Gelber: Fla. AG shouldn't be part of pension board

By John O'Brien | Feb 25, 2010


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - A Florida attorney general hopeful has introduced legislation that would change the office's role in securities lawsuits.

State Sen. Dan Gelber, a Democrat, says the attorney general must step away from the State Board of Administration in order to provide oversight. Currently, the SBA consists of the governor, the attorney general and the chief financial officer and has control of the state's pension fund.

Current Attorney General Bill McCollum recently helped reform the SBA's relationship with private lawyers hired to represent the fund. Caps on attorneys fees were implemented, as were certain transparency measures.

"The attorney general should have more of an oversight responsibility and scrutinizing, putting him at arm's length," Gelber said, according to a report in Pensions & Investments.

Rather than comment on the bill, McCollum spokesperson Sandi Copes referred to an October press release outlining McCollum's legislative proposal.

It says McCollum would like to see the SBA's Investment Advisory Council expanded to provide additional expertise.

"As a constitutionally established trustee of the State Board of Administration, I recognize the importance of the Board's fiduciary duty to protect the financial future of all Florida Pension fund participants," McCollum said.

"By bolstering the membership of these highly skilled and effective professionals, we add additional oversight to the State Board of Administration fund management."

The IAC provides advice to the SBA. McCollum, a Republican, is running for governor.

If the legislation passes, it would have to be approved by voters because it would amend the state constitution, the report adds.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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