Retirement Division October 31, 2008 MINUTES of the Special Meeting of the Retirement Commission


October 31, 2008

Peter R. Blum, Chairman
Bob Baus (Teleconferenced)
S. Fae Brown-Brewton
Steve Caliendo
Charles Casella
Robert Coffey
Richard Cosgrove
Thomas Culley
Steve Greatorex
Sal Luciano
Mary Marcial
Ronald McLellan
Claude Poulin
Linda Yelmini

Paul Fortier
Jeffrey Smith, Municipal Liaison

Dr. Thomas Woodruff, Director, Retirement Services Division
Diane Ruggia, Executive Assistant, Retirement Services Division
Karen Buffkin, Counsel for the State Comptroller
Nancy Paretti, Reporter

Steve Eckels, State Auditor
Robert Jaekle, State Auditor
Kevin Johnston, State Auditor


The Chairman called the meeting to order at 10:08 a.m.

The Chairman directed the Trustees to the Auditors' Report of the State Comptroller's State Retirement Funds for fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Auditors discussed the findings of the audit and explained the recommendation as result of such findings. Discussion from various Trustees and the Chairman were not exclusive to the report, and focused on 2 articles reported in the Journal Inquirer on October 3, 2008 and October 6, 2008 subsequent to the report.

Various Trustees stated that parts of the report were misleading and erroneous, and felt it necessary that the auditors retract such statements in their final report.

Additional concern was expressed over erroneous reporting to the Journal Inquirer was a statement indicating first class travel by the Trustee(s). It was discussed and determined that this assumption was determined by the seat number which appears on the copy of the airline ticket which is submitted as part of the invoice for payment, but was in fact a coach ticket. The Commission Member informed the auditors and the Commission that the flights which he typically books himself are smaller planes which do not have first class seats.

Upon discussion, it was expressed by various Trustees that the auditors should retract what has been determined as erroneous statements in an effort to clear the Commission Members involved as well as the Commission as a whole.

The Director assured the Commission that he will make certain that any communication received by the division with regard to subsequent draft audit reports, discussions, and preliminary findings will be submitted to the full Commission as they are brought to his attention.

At this juncture, Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to enter into Executive Session at 12:20 p.m. Division staff was excluded from attending the executive session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Ms. Brown - Brewton to go out of executive session at 12:40 p.m. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano that the Commission be involved in agency responses with regard to issues of the Retirement Fund. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Casella moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini that the Comptroller addresses the Commission's questions and concerns with regard to future communication on the preliminary findings of the audit report. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Coffey, seconded by Mr. Luciano that the Commission submit a letter to the State Auditors concerning discrepancies of findings within the final audit report. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Cosgrove moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano that the Legal Personnel Subcommittee obtains a process in which to seek outside counsel to represent the Trustees. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision


Ms. Brown - Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano to adjourn the meeting.
All voted in favor.

The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 1:05 p.m.

Peter R. Blum. Chairman
State Employees Retirement Commission

Thomas C. Woodruff, Ph.D., Director

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