WANTED: PSPRS Criminal Investigation

http://www.kpho.com/story/23532065/az-police-assoc-wants-criminal-investigation-into-pension-board

AZ Police Assoc. wants criminal investigation into pension board

By Jason Barry – CBS KPHO – Posted: Sep 25, 2013

PHOENIX (CBS5) – The director of the Arizona Police Association wants answers.

Levi Bolton wants a criminal investigation to see if the retirement funds of police and firefighters have been grossly mishandled.

“Would you give the captain who ran your ship into the rocks a performance bonus?” asked Bolton. “Probably not.”

Bolton has just sent a letter to the state attorney general’s office requesting a criminal investigation into the conduct of board members with Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement system.

The board of trustees has been giving out lucrative bonuses to its investment staff, while the trust was posting huge financial losses from 2008 to 2012.

Concerns have also been raised about administrators recording higher values on real estate investments, rather than reporting lower values as determined by an independent appraiser.

“One thing that is a clue to nefarious behavior, or at least conduct that certainly is suspicious, is an attempt to cover it up,” said Bolton. “When I see that, that is a problem.”

CBS 5 went to the board of trustees annual meeting Wednesday to get some answers.

Board Vice President Greg Ferguson said that they are currently investigating the allegations of mismanagement, but he does not believe they have done anything wrong.

“We went out and hired an independent law firm to come in and look at our process,” said Ferguson. “We think there is nothing wrong with the process. We’ve had auditors look at it and we have nothing to hide. We think we are doing everything correctly.”

The board voted this week to end the practice of giving bonuses to its investment staff, which should save taxpayers more than $200,000 this fiscal year.

No word yet on whether the attorney general’s office will launch an official investigation.

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