Pension Funds

Arizona Public Safety Personnel puts administrator on paid leave after complaint filed

Jared Smout, administrator of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Phoenix, has been placed on paid administrative leave following a complaint alleging unfair treatment in the workplace, confirmed Christian Palmer, pension fund spokesman, in an email.

The $9.9 billion pension fund's board voted to place Mr. Smout on leave at a special meeting Tuesday, according to a statement from the board emailed by Mr. Palmer. A former employee of the pension fund had filed the complaint in February with the allegations, and at a special executive session on March 13, the board voted to work with the Arizona Department of Administration and the Arizona attorney general's office to hire an independent law firm to review the complaint. The attorney general's office hired the undisclosed firm on March 18 to conduct the review, and following the presentation of the results, the board voted Tuesday to place Mr. Smout on leave pending the results of the review.

Bret Parke, the pension fund's assistant administrator and general counsel, will serve as acting administrator until the review is completed, the statement said. The board provided no further information on the timeline of the review process, saying it "is restricted in the information it can release and on the public comments it can make regarding this matter," the statement said.

Mr. Smout has been administrator of the pension fund since March 2015. He had been interim administrator of the pension fund since the July 2014 termination of previous administrator James Hacking for initiating salary increases for some investment staff without proper approval.

Mr. Smout could not be reached for comment.