The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 6, 2011
UPDATE: CalPERS official's sexual harassment reprimand upheld

4:05 p.m.: This post has been updated with a statement from CalPERS.

The State Personnel Board has upheld a formal reprimand against Joseph John Jelincic Jr. over claims that he sexually harassed co-workers at the California Public Employees' Retirement System. The incidents occurred before and after he took an at-large seat on the fund's 13-member board in January 2010.

Jelincic worked in CalPERS' investments office until early July, when the fund released him to do board work full time. Three women complained that Jelincic's long looks and language had made them uncomfortable. The Bee is not naming the women because of the nature of the case.

In a telephone interview this afternoon, Jelincic said that he hadn't seen the decision and couldn't yet comment on it.

CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco issued a statement via e-mail: "CalPERS has a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind. We are committed to ensuring that our employees have a work environment that is professional, safe, and free from harassment."

The fund launched a sexual harassment investigation and last December formally reprimanded Jelincic. The matter would have remained out of public view, but he decided lodge an appeal with the State Personnel Board. That made the complaint against him a public record.

During a July 6 SPB hearing, Jelincic argued that his actions toward the women were either misunderstood, didn't happen or were trumped up by CalPERS officials. At the end of the day-long hearing, Jelincic said that CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll and fund lawyer Peter Mixon had "animus" against him over his unusual dual role as employee and board member and implied that fund management had conspired against him.

Administrative Law Judge Teri L. Block, however, upheld the reprimand. This afternoon SPB President Maeley Tom, Vice President Patricia Clarey and Will Fox upheld Block's decision. Anne Sheehan, who serves as the director of corporate governance at CalSTRS, and Jelincic's CalPERS board colleague, Richard Costigan, recused themselves.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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