The Minnesota state auditor has called for a criminal investigation of officials who ran the now-defunct Minneapolis teachers’ retirement fund.
Auditor Patricia Anderson, who conducted a special review of the fund, last week accused the Minneapolis Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association board of trustees of illegally diverting $1.5 million away from teachers’ pensions. She also accused the executive director of destroying the hard drive from her computer, playing a role in the disappearance of audiotapes from meetings, and releasing confidential teacher data by creating a computer disk of the information.
Ms. Anderson, who is seeking re-election this fall, also criticized the fund for spending too much on administrative salaries and benefits during a transition period in which the fund, which served only teachers in the 38,000-student Minneapolis school district and had been plagued with financial problems, was being absorbed by the state Teachers’ Retirement Association Fund.
Paul Rogosheske, a lawyer for Karen Kilberg, the former executive director of the defunct fund, said the $1.5 million in question was used to set up a contingency fund to pay bills during the time when the two funds were being merged. He defended Ms. Kilberg against the other accusations, saying that they’ve been blown out of proportion and that her actions were not illegal.
A version of this article appeared in the October 11, 2006 edition of Education Week