The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 22, 2011
Commission OKs fines for CalPERS administrators, employees

The Fair Political Practices Commission signed off on fines for more than a dozen current and former CalPERS board members and employees today, closing the books on an investigation that started with 58 people connected to the mammoth pension fund.

110922 FPPC logo.JPGThe action today rubber stamped penalties already agreed to by 16 individuals who violated state law by failing to report meals, alcohol, clothing, sports and entertainment tickets and other gifts received from CalPERS investment partners since 2006.

The fines ranged from $3,600 against portfolio manager Shaun Greenwood to $200 for Sue Kane an adviser to CalPERS' board President Rob Feckner.

Greenwood failed to report $2,700 worth of luggage, clothing, events tickets and other freebies, 18 counts in all. Kane's single count was for failing to report a $100 meal from Goldman Sachs.

Word of the investigation surfaced in May and intensified the harsh light already on CalPERS over an influence-peddling scandal that involved former board members and executive staff.

But by the time the FPPC investigation closed, half of the 58 people were cleared of wrongdoing. A few others received warnings that they had come close to violating the state's $50-per-gift or $420-per-year-per-company limits.

(Coincidentally, Senate Bill 439 is now on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. If he signs it, CalPERS and CalSTRS board members and high-ranking employees won't be allowed to accept gifts totaling more than $50 in a calendar year.)

The 16 penalties finalized today total $19,600 and average $1,225 per individual. Half of the fines were $600 or less. Click here and scroll down to agenda item No. 36 to see the details on the FPPC's website.

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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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