A state district court is prohibiting the city of Dallas and its interim city attorney, Christopher Caso, from ousting two trustees from the Dallas Employees’ Retirement Fund’s board of directors.
The city is trying to impose term limits on the retirement fund, and recently sent letters to the fund’s board chairman, John Jenkins, and trustee Tina Richardson, instructing them to resign from their voter-elected positions or face lawsuits. On Sept. 27, a district court issued a temporary restraining order against the city and its interim attorney, preventing either from taking action against Jenkins and Richardson.
“The letter is the latest by Dallas’ city leaders in a year-long attempt to ignore the governing IRS-approved plan document of the retirement fund and weaken the effectiveness of the retirement fund’s trustees,” says Max Patterson, executive director of the 80-system-member Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems.
“At issue,” according to a statement posted to the Dallas Employees’ Retirement Fund, “is whether the city is attempting to impose term limits on the fund’s board without going through a three-step process historically utilized, and legally required, to make changes to the plan.”
No other public employee pension system in Texas has imposed term limits on their employee-elected trustees because it is counterproductive to good pension fund governance, says Patterson, TEXPERS’ executive director. He says Dallas officials are arbitrarily trying to impose term limits and he questions why the city’s interim attorney would threaten legal action against public pension fund trustees who have spent years learning about investment decision-making and benefits administration on behalf of those who voted them onto the fund’s board.
For complete coverage, click
to read a report by The Dallas Morning News. Also, click
for a news release issued by the Dallas Employees’ Retirement Fund and
to read TEXPERS’ full news release.