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Senator Katie J. Muth’s Response to Chairs of PSERS Board and Audit Committee

Senator Katie Muth

June 18, 2021 − PSERS Board Chairman Christopher SantaMaria and Rep. Frank Ryan, chair of the Board’s Audit and Compliance Committee, released a joint statement in response to my seeking judicial relief in the Commonwealth Court as a result of PSERS continual refusal to provide documents, data and information necessary to perform my fiduciary duty as a member of this Board.

Chairman SantaMaria and Rep. Ryan issued the following June 9, 2021 statement:

 “The Board and external counsel had developed a methodology to account for the Board’s transparency obligations while also ensuring the integrity of the PSERS document collection and preservation processes, thereby maintaining our ability to comply with an ongoing federal grand jury investigation as well as an internal investigation.”

 I and other members of the Board of Trustees of this $64 Billion fund were not informed about this statement until it was posted on the PSERS website, and were not briefed on the “methodology” – all which leaves the Board, teachers, school employees and taxpayers with more questions than answers.  

  • What methodology?
  • When was the methodology created?
  • Who created the methodology?
  • Who reviewed the methodology?
  • Who approved the methodology?
  • Which outside counsel participated in developing this methodology?
  • What resources, research, and/ or case law were used to determine this methodology? 

Equally troubling as the lack of facts and information surrounding the creation of this “methodology”, the statement itself appears to assert that the methodology was approved by the Board of Trustees, which is not true. Further, the statement issued by Chairman SantaMaria and Audit Committee Chairman, Rep. Ryan, was not discussed or reviewed with the Board or with members of the Audit Committee.

The lack of transparency continues: no materials were provided to the Board for review, no discussion was held with the Board and no vote was taken by the Board on either the unexplained methodology or the statement itself. 

The proper “methodology” is the law, which entitles all trustees of a Board to have access to all documents, data, and any information regarding the fund.  Neither the Board or staff, or any other individual has the authority to concoct “methodology” over following the law. 

To contact Senator Muth directly, please visit www.SenatorMuth.com or call the Royersford District Office at (610) 792-2137.

 

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