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CUs Not Mentioned During Hearing

WASHINGTON-Credit unions escaped any mention last week during a hearing on tax reform by the House Ways and Means Committee. Instead, the committee took a broader look at potential changes in tax laws. However, the committee's chairman, Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), has said in the past that he wants to reexamine the status of not-for-profits, including credit unions.

NAFCU Elects Vadala As New Chairman

ARLINGTON, Va.-NAFCU has elected Michael S. Vadala, CEO of The Summit FCU in Rochester, N.Y., to a one-year term as its new chairman. He succeeds Diane Furnas, CEO of Southwest Airlines FCU, who elected not to serve a second one-year term.

Vadala joined the NAFCU Board in 1997 when he was elected as the Region I representative. Vadala began his credit union career as an auditor for the New York State Credit Union League in 1979. He joined the staff of The Summit FCU in 1984 as controller, and became CEO in 1995. Other changes to the NAFCU board:

* John W. Milazzo Jr., president of Campus FCU in Baton Rouge, La., has been elected vice chair.

* Bradley W. Beal, president of Nevada FCU in Las Vegas, has been elected secretary.

* Bill Cheney, president of Xerox FCU in El Segundo, Calif., has been elected treasurer.

CO-OP, Alaska Option Agree

ONTARIO, Calif.-The CO-OP Network has agreed to open a gateway link to Alaska Option that will provide credit union members of Alaska's electronic funds transfer network surcharge-free access to the credit union-owned network. The gateway link will give Alaska Option members access to CO-OP's 20,000 ATMs in the other 49 states. Alaska Option provides 24 financial institutions in Alaska and Washington, half of them credit unions, with access to more than 350 ATMs.

Lawyer is Reprimanded

WATERTOWN, N.Y.-A lawyer representing Northern FCU in a bankruptcy case was cited and reprimanded by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for claiming the assets of a member's fianc? should be included in a bankruptcy petition and ripe for collection. The lawyer's claim, insisted U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Littlefield, Jr., was so flawed that the credit union should also be penalized for relying on his counsel. In his brief with the court, attorney David Antonucci had argued that the member had more assets than he disclosed in a Chapter 7 petition and that the member had been funneling money that should have been available to repay debts into his fiance's home and living expenses for her children.

The judge wrote that Antonucci had admitted on several occasions that neither he or the credit union had evidence to support his allegations.

Tax Rebate Helps Fund Branch

WAUNAKEE, Wis.-Summit CU will receive $475,000 in local property tax rebates as part of Tax Incremental Financing agreement to help spur redevelopment in the downtown area. Under the deal, the $645 million credit union will receive an annual rebate of 85% of its property taxes on the new branch for as long as 20 years as part of an agreement to build the $2.225 million facility.

The two-story building will provide the credit union with about 12,000 square-feet of space on the southeast corner of Madison and Main streets. The project will preserve the original fa?ade of the old bank building at the site. The branch will be the credit union's 12 when it opens in 2007.

The Credit Union Journal's On Deadline coverage is sponsored by Liberty. For info: www.libertysite.com.

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