Robert P. Casey Jr., Pennsylvania auditor general, today asked Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg for a declaratory judgment that his office has the legal authority to conduct special performance audits of the states two major public employee pension funds. The $38 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System and the $21 billion State Employees Retirement System last week refused to comply with Mr. Caseys subpoenas for documents to examine how the funds award $250 million a year to outside investment advisers.
The pension funds claim that Mr. Caseys department has no authority to conduct audits of the systems investment operations and said they plan to hire their own auditors. Mr. Casey said his office has both constitutional and statutory authority to conduct special performance audits, and he asked the court to prohibit the plans use of money held in trust by them for their audits.
Spokesmen at both plans would not comment further on Mr. Caseys actions; last week, they said the plans werent going to give him a "blank check to conduct his own audit, using the funds money to pay for it.