San Diego’s former City Attorney, Michael Aguirre, is setting his sights on the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association in a complaint filed with the state. Aguirre now works from his own private practice and has filed the complaint on behalf of Jeffrey Baker, an investment officer who was fired by the fund. Aguirre is claiming that the county’s pension fund has made irresponsible decisions (it manages $8 billion in funds), but a spokesperson for the retirement system dismissed the allegations as “grasping at straws.” The Tribune reports:
“Baker says he was fired for blowing the whistle on two sectors of the county fund that exceeded their risk limits. The county says the complaint is baseless and the fund’s overall risk was well within parameters.”
Baker is seeking $1 million in damages and his job back. Baker contends his dismissal was in retaliation for reporting a violation of the Statement of Investment Policy and Baker charges the fund’s leaders with turning a surplus in 2001 into a current unfunded liability of $1.5 billion. In response to the complaint’s allegations, a spokesperson for the fun stated the following:
“It is important to note that SDCERA’s overall investment portfolio, which the allocations mentioned are a part of, was using less than 50 percent of its overall risk budget. The allegations in the complaint about alleged violations of risk policies are simply wrong, and this is well-documented in public minutes, meeting materials, and videotapes of numerous board meetings going back into early 2010. The fund is currently in a strong and healthy financial position.”
The complaint filed with the state on behalf of Baker can be seen here.