Alameda County Superior Court Judge Michael Markman has ruled that the CalPERS Board of Administration violated California’s open meetings law two years ago when it held a session that was closed to the public.
The session was to discuss former investment chief Ben Meng, who left CalPERS following a conflict-of-interest complaint revealed his involvement with a private equity firm that the pension fund was invested in. Meng had been directing CalPER’s funds into an equity firm that he was personally invested in.
Following the meeting, former board member J.J. Jelincic filed a public records request for a transcript of the meeting but was denied by CalPERS. This secrecy led to more than a year of litigation that was spearheaded by Jelincic. CalPERS tried to hide what was discussed in the meeting despite it being a clear violation of California open meeting laws.
Judge Markman’s ruling includes an order for CalPERS to release the Transcript as requested by Jelincic but did allow for redactions to comments made by a CalPERS lawyer. The ruling is a win for transparency but there is more work to be done.
Jelincic has appealed the ruling in based on claims that CalPERS overestimated the value of certain assets in 2019. he believes that CalPERS has become secretive and is failing to disclose important financial information to pension holders. You can learn more about it here.
CalPERS is one of the largest pension funds in the United States and at TransparentCalifornia.com we have pension records stretching all the way back to 2010.