Special Board Meeting 12 August 13 IP: 184.108.40.206 Posted on August 16, 2013 at 09:44:56 PM by Dennis Ribaya
16 August 2013
To All Retirees:
On Monday 12 August 2013, there was a Special Board Meeting of the F&P Trustees regarding the sudden retirement of the F&P Plan Administrator Jennifer Campbell. The meeting started with Chairman Richard Griner expressing his belief that after 15 years of exemplary service Plan Administrator Jennifer Campbell decided to retire and her knowledge and insight will be missed and wished her the best in her endeavors. His words, or lack of words, would say otherwise later in the meeting. Plain and simple thereís more to this sudden retirement than meets the eye!
Chairman Griner explained to the Trustees that Tiffany Ernst, who is second in command at the pension office contacted him on Monday 5 August and informed him that Ms. Campbell turned in her keys, opened the vault, gave her the retirement paperwork and walked out the door. Griner said he has not spoken to Campbell since receiving the letter. No explanation was offered for why he would have not contacted his long-time employee to see what was up. He asked if anyone had talked or had insight on this matter and Vice Chairman Trustee Mark McRae responded by sharing that Campbell called him to inform him of her retirement and said she would be travelling.
Chairman Griner explained the actions he took. He contacted the Fundís attorney Robert Klausner, removed Campbellís passwords, user ID, email, and signature on all custody accountants, canceled her credit cards, rekeyed all doors at the pension office and changed alarm system master code. Also all professionals, (attorney, auditor, accountant, money manager, actuary, etc.) had been advised of her retirement. Chairman Griner shared with Trustees that the Pension Fund has Insurance that provides for employee dishonest coverage for 30 days after separation. Why this was important to say is yet to be known.
Attorney Klausner advised that he came to the pension office on August 8th and reviewed documents in Campbellís safe, computer, and recommended that Chairman Griner appoint an interim plan administrator until the board could meet. Klausner contacted an outside auditor to do some spot-checking on transactions to determine if anything is of concern. He also requested to get all the emails off the City of Tampa email server from Campbell that were sent, received or deleted. Klausner shared that he did see some stuff that was deleted from the computer. Klausner will give a report on the findings of the auditor at the 28 August 2013 Trustees Board Meeting. Again, no explanation was given for the investigation initiated by Attorney Klausner.
Chairman Griner asked for approval of appointment of an interim plan administrator Tiffany Ernst and a pay increase. Trustee Mark Bogush asked why was Ms. Ernst chosen over the other personnel in the office and Griner explained due to her education background and Trustee Sharon Fox shared that Ms. Campbell had been training Ms. Ernst for the past several years. There was much discussion on the pay increase and Chairman Griner and Trustee PJ Gray both said if they ride up in grade on the Police Department they get that pay amount. Trustee Bogush said on the Fire Department it was about $14 per day to ride up in grade. Trustee Fox said the City only pays 4-5 percent for general employees to act in a higher position. The Trustees agreed to set Ms. Ernstís pay at $99,195, which is up from the $69,326 she was making in her regular position.
Trustee Bogush asked how do the Trustees hire a plan administrator from the employee-leasing agency. Trustee Sharon Fox questioned the appropriateness of an outside pay organization with no oversight by the board, because the accountant and yearly audit is too late if there is a problem with a plan administrator submitting some wrong or fraudulent information. She mentioned that none of the pension office staff are City employees anymore. They are all contractors. Attorney Klausner advised that the lease agency is only used for payroll, they do not pick the employees. Attorney Klausner thinks people will be lined up outside the pension office for the job of Plan Administrator.
Committee #1 was appointed to search for a new plan administrator. The committee consists of Trustee Mark McRae, Trustee PJ Gray and Trustee Dennis Rogero. Chairman Griner said he expects the committee to expedite their task.
Trustee Mark Bogush asked about possibly issuing a trespass warning to Ms. Campbell for quitting without notice, to protect the ladies in the office. Trustee Dennis Rogero agreed that her letter indicates a disgruntled employee and he was disappointed in her. Police Trustee Rick Cochran advised that he works across the street and if a problem were to occur he would be available. Trustee Gray reminded the board that they need Ms. Campbell for litigation since several law suits are still in progress and itís in the boardís best interest not to trespass her. He also pointed out we donít trespass people just because we donít like them. Attorney Klausner agreed that the PBA being across the street was the best protection that youíve got. Attorney Klausner also advised that due to the way of Ms. Campbellís departure, he didnít think you would see her again unless the Trustees want to give her a plaque. There was laughter thru out the conference room.
The Trustees are looking for whatever Ms. Campbell must have done to cause her sudden and unexpected departure. Iíve been at the meetings and Iíve read her letter. It appears to me the Trustees should be asking themselves what they did to cause Ms. Campbellís sudden retirement.
Itís no secret that I have had my disagreements with Ms. Campbell but that being said, I have always considered her a competent professional person in the day-to-day operations of the Fund. Now, anyone who has attended as many pension board meetings as I have can feel the tension in the boardroom. For the past 3 years, under Chairman PJ Gray and Chairman Richard Griner, the tension has been so thick you could cut it with a knife. Consider this, under their combined leadership, the board has seen constant violations of board policies, the Sunshine Law, attacks on fellow Trustees, Retirees, 3 Pension Attorneys, 2 Plan Administrators, 2 ActuariesÖ the list goes on. Isnít it past time for the other Trustees to stand up, say enough is enough and fulfill their fiduciary duty?
If anyone receiving this letter would like a recording of the Special Board meeting or any other Pension Board meetings, just let me know and Iíll gladly send you a copy via email, free of charge.
If anyone out there has any information on the circumstances surrounding Ms. Campbellís sudden retirement, please contact me at the number listed below or by email. Rest assured it will be kept strictly confidential.
Retiree, Dennis Ribaya
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