Los Angeles CEO Visits Norlarco Florida Site, Posts Photos
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Troubled by the negative images caused the industry by the Norlarco/Huron River Area Credit Union failures in Colorado and Michigan, the president/CEO of the $650 million First Entertainment Credit Union here said this week he visited and took photos of the Florida real estate site that figured in the CUs' bad loans.
"I wanted to see for myself what kind of properties these were and I came away ashamed," observed Charles Bruen, who said he drove to the Lehigh Acres development after attending a payments system conference two weeks ago in nearby Tampa.
Bruen, who runs his own blog (http://cbruen.com/blog), posted the photos of the barren mall property on his site, said he remains worried about lasting damage to CUs in Congress and elsewhere from the scandal, which he said demonstrated "outright gross negligence."
He said CUs have worked hard to show their business loan acumen and now the CU collapse represents a public setback. "It is costing us all," said Bruen.
Bruen's observations come amidst stepped up efforts by CUNA and others to counter the Norlarco fallout. In Colorado, the president/CEO of Westerra Credit Union, C. Alan Peppers, said while developments in his own state have been disturbing they are "definitely in the minority."