SAN DIEGO - Richard N. Rose resigned as CIO of the $3.3 billion San Diego County Employees' Retirement Association, while the pension board was studying what action it should take following his arrest on shoplifting charges.
Mr. Rose has pleaded not guilty, a Scottsdale, Ariz., municipal court clerk said.
Mr. Rose was arrested Oct. 6 and charged with shoplifting from a hotel gift shop in Scottsdale, according to a police arrest report. Mr. Rose was there as a speaker at the Frank J. Fabozzi/Information Management Network Asset Allocation Summit at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch.
Mr. Rose is accused of taking 14 articles of clothing and a cassette tape valued at a total of $900; most of the items were found in his hotel room, according to the police report.
Brian White, retirement administrator and board member for San Diego County, said that following Mr. Rose's arrest for shoplifting, the county pension board began discussions about any action the board should take. But before pension board could act, Mr. Rose resigned, Mr. White noted.
E.F. "Skip" Murphy, chairman of the board, said the board's deliberations became "moot" when Mr. Rose resigned.
Mr. White said the board did not pressure Mr. Rose to resign.
He said Mr. Rose went on leave from the fund immediately after the incident, although Mr. Rose still comes into the office from time to time.
In an interview, Mr. Rose said his resignation, which is effective Nov. 14, had nothing to do with his arrest, and he had been considering leaving for some time.
"It (the arrest) really did not have a significant bearing on what happened," he said.
"This (the resignation) was in the works well before I went down to Scottsdale," Mr. Rose said. "People know I've been looking around."
Of the arrest, he said, "It's my personal business. You're supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty." He said everyone at the San Diego fund is taking that tack.
A pre-trial court date has been set for Nov. 20, where any plea agreements can be negotiated, according to the Scottsdale court clerk.
Mr. Rose's attorney in Phoenix did not return phone calls.
Mr. Rose said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome of his court proceedings. He said he thinks he'll be vindicated.
Mr. Rose said he already has established a consulting relationship with a money manager he declined to name, assisting the firm on acquisitions of other money managers.
Mr. Rose's duties will be handled on an interim basis by Mr. White and Robert Snigaroff, investment officer.
Mr. White said San Diego County officials will discuss over the next month or so how to replace Mr. Rose.
Mr. Rose joined the fund as investment officer in 1993, and shortly after became chief investment officer.