The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division found no evidence of an “alleged pay-to-play scheme” related to the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, Columbia, according to a letter from John McIntosh, the state's chief deputy attorney general, that was obtained by P&I Daily.
After a four-month investigation, “this office has concluded that there was no activity which warrants action by this office,” Mr. McIntosh wrote to Mark Keel, chief of the law enforcement division.
Details of the alleged pay-to-play scheme were not provided by Attorney General Alan Wilson, and Mark Plowden, a spokesman, did not return a call seeking comment.
Allen R. Gillespie, chairman of the commission, declined to comment when reached by telephone. The commission oversees investment of the $25 billion South Carolina Retirement Systems.
“The commission received hearsay information relating to someone purporting to be a placement agent that could taint the commission's search processes, affect managers that may be selected and have a negative impact on the portfolio,” according Mr. Gillespie's summary of an executive session contained in the minutes of the commission's Nov. 17-18 meeting.
Mr. Gillespie said in a telephone interview earlier this year that the commission “unanimously and appropriately handled all of the information in its possession as it relates to the payment of placement fees,” and during the November meeting, referred the matter to the South Carolina attorney general's office.
“This wasn't the first time we've encountered third-party marketers and referral programs,” Mr. Gillespie said in the earlier interview, during which he declined to give details about the alleged pay-to-play scheme and the parties allegedly involved in it.