State pensions

Review clears SC investment agency

The Associated PressJuly 19, 2013 

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

The agency that manages South Carolina’s pension portfolio has not engaged in criminal conduct or deceptive practices but its dysfunctional relationship with the state treasurer must improve, according to an inspector general report obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its Friday release.

Inspector General Patrick Maley’s report comes three months after Treasurer Curtis Loftis sent him a 37-page complaint alleging multiple “red flags” of potential misconduct over several years at the Retirement System Investment Commission, which the first-term Republican treasurer frequently attacks as secretive and unethical.

While there’s no wrongdoing associated with anything he reviewed, Maley said, Loftis had valid complaints about the agency restricting information from him. Maley also made recommendations for improving processes on two issues.

He found no merit on other allegations, including that investment managers were paying for staff travel and perks.

Chief operating officer Darry Oliver said the report exonerates the commission, and he hopes staff can turn their focus to the agency’s mission. Key to improving the relationship is to “let go of the past and move forward,” he said.

“We don’t plan on spending another second of time on any of these old issues now that they’ve been debunked,” he said.

Maley, a retired FBI agent, wrote that he’s never seen such a toxic, distrustful relationship between two organizations and the escalated tensions are harming the pension fund.

The public spats and name-calling needs to stop, Maley said, calling for direct intervention by the State Budget and Control Board.

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