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NEWS
June 20, 2002
The state pension board elected Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer as its chairman yesterday. The board chose state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp as vice chairwoman. Both will serve one-year terms. The pension system oversees assets for 87,000 former state employees and manages future benefits for 184,600 participants. Schaefer had been acting chairman since the resignation in January of former state Treasurer Richard N. Dixon.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2013
Members of Baltimore's fire and police pension board are questioning whether one of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's top aides should remain part of the lucrative pension system that covers sworn public safety officers. Administration officials say Robert M. Maloney — a career firefighter — has worn multiple hats within city government since becoming a deputy to the mayor in August. He is a sworn paramedic who responds to emergency calls, they say, while as a mayoral aide, he monitors agencies including the Health Department and the Mayor's Office of Information Technology.
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NEWS
By JOHN FRITZE and JOHN FRITZE,SUN REPORTER | May 4, 2006
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley said yesterday he would consider supporting City Council legislation to tighten travel restrictions for members of the city's pension board, especially when it comes to overseas trips. "They would be well advised to tighten up their rules governing the travel of board members," O'Malley said. "It's one thing to jump on Amtrak to go to New York City. It's quite another to do foreign travel." O'Malley's comments came in response to questions about the seven-member pension board's travel, first reported in The Examiner, that has included trips to Paris and Monte Carlo for what board members have called educational conferences.
NEWS
Marta H. Mossburg | April 10, 2012
State legislators often prioritize important legislation the way kindergartners rank vegetables among the food groups. They focus on media-friendly social legislation instead of structural reform requiring time and effort to understand and craft. Why, for example, did they pass gay marriage and a law regulating how long a child must face rearward in a car seat but not figure out the budget until the absolute last minute? And why didn't they spend time this year on how to pay the pensions of the 373,000 people in the state retirement system?
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | November 21, 2001
Gov. Parris N. Glendening named a longtime trustee of Howard Community College yesterday to a spot on the state pension board, which oversees a system struggling to recover from a loss of more than $3 billion last year. David A. Rakes, 64, will join a board that has been the subject of dispute over its investment performance and the chairmanship of state Treasurer Richard N. Dixon. Rakes replaces Laurel Mayor Frank P. Casula, who died last month, as the board member who represents local government employers participating in the system.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | May 21, 2003
An independent consultant suggested yesterday that the Maryland state employee pension board yield some of its long-held powers to strengthen the role of the retirement system's chief executive. The draft recommendation by Cortex Applied Research came as part of a broad evaluation of the management structure of the system and the operations of the board in the wake of several embarrassing lapses. Among the powers the trustees should consider giving up, according to the consultants, are the hiring of the chief investment officer and the selection of money managers.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Jon Morgan and Michael Dresser and Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF | September 27, 2002
The Maryland pension board is moving to hire a consultant to evaluate the performance of the retirement system's staff after lapses in the oversight of Nathan A. Chapman Jr.'s investments, state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp said yesterday. Kopp, vice chairwoman of the pension board, said she expects its executive committee to take up a proposal to hire a consultant next week. "I'm pushing as hard as I can to get a detailed, objective review of our procedures," she said. The proposed review would apparently include a look at the roles of Executive Director Peter Vaughn and Chief Investment Officer Carol Boykin in dealing with the Chapman matter.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | June 21, 2000
Despite recent turmoil on the state pension board, Maryland Treasurer Richard N. Dixon was re-elected as its chairman yesterday without opposition. The vote means that Dixon, who has become the subject of increasing controversy in recent months, will serve at least another year as head of the $31.9 billion pension system for government employees. But soon after re-electing Dixon, the board administered a stern rebuke, refusing to go along with his plan to apologize to an under-performing money manager for suspicions raised by a member of the board.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and William Patalon III and Michael Dresser and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | February 14, 2003
A General Assembly committee recommended sweeping changes yesterday in the structure of the state pension board, seeking to beef up its financial expertise after a financial scandal and two years of heavy losses. The Joint Committee on Pensions decided to sponsor legislation that would unseat about half the members of the board and eliminate the election of employee representatives. The recommendations, which were adopted unanimously, will go to the House of Delegates and state Senate for hearings.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | February 9, 2002
The state pension board has dropped a firm run by Baltimore investment manager Nathan A. Chapman Jr. as manager of about $175 million in retirement funds after learning that the company is under investigation by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Chapman Capital Management, whose chief executive is chairman of the University of Maryland Board of Regents and a close ally and financial backer of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, had been expected to be terminated because of poor investment performance.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2011
Nathan A. Chapman Jr., the once-prominent money manager whose fraudulent investments in his own companies caused a scandal for Maryland's public employee pension system, is scheduled to be released from federal custody Friday after serving 41/2 years. Chapman, convicted by a federal jury in 2004 on 23 counts of fraud and filing false tax returns, was most recently assigned to an undisclosed halfway house run out of Annapolis Junction, according to a Bureau of Prisons website. The Baltimore Sun sent a letter to Chapman inviting him to be interviewed in connection with his release, but he did not respond.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2010
Legislation to change the fire and police pension system could save Baltimore $400 million over five years, according to a report prepared by financial experts hired by the city. Union leaders and city officials are expected to testify before the City Council's taxation and finance committee today on the bill, which was drafted by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration, Councilwoman Helen Holton and Councilman William H. Cole IV. The hearing comes at a tense time: Council members are expediting the passage of the measure, which must be signed into law by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 if the cash-strapped city is to avoid a $165 million bill — $64 million more officials have budgeted.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,michael.dresser@baltsun.com | October 20, 2009
The agency that runs a voluntary retirement plan for state employees failed to adequately disclose a $48 million loss in the market value of a conservative investment pool, according to an audit released Monday. A toughly worded report suggests that the staff and board of the Maryland Teachers and State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plans had been lax in their oversight of private firms that manage many of the plan's investments. The auditors also said plan managers were unable to answer many of their questions or provide relevant documents.
NEWS
October 15, 2009
If the vote by the Baltimore fire and police pension board to pass a whopping $165 million tab on to the city was meant as a call for attention, let's hope they now have it. Heavy stock market losses combined with unsustainable benefits and systemic management issues have forced the board to request twice as large a contribution from the city next year as they're getting this year. The city, which has already been forced to enact layoff and furloughs, to cut services and eliminate capital projects, can't afford it without raising property tax rates by 11 percent.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | April 27, 2009
The moment of horror that hit Baltimore this year, when officials realized the depth of the city's pension problems, came a full seven years ago for San Diego. During a 2002 City Council meeting in that Southern California city, a pension board member announced that the city's plan needed more than $1 billion in taxpayer money to stay afloat. "My heart went down to my toes," recalled April Boling, a certified public accountant in the audience who immediately understood that the retirement system was poised to bankrupt the city.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | April 5, 2009
Baltimore City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake wants to tap a prominent business-group leader to head a commission examining the city's troubled fire and police pension system. Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, has accepted an invitation from Rawlings-Blake and City Councilman William H. Cole IV to lead an effort to review a retirement program whose ballooning costs have created what both call a "fiscal crisis." "You want to make sure that these funds are sustainable and you do have enough money to support them," said Fry, a former Harford County state senator who is also heading a panel to award slot-machine licenses in Maryland.
NEWS
July 12, 1997
STATE WORKERS AND public-school teachers had better pay more attention to what's happening (or not happening) on their pension-retirement board. Some troubling developments indicate that far more public visibility of issues before the retirement panel might help avoid some embarrassing and costly pitfalls.Take the exorbitant fees imposed on 35,000 state employees who put money into their private retirement savings accounts. For much of the past two decades, the board permitted the Public Employees Benefit Services Corp.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | February 21, 2002
Del. Elizabeth Bobo wonders why the state employees' pension fund is putting money into the same type of foreign currency investments that brought enormous losses to Allfirst Financial Inc. Prompted by the $691 million loss at the Baltimore bank, the Howard County lawmaker has introduced legislation that would forbid the pension board to make such investments. Peter Vaughn, executive director of the pension system, estimated that about 1 percent to 2 percent of the $28 billion fund's assets are tied up in currency hedging investments.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | April 3, 2009
Baltimore City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake called Thursday for the city's fire and police pension board to sue to recover funds lost in the Bernard L. Madoff financial scandal. The pension fund lost about $3.1 million after a hedge fund in which it was invested, Union Bancaire Privee Asset Management, placed money in another fund that invested with Madoff. During a council meeting she called to discuss the matter, Rawlings-Blake pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal article that alleges UBP researchers warned its money managers not to do business with Madoff.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | January 12, 2009
The Baltimore City Council president plans to request hearings on the police and fire departments' pension fund's loss of $3.5 million in investments tied to disgraced money manager Bernard L. Madoff. At today's meeting, council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake will propose a resolution seeking an inquiry into investment policy guidelines. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is working to untangle the web of investors affected by Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
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