The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 12, 2011
Commission proposes fines for CalPERS gift reporting

More than a dozen staff and board members of the California Public Employees' Retirement System face fines ranging from a few hundred dollars to $3,600 for failing to report gifts, according to an agenda posted on the Fair Political Practices Commission's website today.

The cases cover 16 individuals who failed to report gifts that included meals, bottles of wine, clothing, a kayak trip, a round of golf and Rose Bowl tickets.

The FPPC launched its investigation in May. Investigators combed through records of more than four dozen former and current board members and employees going back to 2006. The fines on the FPPC's website are stipulated agreements that the commission will consider making final at its Sept. 22 meeting.

CalPERS President Rob Feckner is named for failing to report five meals bought for him in 2007 and 2008 with a combined value of $277.39. He has agreed to pay a $400 fine.

FPPC staff suggested that Shaun Greenwood, a CalPERS portfolio manager, receive the largest fine, $3,600 for 18 counts of failure to report gifts he received between 2006 and 2009. The value of the meals, musical performances, whiskey, clothing, and other items from various financial firms: $2,700.

State law requires state government employees report gifts worth more than $50 from a single entity in a year. The law also caps the total value of gifts allowed in a year from a single source at $420. CalPERS, which has been embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal involving former executives and board members, currently forbids its employees from accepting gifts.

The Legislature last week passed Senate Bill 439, that bans employees and board members of CalPERS and its cousin fund, the California State Teachers' Retirement System, from accepting gifts totaling more than $50 per year from a single source. Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 9 to sign it into law.

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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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