WASHINGTON (7/20/10)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) fired four former Arrowhead Central CU employees who were placed on temporary administrative leave when NCUA assumed control of the credit union June 25. In a related development, a credit union member who is an economist has criticized NCUA’s actions in the matter. Arrowhead Central CU, an $876 million asset credit union based in San Bernardino, Calif., had been placed into conservatorship “due to declining financial condition,” NCUA announced June 25. Arrowhead, a full-service credit union, has provided financial service to people residing in the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, Calif. The decision to conserve a credit union enables the credit union to continue normal operations with expert management in place correcting previous service and operational weaknesses, NCUA said (News Now June 28). The employees were Arrowhead CEO Larry Sharp; Daniel Marciante, chief financial officer; Gene Shabinaw, senior vice president of lending; and Ray Messler, senior vice president of strategic development (Fontana Herald News July 16). “Arrowhead Central CU is open for business and has continued uninterrupted service to members since the June 25 conservatorship,” John McKechnie, NCUA director of public and congressional affairs, told News Now. “The credit union is operating normally, and member funds are federally insured up to $250,000. NCUA’s principal goal in conserving Arrowhead CU is to protect the members and preserve their assets. “Given that losses at Arrowhead were continuing, and the credit union was not reversing negative trends and was not on a trajectory to return to profitability, the most prudent course of action was for NCUA to assume control of Arrowhead,” he added. “NCUA is conducting a thorough review of Arrowhead’s operations, and will make a determination about the future of the institution when that review is completed.” In a related development, Redlands, Calif.-based economist John Husing, a member of Arrowhead for 22 years, drafted a letter to Deborah Matz, NCUA chair, demanding an explanation for the agency’s decision to take over Arrowhead. He is also seeking community input on the credit union’s future (The Press Enterprise July 16). He has started circulating the letter among businesses and political leaders in the credit union’s service area, in attempts to add signatures of support, the newspaper added. Husing wants NCUA to provide members proof of why it needed to seize Arrowhead, and also have an independent auditor look at the condition of the credit union as of June 25, the paper said. Husing and others have posited that Arrowhead was healing financially. Husing told the newspaper a few business leaders have already agreed to sign the letter, the paper added.