Debbie Matz, President Obama's nominee for chairman of the NCUA, served as chief operating officer at Andrews Federal Credit Union in Suitland, Md., until last June 18. And that could pose a problem to her serving on the NCUA Board.
According to the Credit Union Membership Access Act, with emphasis added, "Not more than one member of the Board may be appointed to the Board from among individuals who, at the time of the appointment, are, or have recently been, involved with any insured credit union as a committee member, director, officer, employee or other institution-affiliated party."
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), the measure's main sponsor, declined through a spokeswoman to say what lawmakers meant when they crafted the language.
Board Member Gigi Hyland served as senior vice president and general counsel for Empire Corporate Federal Credit Union in Albany, N.Y., until a few days before joining the board in 2005.
Several attorneys familiar with credit unions said that "recently'' is often interpreted to mean within the last year.
A spokesman for the Obama administration said that the administration was "comfortable that the appointment will satisfy the statutory requirement."
Matz left Andrews FCU after serving as acting CEO for several months and was not named to the position permanently. She characterized her departure at the time as "by mutual agreement." Before joining Andrews in 2006, she was a member of the NCUA board from 2002-2005. Prior to that, she held a variety of staff positions in both the executive branch and on Capitol Hill.
If Matz is confirmed as chairman of the NCUA Board, she would receive an annual salary of $162,900. The other two members receive annual salaries of $153,200.
She would also have the chance to name new staff members, her own chief of staff and staff assistant and a director of the Office of Public and Congressional Affairs.
NCUA Chairman Michael E. Fryzel would become a regular board member, and Matz would occupy the seat on the board currently held by NCUA Vice Chairman Rodney Hood.
Obama announced his intent to nominate Matz on May 21 and sent her nominating papers to the Senate on June 1. The Senate Banking Committee has not announced when it will hold a confirmation hearing for her.