The financial struggle plaguing the $157 million Cumorah CreditUnion in Las Vegas can be traced to one big factor: Nevada'scommercial real estate bust.

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That's according to Paul Simons, the president/CEO of adownstate Illinois credit union called in by the CU's privateinsurer for workout duty. "If you eliminate the commercial realestate loans from the portfolio, Cumorah is a very solid creditunion but unfortunately you can't do that," explained Simons, headof the $574 million Credit Union 1 of Rantoul. He was brought in byAmerican Share Insurance less than two weeks ago as interimCEO.

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The provision set aside for Cumorah's commercial real estateportfolio in net capital has indeed "been challenged," he saidmaintaining his temporary CEO role remains "simply as a stabilizinginfluence" until a final determination is made by the board, whichhe acknowledged could be an eventual merger.

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On Oct. 5 Simons replaced Cumorah's long-time CEO and pastchairman of the Nevada Credit Union League, Tony Mook, whoannounced his resignation "effective immediately." A CU statement,however, praised Mook for his 19-year service to Cumorah, citingits robust growth in recent years. Cumorah serves the largecontingent of Mormon Church members in the state.

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