Harrigan Resigns from LA Pension Board

May 8, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The former president of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has stepped down from the board of the Los Angeles fire and police pension program after getting snared in an investigation involving pension private placement agents.

A Sacramento Bee news report said Sean Harrigan and fellow board member Elliott Broidy resigned from the Los Angeles pension board after both had received inquiries from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC probes concerned Wetherly Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based placement agent that is being scrutinized as part of the state-federal investigation centered in New York (see  Former NY Common Fund CIO Charged by SEC ).

In his resignation, Harrigan blamed a “frenzy of media activity” and said he’s done nothing wrong while Broidy issued a statement saying he, too, has done nothing wrong, adding that he’s cooperating “with all regulatory inquiries,” the Bee story said.

Harrigan had reportedly served as a consultant in 2006 for Wetherly, according to a Los Angeles Times news account quoted by the Bee.

In California, Wetherly helped money managers get investments totaling more than $400 million from CalPERS and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the Bee said.

The placement agent controversy recently prompted CalPERS to draft a policy requiring disclosure of agents’ fees while New York and Connecticut state officials have made similar moves (see  DiNapoli Bars Placement Agents for Empire State Fund , CT’s Nappier Adds Third-Party Manager Disclosures ).

Harrigan was CalPERS president until 2004 (see  Harrigan Loses Effort to Regain CalPERS Posts ).