GOVERNANCE

CalPERS board member disciplined for violating confidentiality rules

CalPERS board member J.J. Jelincic was found to have violated the retirement system board's confidentiality rules by board President Rob Feckner, said spokesman Wayne Davis in an email.

As punishment, Mr. Jelincic must take additional training on California's open meetings law.

The controversy goes back to Jan. 19 when board member Bill Slaton publicly accused Mr. Jelincic at a board meeting of disclosing unspecified closed session board information and asked for Mr. Jelincic's resignation. Mr. Feckner said he would investigate the matter.

Mr. Jelincic, who has denied making such disclosures, in an interview Friday called Mr. Feckner's findings “a witch hunt.”

Mr. Jelincic said in a statement Friday he was charged by Mr. Slaton with publicly disclosing at a November finance and administration meeting that that the retirement system's investment office had adopted a new asset allocation.

“Somehow staff forgot that they had published a September meeting notice that scheduled an action item on a new asset allocation,” he said. “They also overlooked the fact that Ted Eliopoulos, the chief investment officer, said just the day before at the investment committee open session that we had adopted a new asset allocation.”

Mr. Jelincic in the letter also said he was accused of sending an email that revealed some of the details of what FTI Consulting had disclosed in closed session regarding “contract compliance” by some of the $318.9 billion pension fund's private equity partners.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, had hired FTI to examine fees it paid to private equity general partners.

Mr. Jelincic said in the interview Friday that he could not go into additional detail on the FTI report or he would be charged again with violating confidentiality rules.

In a third accusation, Mr. Jelincic said he received an email from the Council of Institutional Investors on how “ESG decisions were being incorporated into investment decisions.” Mr. Jelincic said he forwarded the report to other board members and was accused of “wrongdoing — conducing a closed serial meeting.”

Mr. Feckner in a statement said of Mr. Jelincic's denial, “he can characterize it any way he wants, but the fact is he did disclose information that was intended to be confidential. We have disciplined board members before, including Mr. Jelincic, and they have accepted it. That's my expectation of J.J in this case.”

In October 2014, Mr. Jelincic was publicly reprimanded by the board for questioning Mr. Eliopoulos' qualifications to be CIO in a Pensions & Investments story.

Mr. Jelincic said he will fulfill his punishment by attending a California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference sponsored by The American Bar Association on May 19. He said he is glad he is going so he can learn how to become more effective in publicly disclosing matters of concern at the retirement system.

“I plan to be even more dangerous,” he said in the interview.