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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lawsuit Says Alameda County Executive Falsified $14,000 In Vacation Pay

An Alameda County investment analyst for the employees’ retirement plan says the association attempted to fire him after he alleged its chief investment officer falsified over $14,000 in vacation pay in 2009.

The trade publication Pensions and Investment reports former investment analyst Anthony Macauley filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court seeking his job back including damages.

According to the suit, Macauley was terminated in May 2010 for insubordination. He was placed on administrative leave after alleging Betty Tse, the CIO of the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA), made a “deal” with former CEO Charles Conrad.

Macauley confronted Tse with payroll records showing the executive at work during her six-month vacation in China. When he confronted Tse with evidence of time sheet misrepresentation, he allegedly told her the action was “an illegal activity.”

A lawyer for Macauley says his client merely wants his job back. ““The facts alleged in the complaint set forth a clear case of retaliation by Mr. Macaulay's supervisor, Betty Tse, almost immediately after Mr. Macaulay spoke up about what he saw as fraudulent activity at ACERA,”

According to the magazine, attendance records and recollections from unnamed employees show a gap in Tse presence at the pension association from at least October 2009 to February 2010.

An internal investigation into Macauley’s complaints was completed, but county counsel says keeping its determinations from the public’s right to know outweighs jeopardizing its ongoing investigation. There is also speculation investigators only looked at Macauley’s allegations of retaliation and not charges of fraud by Tse.

The Superior Court filing contends Macauley’s work record was rated “very satisfactory” during his probationary period ending in January 2010. Macauley says an employee in human resources later told him he would be “excluded from promotion” if he did not drop its complaint against Tse and would not be “considered a friend.”

Tse has overseen the $5.1 billion county employee pension portfolio as CIO since 2002.

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