Congress is probing allegations that Norman E. D'Amours has mismanaged the National Credit Union Administration.
In a hearing Wednesday by the House Banking Committee's oversight and investigations subcommittee, former NCUA Director Robert Swan accused Chairman D'Amours and the agency's executive director, Karl Hoyle, of withholding documents from board members. Mr. Swan also said the duo directed the agency's staff to enforce new policies without board approval.
"There's an agenda that has been totally determined by those two men, and they are carrying it out by intimidation of staff," said Mr. Swan, who was ousted from his post by the White House last month.
Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., the panel's chairman, promised to give Mr. D'Amours and Mr. Hoyle a chance to respond at a future hearing.
The conflict began April 12 when the White House appointed banking lawyer Yolanda T. Wheat to replace Mr. Swan, whose term had expired last August. The White House used a "recess appointment" to install Ms. Wheat while the Senate was not in session.
But Mr. Swan refused to leave, claiming the President could not remove him until the Senate had confirmed his successor.
Mr. Swan is suing President Clinton to reverse his ouster, claiming the administration lacks authority to remove board members of independent agencies. Mr. Swan claimed that disagreements with Mr. D'Amours over two NCUA proposals regarding credit union investments were "the driving force" behind his termination.
Rep. Bachus said Mr. Hoyle had confirmed this during an interview. "It raises the specter that the administration is attempting to stack the deck in regard to a specific regulatory dispute before the NCUA board," said Rep. Bachus.
Mr. D'Amours was in Louisiana and could not be reached for comment. Mr. Hoyle declined to comment, citing Mr. Swan's lawsuit.
Louis Fisher, senior specialist at the Congressional Research Service, and John Hutchinson, former NCUA advisory board member, testified that Mr. Swan has a right to remain on the job until a successor is confirmed. But American University law professor Thomas O. Sargentich told the subcommittee the White House was justified in replacing Mr. Swan with a recess appointment.