Your editorial, "Accountability in Indiana," in the July 25 Pensions & Investments was of great interest to me. While I cannot speak to (former executive director Craig E.) Hartzer's administration, I can tell you that I found it extremely difficult to try to operate the Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund under a culture that replaced accountability with denial. Structural and operational problems at the fund, many of them deep-rooted and systemic, were often ignored.
The embarrassment suffered by the governor's office over news reports that it failed to uncover (Walter Kevin) Scott's criminal conviction during a background check and approved his hiring as the fund's chief benefits officer apparently hardened the policy of denial. When the story was broken by the Indianapolis Star, two of the fund's trustees urged the board to release a statement to the members acknowledging the problem with Mr. Scott while reassuring them of the security of their assets. Only a few days later, both trustees were summarily removed from the board by the governor and no such statement was made. Shortly thereafter, I resigned as executive director.
For the sake of the members and their retirement expectations as well as the continued security of the retirees, I trust that the new governor, Mitch Daniels, will reject the policy of denial and recognize those problems that have been allowed to take root in the fund. Having done so, he will then be in a position to take the necessary corrective measures. The hiring of David Adams and the emplacement of a new board are strong steps in that direction.
E. William Butler