The National Credit Union Administration on Wednesday released a small Oregon credit union from conservatorship and returned it to its members after just one year.

"We're celebrating," said Loretta Moesta, manager of Eugene, Ore.-based OUR Federal Credit Union since September. "This is a happy day for all of us here."

The agency had placed the $3.6 million-asset community development credit union into conservatorship last June after former manager Cathleen Byers was charged in an 84-count indictment with embezzling more than $600,000. A trial date has been set in October.

During the one-year conservatorship, the credit union cut staff and operating hours, reduced its work space, and renegotiated its contracts. Its landlord reduced the rent for a period, while other credit unions contributed employees to help and the Oregon Credit Union League provided free training for members of the OUR staff.

Officials also strengthened the small credit union's operations and financial controls to prevent further problems.

OUR, which has 2,100 members, was founded in 1969 to serve the residents of Lane County, who take part in programs sponsored by the county's Department of Community Health and Social Services. Most of its members are low-income residents.

"We needed help and we got it," Ms. Moesta said. "It's been an amazing outpouring of everyone pitching in to help this credit union."

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