CalPERS' board voted Wednesday to revamp its governance model by reducing the number of annual board meetings to six from nine, curtailing off-site meetings to one from two and limiting committee meetings, including investment meetings, to four.
The board also changed the investment committee to a board subcommittee without the ability to make final decisions down from a committee of the whole board. The investment committee had been meeting nine times a year. The new schedule will not be put into place until calendar year 2020.
The board also adopted Rosenberg's Rules of Order, replacing Robert's Rules of Order.
The board also voted to adopt a board member code of conduct. Staff provided a version of a code to the governance committee meeting Tuesday but committee members recommended a number of changes. Staff is expected to return to the board with another draft of the code of conduct at a future meeting.
Separately, during a public comment period on Wednesday, two female CalPERS staff members, Charity Bowman and Gabriela Urdaneta, both associate government program analysts, said they were advocates of the #MeToo movement and asked the board to take action against former board member J.J. Jelencic who is currently running for a board seat. Ms. Bowman reminded the board that 10 years ago Mr. Jelincic, who is also a retired CalPERS employee, had been found to have sexually harassed three co-workers by a state personnel board administrative law judge. She said that she was appearing before the board on behalf of one of the women who had brought charges against Mr. Jelencic.
"This is not a victimless crime," she said. "Your lack of action to protect the men and women of CalPERS is infuriating. This man needs to be held accountable."
Mr. Jelencic is currently running for a board seat against current board chairman Henry Jones. In 2011, the CalPERS board publicly censured Mr. Jelincic and stripped of his committee chairmanships over the sexual harassment complaints.
Ms. Bowman challenged current board members Margaret Brown and Jason Perez, who have publicly endorsed Mr. Jelencic to rescind their endorsements.
Ms. Urdaneta asked the board, among other things, to recall all of the money paid to Mr. Jelencic over the eight years that he was on work release from CalPERS after the administrative law judge finding as well as to revoke his ability to serve on the CalPERS board.
In response, a number of board members including Mr. Jones voiced their support for the women. "Ladies, I want to thank you very much for coming forward," said Theresa Taylor, board member. "I hear you. I'm not sure in an election that we can do much about it.
Board member David Miller said one of the reasons he supported Mr. Jones in the election is because "his integrity is peerless."
Mr. Jelencic could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Miller said that there is not much the board can do and that he intimated that the code of conduct would help to give the board a role to play when these types of charges are lodged against a fellow board member.
"We need to have tools to deal with egregious behavior. I hope that gets remedied," Mr. Miller said, adding that he would support Ms. Taylor to communicate with others who support Mr. Jelencic.
"We know that for every individual who speaks up, there are dozens of individuals who are fearful," board member Lisa Middleton said.
Matthew G. Jacobs, CalPERS general counsel, cautioned the board against getting drawn into the electoral debate. "We can obviously address the comments, but would need to stay away from any kind of electioneering or anything that can be interpreted that way," Mr. Jacobs said.