Fund chairman on the move, out of reach

November 03, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF REPORTER

As questions about the investment performance of Maryland's state employee pension plan continued to mount this week, its chairman has been unavailable.

Since Monday, The Sun has left messages at the home and office of state Treasurer Richard N. Dixon seeking his comments. Dixon chairs the pension board and acts as its principal spokesman.

As of last night, the reporter still hadn't heard from the treasurer. A woman in Dixon's office said he was traveling but would not say whether he was on state business or his own time.

Bill Brown, a member of the pension board, expressed disappointment that Dixon didn't appear before a legislative committee Tuesday and did not return calls from reporters to explain the fund's poor performance last year.

"If you're the chair of this fund, if you want that responsibility, part of the responsibility is being out front," said Brown, who was elected to represent teachers.

"We can't be evasive or we can't be unavailable for comment when this kind of thing is happening."

One person who has been in touch with Dixon this week is Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who said he spoke to the treasurer in "Florida or somewhere." The state treasurer is elected by the General Assembly.

Miller would not comment about Dixon's silence but said legislative leaders would question him next week and "expect honest and forthright answers."

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