Share “Criticism angers police pension officials ”

Criticism angers police pension officials

By Randy Ellis Published: March 16, 2006
Board members of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System expressed outrage Wednesday at language in a draft report that described their investments as "hyper-aggressive" and "the equivalent to betting a trifecta on a horse race with pension funds."

The draft report is "extremely irresponsible," said David Been, the governor's appointee to the police pension board. "We've been the most responsible system in the state."

Board member W.B. Smith agreed.

"We're not out here just trying to ... throw all the money on the first horse and hope it's going to win," he said.

Board members were responding to a March 5 article in The Oklahoman that quoted from a draft report by the Oklahoma Pension Oversight Commission.

The draft report criticized the board for placing 5 percent of its investments in private equities and 20 percent in hedge funds, contending those investments were high risk.

It compared the private equity investments to betting on a trifecta.

"My phone rang off the wall," Smith said.

He said pensioners were upset that the report criticized the board's investment policies, while making no mention of how the insurance premium tax was taken away as a source of funding for the police system.

"They're robbing the system again. They took the money away and they don't say anything about that," he said.

Board members voted to express their displeasure by sending a letter to the governor, legislative leaders, oversight committee members and members of legislative retirement committees.

Continue reading this story on the... has disabled the comments for this article.