Directors of the State Department Federal Credit Union, which has been placed on a "problem list" by federal regulators, have dismissed Edward N. Gulli from his post as the credit union's general manager, officials said yesterday.
C. Melvin Sonne, a director of the credit union, said the board voted 5 to 4 to dismiss Gulli on Sept. 2 after a discussion that focused on the credit union's financial situation.
Jerome R. Broadus, who had been assistant general manager, was named to act in place of Gulli, who continues as a board member.
Gulli and board members have been under attack from a dissident group of credit union members, who have criticized both the financial management of the institution and the amount of money spent on receptions and trips to conferences in places such as Munich, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Hawaii.
The trips did not figure in the board's decision to fire Gulli, according to Sonne, who was named to fill a board vacancy at the request of the dissident group. "The discussion at the board meeting Sept. 2 focused on the poor financial results of the credit union," Sonne said.
Gulli could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The credit union, which has $166 million in assets and 36,000 member accounts, reported a loss of $346,095 on total income of $8 million for the first half of this year. Last year, it lost $224,200 on total income of $15.7 million.
In an interview last month, Gulli said the member-owned credit union had been placed under special surveillance by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which regulates federal credit unions. He said NCUA examiners, in a July 27 meeting with the board, had raised the possibility the agency might take over the credit union or merge it with a healthier one if the board did not act in a more "prudent" manner.
Specifically, Gulli quoted the examiners as saying the board, including himself, had failed to act quickly enough to reverse the decline in the credit union's condition. They criticized the credit union's emphasis on attracting more deposits instead of seeking to invest more of its deposits in more profitable loans. No mention was made of the trips or other expenses, Gulli said in the interview.
On Aug. 22, the State Department sent a copy of a Washington Post article detailing the credit union's condition to all State employes. In a cover letter, the agency assured employes that the NCUA is continuing to monitor developments at the credit union. The letter noted that the federal government insures accounts for up to $100,000.
"Nothing has changed," Layne L. Bumgardner, the NCUA's director of supervision and examinations, said yesterday when asked about the credit union's financial condition.
Eugene L. Krizek, a retired State Department congressional liaison officer who acts as spokesman for the dissident group, the Committee to Restore the Credit Union, said yesterday that the group has submitted a petition to the credit union board asking for a special emergency meeting so members can vote on a new board.
"We want a new management to restore faith in the credit union," he said. "This board is not able to do it."
In addition, Krizek said the group has formally objected to the board's approval of the sale of the credit union's building in Arlington, ordered by Gulli before he was fired.
Board member James C. Lewis, president of the credit union, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Broadus, the acting general manager, also could not be reached.