee Human Resources which in 2011, was renamed Employee Development, but he continues to serve in an unofficial capacity, both as adviser and helping direct the department’s operations. The attorney will also have to rebuttal allegations that the Senior Vice President was duplicitous in helping execute the President’s and former COO’s heinous plans which targeted and victimized many now former employees, including:
- An accomplished AVP.
- A Marketing Specialist.
- A former Jewish female Business Development Representative. The reason we reference her ethnicity is because in 2007, President Wiggington stated “You know Jews hate Blacks.” A few months later, she was terminated.
- The long-time Marketing Director. Mr. Smock and Mr. Wiggington forced her to relocate her desk into the Credit Union’s then storage and file room. A few weeks later, she was demoted to the position of Marketing Coordinator. The President tried to reduce her salary, but Board Director, Janice Irving intervened and stopped him from doing so. Not to be deterred, the President removed the Director from exempt to non-exempt status and converted her monthly salary to an hourly wage. When he failed to force her resignation, he had her laid-off, using the pretext that she didn’t fit his “vision for marketing.”
- A part-time Loan Processor who was transferred from South Pasadena to the Van Nuys branch. President Wiggington and former AVP, Aaron Cavazos, used the employee as a scapegoat for several consumer loan which defaulted, though they were all approved at the time, by then Assistant Branch Manager of the Van Nuys branch. The Assistant Branch Manager was demoted to the position of FSR and did not lose her employment due to her close ties with AVP, Sylvia Perez, and President Wiggington.
- The Assistant Los Angeles Branch Manager, using the excuse she wrote a bad check though his real reason was that he had subjected her to sexual harassment for several years.
- The President’s former Assistant who Mr. Smock helped demote to Receptionist at South Pasadena. The Senior Vice President used the pretext that the transfer was a temporary reassignment. Mr. Smock was party to collusion, when he, the President, and former COO, Beatrice Walker, concluded without evidence, that the Receptionist was divulging information to this blog (which she never did). When she was laid-off, the Senior Vice President used the excuse the Credit Union needed to reduce expenses. Why didn’t they terminate the current Assistant maintained less seniority than did Mr. Smock’s previous assistant?
MR. SMOCK: HOW TO TURN A DEAF EAR TO ABUSE
Prior to his arrival at Priority One, Mr. Smock was a member of the Human Resources Department of Superior Industries, though his employment with that company, was allegedly terminated.During the years he served as the official Director of Human Resources, Mr. Smock once openly involved in a relationship with another male employee assigned to the Member Services Department in South Pasadena, California. Despite the very specific language found in Credit Union policy, forbidding relations between managers and employees, Mr. Smock found no reason to why he should adhere to Credit Union policy and carried on the inappropriate relationship until the employee was transferred to the Valencia branch. The former employee has since moved to Arkansas.
More than ten (10) years ago, Mr. Smock held a late night pool party at his home. He remained in his home with Mr. Campos, though periodically coming out to serve alcohol to all his guests, all of who were employees of the Credit Union. One of the women became sufficiently inebriated, that she removed all her clothes and swam nude in the pool. Undoubtedly, it never occurred to the undisciplined Senior Vice President that he would have been culpable had any employee suffered an accident due to their inebriation. The story can be confirmed by Lead Loan Officer, Georgina Duenas, and AVP, Gema Pleitez, along with Anna Cervantes, who stripped off her clothes and swam around nude. A few months later, Anna was involved in an automobile accident, caused when fell asleep while driving and causing her to lose an arm. Mrs. Duenas shared the story with loan processors, Dorothy Urena and Colleen Greaves, and then Loan Officer, Nora Torres, and other employees.
It should be interesting to see what defense Mr. Schimley raises the convinces a court they can overlook the history of abuses committed by the Senior Vice President. Maybe Mr. Schimley can produce a large cartoon pencil and erase all evidence against the Senior Vice President. No doubt, the two greatest challenges will be Mr. Smock’s character and derelict performance. While officially overseeing Human Resources, Mr. Smock ever documented complaints nor did he conduct investigations or advise grievants of how their complaints had been resolved, though required to do under Credit Union policy.
Mr. Smock’s greatest vulnerabilities are his genuine belief that he is intellectually brighter than all other staff. His grandfatherly persona is nothing more than a disingenuous façade, raised to hide his bad temper and ineptitude a manager. He also abhors criticism though it is his ineffectiveness and willingness to compromise policies, that was the basis of the first two lawsuits and the third. Furthermore, as an officer of the credit union, the Senior Vice President chose not to ensure policies were enforced unilaterally or consistently, which subsequently impeded the credit union of becoming a better and law-abiding employer. Through the years, we’ve yet to see him empathize with employees though we have watched him grieve whenever one of his cats dies.
As a worker, the Senior Vice President is a slug. Chronically lazy, in the years prior to January 1, 2007, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., the then Vice President of Operations, described Mr. Smock as “lazy” and promised, “If I ever become President, he’d better work or he’s out.” Mr. Wiggington’s sentiments were later echoed by former COO, Beatrice Walker, who described the Senior Vice President as a “waste of money.”
While Director of Human Resources, he established a horrendous reputation for compromising ethics, circumventing policies, and never defending employees who filed legitimate and evidenced complaints against managers of the Credit Union. During a deposition or trial, Mr. Smock should be asked to provide evidence proving he responded to employee complained filed with Human Resources. He should be asked to explain how he investigated complaints alleging sexual harassment committed by President Wiggington and former AVP of Lending, Aaron Cavazos. In 2008, EXTTI, Inc. investigated allegations filed against President Wiggington, alleging he sexually harassed a former employee. The evidence gathered, was in the form of employee statements including declarations that the Senior Vice President did not investigate employee complaints.
BEATRICE WALKER: HOW DOES ONE DEFEND A PARIAH?Lastly and possibly most challenging, will be Mr. Schimley’s defense of former COO, Beatrice Walker. In addition to having to contend with her insidious reputation, Mr. Schimley will have to create a defense which diminishes her record of gross incompetency, heinous acts against employees, and draw attention away from the actuality that she was terminated in 2011. Her reputation and well publicized behaviors proved a contaminant to the Credit Union’s internal operation during her approximate, two-year stay.
Mr. Schimley’s recent accomplishments which could never be construed as victories because the Credit Union agreed to pay out monetary settlements, was ineffective in dispelling the long history of documented abuses committed by the three shameful and morally vacant officers. We can only imagine that he will require a tremendous amount of “evidence” to create a scenario which exonerates the notorious officers of the long list of allegations citing violation of state and federal law and Credit Union policy
- Why did Mr. Wiggington chose to leave the banking industry more than 20 years ago, to come and work at a credit union which he tried to convert into a bank after being appointed President?
- What were the reasons leading to Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock’s, ouster from Superior Industries?
We also received other emails alleging she was terminated from Universal Studios Federal Credit Union, because her business decisions proved caustic and out of alignment with the methodologies of that credit union’s President.
In 2009, we wrote extensively about Ms. Walker’s employment while at Honda Federal Credit. At the time, one of Ms. Walker’s assigned staff, a temporary employee, issued two credit cards in his grandparents names and then used these to charge merchandize, totaling tens of thousands of dollars. We’ve decided to revisit that incident and dissect portions of the information gathered by the National Credit Union’s Administrative Board, including their final determination.
The excerpts, shown below, were extracted from the National Credit Union’s Administration Board’s, Final Decisions and Orders, Docket number, 07-0501-V. The report provides a description of the allegations, the Board’s findings and the Board’s final determination. The first excerpt, describes the allegations filed against the Respondent and former employees, who once served under authority of Beatrice Walker.
The following excerpt describes the Board’s findings.
The following excerpt references Beatrice Walker’s name and title (Branch Manager) while employed by Honda FCU. The accused, worked under Ms. Walker in the capacity of a Member Services Representative.
The following excerpt describes Ms. Walker’s denial that she ever provided the accused permission or approval to open the credit card accounts in his grandparent’s names; and denying involvement in helping him complete any of the required applications. A point of interest in the report, is the Board’s statement, which declares “Walker further attests that she understands records indicate that she approved a request to increase the credit limit on one of the Respondent’s grandparents’ accounts and that she would not have approved such a request had she known the person ineligible to be a credit union member….” Clearly, the statement suggests that something in Honda FCU’s records, clearly showed Beatrice Walker approved an increase of the credit limit on one of the credit cards.
In 2010, wile serving as COO of Priority One, Ms. Walker would periodically declare, “If it’s not in writing, then they can’t prove it.” Maybe her ignorant opinion was borne out of the incident which occurred while she was employed by Honda FCU. Obviously Honda’s records contained a written reference and probably her signature, proving she approved an increase to one of the credit card’s limitations. For Ms. Walker’s edification and possibly that of President Wiggington, witness testimonies and circumstantial evidence can also be utilized as evidence. Evidently, the former COO’s ability to differentiate fact from her opinions, may have spurred Ms. Walker’s often mindless postulating.
Two determinations wrought by the NCUA’s Board and referenced under “Factual Findings and Conclusions of the Law”, are shown below. Please note, that the Board never exonerates Ms. Walker of wrong doing. Nowhere in the docket, did we locate any statement which unequivocally absolves Beatrice Walker of NOT having approved increase of the limits on one of the credit cards.
The link to the document, which appeared on this blog for more than a year, was removed by us in 2011. However, the document is found at http://www.ncua.gov/Legal/Administrative%20Orders/AO2007-0501-V.pdf .
Over the years, we’ve received emails from readers. One reader alleged Ms. Walker had once worked for AIRCO FCU, but caused the credit union to file a claim with CUNA due to loss caused by her inept decision-making.
We also received another email alleging Ms. Walker had once been employed by Universal Studios FCU, but allegedly terminated because her mode of management was inconsistent with that credit union’s mission.
We also received emails alleging Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, had once been employed by Superior Industries International, Inc. (http://www.supind.com/) located at 7800 Woodley Avenue in the city of Van Nuys, California, where he was employed as a member of the Human Resources Department but like Ms. Walker, succumbed to termination.
If all is revealed, the evidence will also serve to implicate the Board of Directors and show they were duplicitous in suppressing criminal evidence that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. sexually harassed a former employee. Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, intentionally suppressed evidence gathered by an investigator, recommending termination of the President. Maybe, we will finally learn why Mrs. Harris-Brooks and Directors, O. Glen Saffold, and Thomas Gathers, along with Supervisory Chair, Cornelia Simmons, thought it appropriate to invalidate evidence and reinstate the President following his six-week suspension?
With regards to their other duties, to ensure the security of the credit union, did the Board of Directors ever conduct an extensive background investigation of Ms. Walker or did they only rely on President Wiggington’s recommendations? Or did the Board obtain negative references which were suppressed like evidence gathered proving President Wiggington sexually harassed a former employee? If so, then the Board is also guilty. By the way, the Board could have also been named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
Willingly and Intentionally, Violating the Privacy ActOn Friday, June 22, 2012, a worried President Wiggington contacted AVP of Support Services, Yvonne Boutte, and Credit Resolutions (“collections”) Supervisor, Alex Suarez, and ordered that they attend an impromptu meeting in his office regarding a call he had received earlier that day, from Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks.
During the meeting, the President revealed that Mrs. Harris-Brooks had received a telephone call from a Member who accused the credit union of posting information in the comments section of this blog, regarding her credit union automobile loan.
As reported in our April publication, the violation occurred when a poster, “Priority MC”, posted comments about the member’s account. We cannot understand why an employee of the Credit Union thought it appropriate to knowingly post highly confidential information about the member or why they knowingly violated federal law. The comments served to publicly impugn the member’s reputation, which may have resulted in duress and embarrassment.
The comments about the Member, appear to have been posted in an attempt by Priority MC, to deter attention from several comments posted in April and May, which mocked the Plaintiff in the second lawsuit and may have violated the terms of the settlement agreement entered into between the Plaintiff and the credit union.
Though all employees of the credit union have access to any members credit union account records, including collection proceedings, it is only a handful of managers, who have accessibility to accounts which have been subjected to legal proceedings. Because the case involves a lawsuit, the only officers who possess authorization to access these records, are:
- · President Charles R. Wiggington, Sr.
- · Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock.
- · AVP of Support Services, Yvonne Boutte; and
- · Credit Resolutions Supervisor, Alex(is) Suarez
One might have thought that any President as scrutinized as is Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., has been over the past five years, would have made more effort to conduct himself in a more discreet manner and exacted whatever means was necessary to at least feign the appearance he is ethical and abides to laws and policies.
AN ETHICALLY DEFICIENT AVP TRIES TO FIND A HOMEWe’ve often written about AVP, Sylvia Perez, who through the years, was one of the few staunch supports of the President and who often alluded to the credit union as “my life.” Its too bad she didn’t place her faith in something Higher than a financial institution. In June, the infamous AVP, left the credit union on a medical leave, citing stress.
This of course comes as no surprise, as for years, Mrs. Perez’s behaviors can be described as erratic, hyper, volatile, and abusive. For more than a year, Mrs. Perez complained to the staffs at Burbank, Van Nuys, and Santa Clarita, that she stressed and nervous, sleeping poorly, suffering outbreaks of acne, and her relationship with her husband and daughter had grown strained. How things soured for a woman who used to boast about how she and her husband were “close friends” of the President.
For a period of a few weeks in late 2010, AVP of Region III, Sylvia Perez, excitedly joined former COO, Beatrice Walker’s campaign, alienating the former Valencia Branch Manager from her staff. The catalyst for Mrs. Perez’s decision may have been a deep-rooted psychological need to obtain validation and approval from the COO, who had made no secret that she disliked Mrs. Perez’s “need” impeded her from realizing that Mrs. Walker had drawn her into her scheme and which all too easily, manipulated the inept AVP, into joining the attack on the Branch Manager. Ms. Walker’s vindictive campaign succeeded in slandering the Branch Manager’s personal and public reputation.
Immediately, after the Valencia Manager’s employment ended, the COO turned against the AVP, refusing to respond to what the COO described as “Sylvia’s incessant emails and voicemails.” The COO also escalated her criticism of the AVP, labeling her as “bothersome” and “annoying” and “ineffective.”
Growing insecure, Mrs. Perez began complaining to her staff, that she believed Ms. Walker had marked her for termination. She probably had.
This past April, Mrs. Perez received notice that the Burbank branch would officially close on Thursday, May 29th. Mrs. Perez immediately set about packing the materials and personal possessions in her office. While doing so, she made certain all employees of the Burbank, Van Nuys and Santa Clarita knew what she was doing. When finished, she contacted the main branch and informed them that she had completed packing and was awaiting instructions, as to where she would be transferred to.
Since March, the aggressive and erratic AVP, was issued two written warnings for failing to meet her assigned monthly quotas. Two weeks ago, she discovered she was slated to either receive a third warning or could be terminated. Exasperated and highly stressed, she left the credit union on a medical leave of absence.
This all represents quite a change for the President, For years, she avidly let the President and Senior Vice President know how much new business she had gotten while visiting the communities served by Burbank and Van Nuys. What we find peculiar is that immediately after the implementation of monthly quotas, Mrs. Perez suddenly suffered an inability to procure new business. We have to assume, that the successes she alluded to for the past several years, may have been mere hyperbole.
Mrs. Perez had for years, been the subject of employee complaints, describing the disparaging and condescending manner she treated staff. Despite the complaints, the President and Senior Vice President withheld all disciplinary action as described under credit union policy.
Her highly emotional behaviors in the weeks prior to her leave of absence, smack of desperation and an attempt to control the circumstances around her. We can’t help but notice that she is now in a position of disfavor and has lost the clout she once possessed with her “friend”, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. For years, she was pivotal in carrying out the President’s campaigns against employees and she even concocted unbased allegations which resulted in the termination of many employees.
During her five years at Burbank, business actually declined, due in tremendous part to her lack of abilities and horrendous treatment of employees. The recent closure of the Burbank branch says as much about her incompetence as it does about that of the President and Senior Vice President.
In June, she was transferred to the new Santa Clarita branch, though the branch is proving to be a bust and has failed quite miserably to draw member interest in the inconvenient branch location.
Saddened by the closure of the Burbank office, Mrs. Perez personally visited CLO, Cindy Garvin, in South Pasadena, expressing how sorry she was to see the branch close and the resultant lay-offs which ensured. The statement does nothing to convince us that Mrs. Perez is in anyway a carrying person. Her involvement in plots which resulted in the termination of employees while disparaging the competency and characters of others, suggest her statement to Ms. Garvin, were nothing more than a moment of conscience. Ms. Garvin waved her off, and told her the lay-offs were a thing of the past and should be forgotten as quickly as possible. Mrs. Perez may have finally encountered another officer who shares her same lack of compassion.
She also disclosed that she was saddened by the credit union’s decision to lay-off employees of the former Burbank office though Cindy Garvin told her that her concerns constituted “old news.” Evidently, Ms. Garvin is apathetic while Mrs. Perez may have forgotten as a result of selective memory, that she was instrumental in defaming many former employees and orchestrating their terminations through the propagation of lies which ultimately defamed employee reputations.So what can we expect in the future from the erratic, acerbic, dull, ineffective and often intolerable AVP? Her chronic complaining prior to her leave in addition to personal disclosures that she couldn’t sleep, was suffering from anxiety, was experiencing marital problems, and revealing that the main branch had ignored her communications, we believe her days be numbered and would be surprised if she returned, as she would still have to contend with the fact, that she seems incapable of attaining the goals that have been assigned to her.
Its again ironic, that Mrs. Perez experienced so much difficulty meeting her monthly sales quotas when for years, she too often vocalized all the new business she had brought to Priority One (closure of the Burbank branch disputes her supposed achievements). Over the years, her staff was subjected to emotionally abusive treatment as she aggressively tried to force them to comply to her demands. Yet, her alleged past accomplishments came to a sudden halt, just four months after the credit union implemented monthly quotas. Why would such an allegedly seasoned and accomplished person, suddenly lose the ability to acquire new business? We believe Mrs. Perez, like President Wiggington, exaggerated her true worth and accomplishments. It’s all too clear that it wasn’t until she was asked to provide evidence of new business she acquired, that she literally, crashed and burned.
HOW NOT TO ANNOUNCE A BRANCH CLOSURE
A copy of the notice posted by the credit union on their website, is shown below. Please note the President’s effort to try to spin the closure in something “good” versus “bad.” His meager effort appears intent of assuring members Priority One is not in decline. Of course, the President can’t convince us that the closure of four key branches in less than a two-year period is anything but an omen of things to come.
The President’s AnnouncementThe President’s announcement was riddled with the usual reference to scapegoats and gross distortions of the truth, all presented in a genuinely lame attempt to place blame on everything but his own ability to lead the no longer significant credit union. The President fails to reference the tremendous financial loss to the employees of the Burbank branch, who succumbed to his inability to turn that operation into a profitable and efficient branch.
“It is only a matter of time before things turn around for a robust economy.” Evidently, Mr. Wiggington needs a professional writer to assist him. If the economy is robust then what type of “turn around” is he referring to? What he may have meant to state, was “While it is only a matter of time before the nation experiences a resurgence of its economy..”
That said, note his ambiguous reference to “a matter of time.” A hundred years constitutes “a matter of time” so how much time is he specifically referring to? Two weeks, six months, or a nine hundred years?
The President’s letter is an attempt to dupe readers into believing that though the credit union was preparing to close the Burbank branch, “we will continue to be prudent in our decisions.” In more than five years, the President has demonstrated that he is never prudent. The proof: three lawsuits, two settlements, four branch closures, inability to create effective sales strategies, violation of the Privacy Act, and the promotion of inept personnel into managerial capacities.
Nowadays, logic and common sense don’t appear to be factors in the decision-making abilities of Priority One’s ineffective management sector.
At the beginning of June, AVP of Sales and Business Development, Joseph Garcia, disclosed that staff had failed to reach the Credit Union’s monthly goal for new business. For those who may not know, the amount approximates $2.4 million. Mr. Garcia also revealed that the amount of funding during the month of May was approximately, $9300.00 less than the total obtained for the entire month of April. He also said that management was concerned about the shortfall and that employees would have to work a lot harder which in Garcia-speak, means working under increased duress. It would have been far easier to comprehend, had the intellectually stunted AVP chosen instead to provide a table referencing the total amount of new business obtained during each month of 2012. Because Mr. Garcia chose not to do so, we’ve decided to provide an approximation of the amount of loans funded in April and May, based solely on Mr. Garcia’s verbal and written disclosures. The following figures, some of which are approximations, are verifiable using the Credit Union’s records:
So does the fault lie in the employees, who AVP Garcia, describes as “not trying hard enough” or Mr. Garcia, who lacks experience, knowledge and an education in Business Development? It is more than a little illogical to believe that a majority of employees suffer from a lack of motivation or apathy and it is unreasonable to believe that duress and fear are the most effective tools that can be employed, to inspire employees.
The results of his methods are most attested to by a miserable work force, inundated in fear, and the inability of Priority One to garner business at a level that produces sufficient profit that would bring an end to the President’s reliance upon expense reductions.
In June 2011, they’ve got less branches and less staff and have over the past two years, implemented cut-backs, some of which have compromised their ability to promote the credit union’s name and products and others, that have crippled the quality of member service they were once able to provide.
Mr. Garcia is correct in only one thing: Management should be very concerned that the intended results are not being achieved. Despite the AVP’s aggressive agenda and micromanaging efforts of CLO, Cindy Garvin, and those of AVP of Service Support, Yvonne Boutte, they have yet to succeed in reversing any of the credit union’s deeply-rooted issues.
We’ve also previously reported that during the last quarter of 2011, CLO, Cindy Garvin, amended the credit union’s loan policy and procedures, which provided members, whose application for a loan had been approved; thirty days in which to finance the loan. Despite the fact that a person’s credit score and debt ration can change over a thirty day period as a result of added unsecured credit, collection accounts, Ms. Garvin had the timeframe extended to sixty days. In March, Mr. Garcia began ordered that employees not “sandbag” loan applications and in June he reiterated his directive, alleging some employees were “sandbagging” applications. For those who are not familiar with the term (“sandbagging”), it is a term describing a tactic in which an employee submits a report containing a record of financed loans which were obtained after the first of the month. The result would provide a record showing higher production than what was actually received. Yes, its dishonest though it is also a tactic used by President Wiggington in 2010 and 2011, in the credit union’s accounting practices.
Furthermore, isn’t Ms. Garvin’s change in policy, which extended the 30-day timeframe to 60-days, a type of “sandbagging”? Undoubtedly, hypocrisies and double-standards are running amok, within Priority One’s less than stellar management sector.
IS THERE AN EXTRA AVP FLOATING ABOUT THE MAIN BRANCH?AVP, Gema Pleitez, remains solidly employed despite her lackluster performance and ambiguous role as AVP. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, during the years of 2005 through 2008, Mrs. Pleitez, violated the Credit Union’s policy governing fraud, when she ordered that her staff clock her in and out on days when her lunch period exceeded the allotted sixty minutes granted to all employees.
On January 2011, former COO, Beatrice Walker, promoted then South Pasadena Branch Manager, Mrs. Pleitez to the position of AVP and appointed her authority over Member Services, the Call Center and the small, former Riverside branch.
In 2011, the Riverside branch closed, because the President failed to create a single strategy to attract new business from employees of the United States Postal Service and their families. Subsequently, the credit union could no longer afford to maintain the miniscule operation. This of course reduced Mrs. Pleitez’s responsibilities, leaving her oversight over the Member Services Department and the Call Center.
On February 1, 2012, Mrs. Pleitez’s authority over Member Services and the Call Center were suddenly removed, causing the concerned AVP to ask loudly, while speaking to AVP, Yvonne Boutte, “So what’s going to happen to me?”
Since February, Mrs. Pleitez the AVP, has assisted Yvonne Boutte in managing the Member Services Department and Call Center. At times, she answers telephones in the Call Center, in an effort to obtain loan applications to help meet her goals. We cannot but wonder, how the President justifies her continued employment when her responsibilities amount to those of a lesser paid, FSR. We would like to know how he justifies her salary. Furthermore, earlier last month, Mrs. Boutte quietly suggested appointing the Call Center under authority of the Card Services Supervisor.
So what is Mrs. Pleitez’s role in the Credit Union. As some employees know, Mrs. Pleitez is the cousin of the former FSR, who once was involved in a relationship with Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock. Mrs. Pleitez is also related to Employee Development Manager, Esmeralda Sandoval. Is it possible that Mrs. Pleitez’s familial relationships have resulted in a bias which assures her continued employment?
THE STRESSMUDA TRIANGLE
HEALTH AND EMOTIONS ARE COMPROMISEDSomething, not quite as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle, but intriguing in its own right, is causing employees to go out on medical leaves, all alleging work-related stress as the cause.
The number of employees out on stress leave has continued to increase since February 2012 and will probably continue to do so. Some of the Missing include:
- Jennifer Kelly, Accounting Department Manager, South Pasadena
- Jenise Dixon, Teller, Los Angeles Branch
- Martha Aviles, Business Development Representative, Burbank Branch
- Lorena Aguilar, Financial Services Representative, South Pasadena
- Sylvia Perez, AVP Region 3
WHERE ELSE CAN THEY REDUCE COSTS?
The memorandum, sent by CLO, Cindy Garvin, and Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, also informed employees that the credit union will not reimburse them if they use their personal cellulars for business. Though this is clearly stated, stubborn AVP, Joseph Garcia, asked some employees to provide him with their personal cell numbers, just in case he needs to contact them. Mr. Garcia shares much in common with the President and has apparently no qualms, to violate the credit union's documented directives.
Elimination of cellulars will now impede the ability of field personnel to communicate with members, unless as Mr. Garcia has shown, employees utilize their own cellulars to conduct business.
It is also all too obvious that closure of the Burbank branch has not sufficed to resolve the credit union’s financial problems. So what happened to the oodles of profit and new business previously boasted about by the President?
BIG CHANGES ARE A COMIN’………… ALLEGEDLYIn early June, the Van Nuys Branch Manager informed some of her staff that “big changes are coming in July.” This by the way, is not the first time, an officer of the credit union including the President, Senior Vice President, AVP’s or even Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, has alluded to some pivotal future change that is allegedly going to reverse the credit union’s far flung problems.
Most non-exempt employees have not received raises during the past, three to four years, though we doubt the anticipated changes is to finally grant hard working employees an increase in income. At Priority One, raises and bonus’ are only issued to members of the management sector.
Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock, also recently disclosed that “big changes” are scheduled to take place in July. We know that Mr. Smock will be moving into former COO, Bea Walker’s, former office, which has remained unoccupied since July 2011, while CLO, Cindy Garvin, will move into his former office. We’ve also recently learned, that the reason for moving is part of management’s effort to try and stop leaks of confidential information. If they truly wish to bring an end to this problem, then they will have to terminate the President; AVP, Yvonne Boutte; Credit Resolutions Supervisor, Alex Suarez; and CLO, Cindy Garvin. It will also require ouster of the Board of Directors.
WHY THE LONG FACE?
At times, one can tell more by expressions and attitudes than by what is said.
Following last week’s Board Meeting in South Pasadena, a less than jovial Board Chair, made her way through the branch. Diedra Harris-Brooks has usually be able to muster the power to raise a convincing façade hiding her intents and emotions, though not on June 26th. As she walked through the branch, she was overheard saying, “changes are coming.” Well, then we can only await the purported changes though we know, unless these include the entire Board’s resignation, things can only grow worse for the now small and ineffective credit union.
The Board’s agenda was punctuated by disruptions resulting from the latest notice that the credit union and President, are being sued; and by the complaint the Board Chair received from an incensed Member, whose personal loan information had been posted in the comments field of this blog by someone who is probably a member of the management sector.
Mrs. Harris-Brooks, like the President,m assured the Board that the first and second settlements had been settled in a manner which was not detrimental to the credit union and which she also viewed as a victory. The ludicrous and contrived awards ceremony, planned and conducted by Mrs. Harris-Brooks, during this year’s Annual Meeting, further affirms that she and her gaggle, had grown a little too self-assured, following settlement of the second lawsuit. The Board’s present tacit silence suggests the Board’s problems have increased and attests to more, than what can be expressed in words.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
When viewing Priority One’s failing performance, one cannot ignore the impact of President Wiggington’s abhorrent behaviors, malicious acts carried out against employees, his fabrications and distortions of the truth, and the scandals he willingly entered into. Of course the President has always insisted, even under an avalanche of evidence to the contrary, that he has done nothing wrong and even declared, it is he who is the victim.
After more than three years of publishing this blog, we’ve come to the conclusion that the troublesome President is incapable of controlling his behaviors or his addictive need to disclose everything confidential. It doesn’t take any great feat of deducement to see that the comments published in the comments field of this blog, by Priority MC, were intended to disparage the Plaintiff in the second lawsuit and that the information originated from the offices of the Credit Union’s attorneys who chose to be presumptuous and disclose information about events, which were not yet finalized. The President found no reason why he should guard confidentiality and voluntarily and intentionally divulged the information provided to the credit union by their attorneys, to some of his executive staff.
Violations of confidentiality are common at the Credit Union. Not only are violations of confidentiality commonplace at Priority One, the habit of divulging classified information was actually begun by President Wiggington in the months after being appointed President. One must remember that in 2007 through 2008, he publicly disclosed the names of employees he intended to terminate and in 2007, due to negligence, he created what has become known as the “mailing fiasco”. The incident would never have occurred had he chosen to abide to security measures implemented by his predecessor, William E. Harris. His negligence allowed the mailing of ballots to members, in envelopes on whose exterior, were printed member account and social security numbers. Fortunately, for the President, he found a convenient scapegoat in the then IT Supervisor, who was suspended by the Board after the President convinced them he had nothing to do with the breach.
The recent disclosures, published on this blog by Priority MC constitute a violation of the Privacy Act and attest to the deficient state of affairs of a credit union plagued buy abuses originating from the executive sector. The President’s compulsive need to verbalize everything he plans to do and what has been told to him in private, is a pivotal factor contributing to the deterioration of the Credit Union’s infrastructure. Certainly the closure of four branches; the large number of employee terminations over the past five years; and three lawsuits all serve as evidence of the manner Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. conducts business.
- From 2007 through the beginning of June, 2012, the decline in business and the degradation of employee moral, were driven by the President’s aspersions of employees. The state-of-affairs at Priority One attest that Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. has been a liability to the Credit Union on a catastrophic scale.
- For years, the President denounced the allegations leveled on this blog, until late 2010, when we began publishing documentation proving our contentions. Our predictions of what would happen his behaviors weren’t tempered or his employment terminated, has come to pass. Neither Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, any Director of the Board can ever prove that what we’ve presented thus far, is untrue. Their silence speaks volumes and suggests, guilt.
On another front, the credit union’s inability to create substantial new business needed to maintain their operation without resorting to increased cut-backs in expenses, is being impeded by failure by the AVP of Sales and Business Development and the CLO, to provide comprehensive training needed by employees to carryout business development efforts. Instead, the two officers have resorted to use of a campaign which continually reminds employees that they have quotas to meet and threatening issuance of written notices or terminations, to those employees who fail to attain goals. More than anything, the use of fear as a business tool is an indicator of incompetence in leadership. The end result is creation of a workforce immersed in fear. It also hasn’t occurred to the President that reducing staff size undermines the credit union’s ability to effectively carryout business development efforts or to provide an acceptable level of member service.
On Wednesday, July 1, 2009, in our post titled, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: Missing Deadlines, Lying to the DFI, Withholding Member Deposits and Altering History”, we described numerous failures perpetrated by the President along with describing his proclivity to lying. An excerpt from that post is shown below:
The President’s plots over the years, would never have succeeded without the help of his sidekick, Senior Vice President, Rodger Smock. Mr. Smock, easily compromised good for wrong and allowed manipulation of the policies he was responsible to enforce.
Since 2007, the President has consistently received support from Board Chair, Diedra Harris-Brooks, who in 2008, suppressed evidence provided by EXTTI, Inc., proving the President had sexually harassed a former employee and who in 2009 and 2010, disrupted the credit union’s electoral process in an effort to retain the Board’s present Directors.
On January 1, 2007, the Board was far more ethically diverse than it is today and included Anglo/White members, including the highly knowledgeable and intelligent, Rob Shipley and Dave Davidson. Unfortunately, they were the minority on the board and their ability to enact changes consistently aborted by Mrs. Harris-Brooks. Mrs. Brooks, along with the President, succeeded in maintaining status quo on the Board, ensuring the retention of Directors who she knew were loyal to her agenda.
The latest lawsuit, wielding a long list of allegations describing overt violations of state and federal law and credit union policy, isn’t good news for the slippery President despite every effort he will no doubt make, to hide behind and under the skirts of the Board of Directors, Supervisory Committee and the Credit Union’s attorneys.
(Recent photograph of the President. Does he look like he’s dying?)
THE MISSION STATEMENT………………AGAINNothing attests more to who Priority One purports to be is as a credit union and employer, than does their Mission Statement. In 2010, the not-so-well put together then Manager of “Training” and “Education”, Robert West, rewrote the statement at the request of the President. The statement was intended to create an impression of who Priority One is and served to replace the credit union’s former tagline, that members “are our first priority.” As shown below, the mission statement articulates the company's purpose for the Credit Union, members, and employees. The not-so-genuine effort to present the Credit Union’s purpose proved unrealistic.
It is all too evident, that the declaration is nothing more than a proliferation of empty words (and plagiarized from other businesses). If not, then where is the evidence that Priority One succeeded in helping member-owners at large or non-exempt staff, to achieve financial fitness? The statement may simply be Mr. West’s version of Nirvana. We are quite open to be provided evidence that proves that Priority One Credit Union and its President, have lived up to what has proven another corpulent promise that could never be realized.
The President’s deficiency as a leader and his continuing reliance upon expense reductions have enabled Priority One to maintain high capital, but without new business, their future remains bleak. Since 2010, the President’s prime directive is reducing expenses wherever he can. The credit union no longer possesses a competitive edge once enjoyed under the President’s predecessor. Priority One’s service is decrepit and no longer provides the level of convenience they were known for prior to January 1, 2007.
Ironically, the President will now share a metaphorical bed with his former friend and later nemesis, Beatrice Walker. The two will have to depend upon defenses which vindicate them of all wrong doing. We can’t imagine how one can begin to defend the President, much less the former COO, whose record of inappropriate behaviors, skyrocketed her to infamy, during the years of 2009 through 2011. Ms. Walker, who is Anglo/White, succumbed to termination in July 2011, after exhausting the tolerance of the all Black Board. If color wasn’t a factor in her termination, then why has the Board retained employment of President Wiggington who is Black, despite his Herculean record of documented abuses, failed decisions, and violations of credit union policies and state and federal laws?
Furthermore, we believe the excuse of his allegedly grave physical health, is nothing more than a purposed gambit, intended to manipulate litigation and should he lose, escape being ordered to pay whatever settlement may be ordered by the court. We of course hope, a trial will finally produce a documented record of the egregious acts committed by the shameful and embarrassing President.
We’ve also no doubt that if necessary and if the case proceeds to court, that President Wiggington will arrive in a stretcher, accompanied by a large contingent of nurses, his mouth covered by an oxygen mask. The President may have proven himself grossly incompetent as a leader but he is an expert and calculating actor. If as the President said, his strategy is to focus upon his illness and assert he is in the process of “dying”, then one must ask, how can a dying man, drive to and from home to work, each day? Why is he gaining weight? More importantly, why is the Board retaining his employment if he is succumbing to cancer?
A person who allows himself to tell a lie once, finds it easier to lie a second and a third time- until it becomes habit.
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