Credit union defends itself in investigation

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 2, 2004

Ollis Grayson Jr., former manager and treasure of the Dallas Educators Federal Credit Union, defended the management style of the financial institution at a Friday press conference and claims the NCUA is partially responsible for it being under funded.

Grayson said the National Credit Union Administration imposed “unreasonable requirements” on the local credit union, forcing it to write-off substantial loans the management believed to be collectable.

“As a result of this charge-off, the credit union was required to fund its loan loss account by over $135,000 and it did so, at the expense of then being determined by the National Credit Union Administration of being undercapitalized,” Grayson said.

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The NCUA take over of the institution on April 19 came as a shock to Grayson, the president, and members of the board-who say they weren’t notified of any impending conservatorship.

“The management and the board of directors are hurt and dismayed by this callous act which we believe to be unwarranted,” said Grayson, serving as spokesperson for board. “For 43 years, this credit union has existed to meet the needs of many poor and disadvantaged black and white citizens of our community who did not have access to large financial institutions.”

He added the credit union has always fully cooperated with the NCUA and complied with their requests and directives.

Along with this take over, it has been confirmed the FBI is investigating the operations and financial dealings of the credit union.

Attorney John Wesley Kelly IV, whose family firm is representing the Dallas Educators Federal Credit Union, said he was notified about the FBI’s involvement late yesterday afternoon.

“I was told about the FBI investigation by a board member,” Kelly said. “No representative (of the FBI) has contacted us. As far as I know, they may not have a subject of the investigation.”

Kelly said he is not aware of any individual suspects being sought out for a federal inquiry.

The attorney also pointed out that the Dallas Educators Federal Credit Union has used the same record keeping practices since its establishment in 1961.

“They have never had any problems since then,” Kelly said.

Grayson said the credit union has been audited annually and none of the prior audits gave any basis for the conservatorship.

“Despite rumors and innuendoes circulating over the last several days, the credit union had been managed honestly and it was a solvent business when it was taken over. It was current on all of its debts and obligations and any decline in its financial position was caused, in large part, by the very officials who took it over.”

According to the NCUA, the three-member NCUA board is required by federal law to take prompt action when a federal credit union’s net worth falls below specific capital levels.

The most recent financial performance report available shows the Dallas Educators Federal Credit Union has a net income of about $43,154, with most of its assets made up of unsecured loans.

NCUA spokesperson Molly Schar said the credit union’s operations and services will not change during the conservatorship.

Of the 340 members of the credit union, those with positive accounts should have received a verification letter from the NCUA with information on how to contact them for questions.

At the end of the press conference, Grayson declined to answer questions from the media.