Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Teacher Retirement System

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Ed. Note: This is the first part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

On October 19, a smoking gun memo surfaced detailing how Perry appointed friends and donors to the Teacher Retirement System Board who steered hundreds of millions of teacher dollars – and millions in fees – to firms run by Perry donors. In 2000, when Perry took office, the TRS had more assets than it needed to fund retiree benefits for more than 30 years. But now, the TRS has an unfunded liability of $21.6 billion.

An $820,000 cover-up investigation tried to sweep the entire scandal under the rug. From the Austin American-Statesman, “Teachers, retirees question independence of pension fund investigator“:

Campos' investigation, done under an ongoing $820,000 contract with the retirement system, cleared the board members and the fund's chief investment officer of wrongdoing. The retirement system was quick to release the confidential Campos report last week to tamp down questions raised by a 2009 memo written by former investment executive Michael Green.

[...]

The firm did not go through the normal hiring process for the investment counsel job. The 28-month contract is worth up to $820,000.

Additional Sources:

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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