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One prison area two CUs A forced-merger vote pending
COXSACKIE, N.Y. (7/10/08)--About 500 employees of two adjacent correctional facilities in one New York state location--Coxsackie, N.Y.--have asked a second credit union to take over their credit union. The members are dissatisfied with the services provided by their credit union and are asking another area credit union if it is willing to step in and assume control, according to a credit union executive. Chris Langley, president/CEO of Naponoch, N.Y-based Eastern New York FCU, told News Now that a group of members said the Coxsackie Correctional Employees FCU is not meeting their needs. The employees work at the adjacent Greene Correctional and Coxsackie Correctional facilities. New York allows only one credit union to be located on a defined area of state-owned land, Langley said. “They asked us to get involved,” Langley said. “They’re circulating a petition to call for a special meeting. That’s the lion’s share of the situation.” Virginia Magee, manager of Coxsackie Correctional Employees FCU, said she had “no comment” about the situation when contacted by News Now. Only 25 members’ signatures are needed to hold a special meeting of the 500-member Coxsackie Correctional Employees FCU, Langley said, adding that he believes the membership will “force the hand” of the credit union and decide to remove the credit union’s current board of directors. Members are questioning the services of the Coxsackie FCU, which is open four hours a day for five days a week, and doesn’t offer any cash services--no checking accounts, ATMs or debit cards, Langley said. “All it offers are consumer loans and savings accounts,” Langley explained. “If a member gets a loan they are given a voucher by the credit union and they have to take it to a bank where they get charged. The prison guards have to go to a local bank to cash their paychecks; they can’t do it on site. The credit union there has a profit orientation.” Eastern New York FCU has a Trade, Industry and Professional (TIP) charter that serves a nine-county area with full-service branches, Langley said. “There’s been misrepresentation [in the media] that Eastern is trying to beat up on and take over a small credit union,” Langley said. “That’s not the case. The only ones who can push for a merger vote are the members themselves. Credit unions are a democratically controlled institution. The members should be able to drive and decide this situation. “I’ve tried to talk to Coxsackie [FCU], but we’ve been stonewalled,” Langley added.

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