Multiple sources have told Credit Union Times that President Barack Obama intends to nominate former Oregon State Sen. Rick Metsger to serve on the NCUA Board.
If confirmed by the Senate, the Democrat would likely replace former Board Member Gigi Hyland, who left the NCUA last Oct. 5, after serving more than a year past her term’s expiration. The choice of a Democrat by Obama to replace Hyland is an odd one, because the term would presumably be just four years.
According to the NCUA’s website, each member serves a staggered six-year term, a restriction that dictates the shorter term to replace Hyland.
If Obama intends for Metsger to replace current board member Michael Fryzel, whose term expires Aug. 2, the president will eventually have to also appoint a Republican to join him and current NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz, also a Democrat.
No more than two board members can be from the same political party, according to the NCUA. However, nothing in the Federal Credit Union Act appears to prevent two Democrats from serving on the board together.
A call to Metsger was not immediately returned.
In addition to serving in the Oregon State Senate from 1999 to 2011, Metsger is a former vice chairman at Portland Teachers CU, which has since been renamed OnPoint Community CU. It has $3.3 billion in assets. Before entering politics, Metsger was a television sports broadcaster.
He has a history of supporting credit union legislation, having sponsored bills in Oregon that would allow credit unions to accept public funds and raise a $100,000 member business loan cap on state-chartered credit unions. The public fund bill was passed in 2010.
In a 2004 letter to the editor, Metsger warned credit union leaders against resting on their laurels of victories past when confronting banker lobby efforts.
“As one who has worked hard in passing both national and state credit union legislation, I understand all too well that the next battle is just around the corner,” Metsger wrote then. “The grassroots efforts of the 1990's must not rest in hibernation or we will all pay a very hefty price.”
The Credit Union Association of Oregon named Metsger its "Legislator of the Decade" at its 2009 annual meeting.
Metsger unsuccessfully ran for Oregon state treasurer in 2010, despite CUAO support and member credit unions campaigning in his favor.
Carla Decker, president/CEO of the $46 million District of Columbia Employees FCU, withdrew her nomination to the NCUA board in February 2012, after former board member James Talbert leaked the credit union’s CAMEL score.
Talbert was banned from federally insured credit unions by the NCUA in March 2012 for the disclosure.
Decker had been nominated to fill Hyland’s seat.
In 2011, Chairman Debbie Matz’s salary from the NCUA was $165,300 and NCUA Board Members Michael Fryzel and Gigi Hyland each made $155,500.