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California Pension Executives Subject of Gift Reporting Inquiry

California Public Employees' Retirement System's Rob Feckner
The California Public Employees' Retirement System President Rob Feckner. Source: Calpers photograph via Bloomberg

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension, said it’s cooperating with a state investigation into whether its top staff and board members failed to properly disclose gifts.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating 49 current and former Calpers employees and board members, including Joe Dear, the fund’s chief investment officer, and Rob Feckner, the $235 billion fund’s board president, for either failing to report gifts or valuing them properly, according to a list provided by the commission’s executive director, Roman Porter.

“Calpers has been fully cooperating with the FPPC on this investigation over the last several months,” Anne Stausboll, the fund’s chief executive officer, said in a statement yesterday. “These matters are still pending and our staff involved have due-process rights.” Stausboll’s name is not on the list of those included in the inquiry.

Calpers was roiled by a pay-to-play scandal last year involving middlemen hired by firms seeking to win the fund’s business. California law requires anyone involved in investing taxpayer money to file a statement of economic interest each year describing their income and listing any gifts they were given. The value limit on gifts is $420.

The commission can fine violators as much as $5,000 for each offense, Porter said.

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