Detroit City Employee Sues Trustees and Adviser over Risky Investments

May 6, 2009 ( - A City of Detroit employee is suing current and former trustees of Detroit's General Retirement pension fund, alleging they breached their fiduciary duties by investing retirement money in "ill-advised and extremely risky" deals.

The Detroit Free Press reports that lawyers for the Detroit Water and Sewerage employee, Coletta Estes, say they will ask that the case be declared a class action on behalf of all city workers and retirees covered by the general retirement fund, one of two public pension funds for the city.

The suit also names the funds’ investment adviser, Adrian Anderson, alleging he failed to disclose numerous red flags, such as liens, judgments and lawsuits, when he vetted several investments that later collapsed at a cost of $90 million to the two funds, according to the news report. The Free Press said it reported last month that Anderson had missed warning signs involving the people behind three deals and a fourth investment, of $6 million, that is now in trouble.

“These investments were indefensible and, based on an even cursory inspection of the proposed investments, a rational, prudent person would not have invested in the proposals, let alone with entrusted pension funds,” the lawsuit said, according to the news report.

The suit seeks $100 million for investment losses, lost opportunities, interest and attorney fees.

The lawsuit is here .