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Illinois Judge Orders State To Stop

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-A state judge last week ordered the state government to immediately stop using money from three funds used to finance financial institutions regulation for general government expenses. Judge Leo Zappa issued a temporary restraining order, saying credit unions, banks and s&ls could be irreparably harmed if the money is diverted from previously dedicated accounts to the state's general fund.

A group of financial institution trade associations, including the Illinois CU League, filed suit in December charging the funds sweeps were illegal under the state's constitution, which created dedicated funds to finance examinations of financial institutions and for other purposes. The suit is still pending.

The diversion of the CU Fund, which now holds about $6 million, was enabled under last May's budget bill which targeted 300 different funds previously dedicated to single purposes and holding as much as $400 million to help fund the state's general operating expenses.

MCU In First-Time Buyer Program

SAN JOSE, Calif.-Meriwest CU said its Meriwest Mortgage CUSO has joined with the California Housing Finance Agency to offer first-time home buyers below-market mortgages, lower closing costs and possible financing subsidies in one of the nation's most expensive housing markets. The assistance will be offered to first-time home buyers who meet the income and sales price limits for the county in which they purchase a home. Mortgage loans in this super-heated housing market are generally non-conforming with secondary market standards because they exceed the loan limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Court Ruling In Repo Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO-A federal appeals court ruled last week that police officers did not violate two women's civil rights when they intervened in a fight over a credit union's repossession of a car. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that the civil suit be dismissed against the Redwood Police over the 2001 incident in which a repo man was sent by San Mateo County Employees CU to take possession of a car, which caused a fight with the car owner.

After police broke up the fight the car owner sued claiming her 14th Amendment right against being deprived of property without due process of law, and her Fourth Amendment right to be free of illegal search and seizure, were violated. But the appeals court ruled that the fight wasn't conducted under the officers' purview; that police hadn't been alerted of the repossession in advance; and were only asked to stand by to ensure that the repossession went smoothly.

Detroit-Area CUs Air Radio Ads

DETROIT-Local area credit unions have begun a 12-station advertising campaign in the Detroit metropolitan area. The advertising buy, which began running Feb. 28, consists of drive-time traffic report sponsorships on Metro Detroit area Clear Channel Network stations, as well as four additional network stations in the Ann Arbor area. The traffic report sponsorships consist of an opening sponsor message and a 15-second credit union message.

Each station is airing 10 credit union-sponsored reports per week over a four-week schedule. Also included in this media campaign is a two-week schedule of about 100 60-second spots on Metro Detroit's top-rated news station, WWJ-AM 950, and a three-week buy of 240 spots on its sister station, WXYT-AM 1270. The almost 800 total credit union commercials and promotional announcements to be aired in the campaign are expected to reach more than two-million people.

Getaway Bike Is Recovered

CINCINNATI-A man who robbed Kemba CU last week made his getaway on a bicycle that was recovered a short while later near the credit union. A canine unit was called out to help in the search but lost the suspect's trail.

Ex-Manager Turns Self In

WATERFORD, N.Y.-The former manager of Sillicone Employees FCU turned himself in for arrest last week, the second employee charged in an investigation of missing funds. James Dawson, 45, allegedly participated in the embezzlement of more than $50,000 from the CU while manager. Earlier, Janet Marsh-Amoroso, 47, was arrested and charged for her role.

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