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San Diego County Pension Board Backtracks To Avoid Conflict Of Interest

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Aired 4/1/10

San Diego County’s Pension Board is considering a plan to hand over the job of managing the $7 Billion pension fund to a private contractor. But attorneys have warned the board to beware of conflicts of interest.

— San Diego County’s Pension Board is considering a plan to hand over the job of managing the $7 billion pension fund to a private contractor. But attorneys have warned the board to beware of conflicts of interest.

The Pension Board has already hired Lee Partridge of Integrity Capital to manage the fund’s investments. The former investment manager was a public employee and earned around $200,000 a year. Partridge will earn more than a million annually.

But Partridge told the County it could save $25 million by outsourcing the whole investment department. He offered his own company.

County Treasurer Dan McAllister says pension fund attorneys advised that granting that contract would be grounds for conflict of interest charges.

“They came back today and said that, in their opinion, it would set the system up for a problem if, in fact, he were to get this contract.”

The county pension board is independent from the board of supervisors, but Supervisor Diane Jacob sits on the board as a representative of the County. She wants to see if county employees could compete with private bidders.

The Board will research its options before proceeding.

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