Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System, Oklahoma City, terminated Executive Director James Wilbanks on Wednesday night, Mr. Wilbanks confirmed.
The decision was made at a special board meeting Wednesday; Mr. Wilbanks was not present and was informed after the meeting.
“Information came to the attention of the board in recent weeks that related to day-to-day operational decisions made by the executive director. Based on this information, the board voted to terminate the employment of the executive director,” the board said in a statement sent to Pensions & Investments.
“All I can say is I'm an at-will employee of the board, and I respect the decision of the board,” Mr. Wilbanks said in a telephone interview. “I'm proud of the accomplishments we were able to do with the Teachers' Retirement System.”
Joe Ezzell, assistant executive director of the $11.9 billion pension fund, will assume operations of the retirement system until the board appoints an interim director, according to the statement.
Mr. Wilbanks served as executive director for 4½ years. The pension fund returned 17.4% for the year ended June 30, one of the highest returns for public pension funds in the U.S.
Mr. Wilbanks said he is evaluating all of his options and will take time to visit with friends and family before exploring other job opportunities.