U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret A. Nagle has denied the NCUA’s motion to prevent former Director of the Office of Corporate Credit Unions Kent Buckham from giving a deposition to former WesCorp CEO Robert Siravo’s defense attorneys in the ongoing case that was originally filed by seven former WesCorp member credit unions.
Siravo’s attorney, Richard Drooyan of Los Angeles-based Munger, Tolles & Olson, told Credit Union Times that the judge last week also added that Buckham’s deposition must take place after three others expected from NCUA witnesses.
Buckham is now director of the NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection.
The NCUA did come away with a victory in regards to a protective order that lets NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz and former NCUA Board Member Gigi Hyland off the hook from providing a deposition in the case.
However, Drooyan said last Wednesday that Nagle added the provision that Siravo’s defense team could come back to the two if they can’t get the information in response to written discovery.
Only Siravo and former WesCorp Chief Financial Officer Todd Lane have yet to settle with the NCUA. The federal regulator, which took over the case from the original credit union plaintiffs, settled with former WesCorp executives Timothy Sidley, Robert Burrell and Thomas Swedberg in March, May and July, respectively.
Should Siravo or Lane fail to reach a settlement with the NCUA, the case is scheduled to go to trial March 26, 2013.
WesCorp was placed into conservatorship by the NCUA in March 2009 after investment losses from high concentrations of private-label mortgage-backed securities wiped out the corporate’s capital.
Stuart Perlitsh, president/CEO of the $324 million Glendale Area Schools FCU, was the lead plaintiff of the original seven credit unions behind the lawsuit. He told Credit Union Times that he would like to see the three NCUA officials provide depositions for the case.
“The NCUA is talking about transparency, so let’s shine the light and find out what went wrong. That was the whole idea behind the lawsuit, finding out exactly what happened and who is accountable,”
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on July 10, the NCUA sought a protective order against the depositions of Matz, Hyland and Buckham.
The NCUA argued in the documents that Siravo’s attorneys have not shown that the three have direct personal factual information pertaining to the case that the defendant couldn’t get through another source.
The plaintiff cited precedent that high-ranking government officials should not be subject to involuntary depositions unless there are extraordinary circumstances.