Arizona Public Safety Retirement System Refuses To Release Public Documents
Pensioners First – Why would honest people take such pains to deny the release of public documents? We’ll give you three guesses, but you’ll only need one-
At the November 2013 Board of Trustees meeting, the Arizona Republic was so bent out of shape that they sent reporter Craig Harris to speak at the meeting during the Call To The Public. He essentially stated that PSPRS was (and still is) violating state law by withholding documents that were and are obviously public information. Vice-Chairman Ferguson tells the Arizona Republic to pound sand.
According to the meeting minutes –
Mr. Craig Harris, a reporter for the Arizona Republic, stated he has been requested by his two supervisors to speak regarding continual denial of public records requests. Earlier today those of you on the Investment Committee received documents related to salary increases proposed by Mr. Jim Hacking. I asked for those documents yesterday from Mr. Cole. I was denied access to those records.
I was also denied access to hose records today even though those records were provided to members of this Board and were also provided to other members of the police and fire unions, which I saw distributed prior to this meeting. When I asked again for those when you were in Executive Session, I was told that this was a draft document. I did not receive those records again. We are at a continual battle with your agency to get public records which is causing us to get our lawyers involved and for your lawyers to be involved. I want to make your Board aware of this that we were denied public records of basic records of public money of how staff would be compensated. In the future, I would like to review the same information that is given to the Board which is under public records law. I appreciate your hearing me today and would like to have these records in a timely manner so we could stop having litigation with your staff and get the records we seek. In the past Mr. Hacking has done an outstanding job of providing records when it came to the pension figures and when it came to the police officers, firefighters, elected officials and correction officers. But when it comes to ask for staff compensation of his staff, we are continually denied that record and we have to have huge fights with the Department of Administration by our lawyers until we get those records.
Once again, I asked for those records today. I asked for them yesterday. I asked for them when I got here. I asked during Executive Session. I was continually denied which is a violation of the Public Records Law even though the same information is provided to other members of the public. Thank you for your time.
Mr. Tobin stated he was given a copy of the Public Records Request which he gave to the PSPRS Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Ivy Voss for her to provide those records to him if she felt they were public records.
Mr. Ferguson said he believed that for a public records request the only thing entitled for disbursement was an agenda.
Ms. Voss replied generally speaking that is true and that she believes these records have now been provided to Mr. Harris during the same time they were provided to members of the public. They are a public record after they have been presented and he now has them. That is my understanding.
Pensioners First – PSPRS is withholding public records. Why do you think that is?
Don’t change the benefits! Change the decision makers! The FBI is watching!
Also see the updated Republic article noting the Arizona public safety pensions’ continued deception regarding public documents-