Louisiana Teachers Pension Board Sacks Director

July 9, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Board members of the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) have sacked the fund's director/chief executive officer for its poor investment performance and bad "chemistry" with fund officials.

Debbie Cannon, TRSL communications director, said the board invoked a clause in Brian Minturn’s contract allowing for Minturn to be fired with 90 days advance notice for no cause. Minturn, who had held the TRSL top staff post since February 2002, was placed on administrative leave until then.

Bonita Brown, formerly a Minturn assistant, was named to replace him until the board conducts a national search for a permanent director/CEO later this year, Cannon said. She said the board is expected to kick off search efforts at its August meeting.

“The board was ready for a change,” Board Chairman Jerry Baudin told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “We wanted to see if we could find someone who could run it better. The board felt the chemistry wasn’t there.”

Minturn said the action came as a shock to him, but he thinks the board’s stated reasons for terminating him were not the real reason for the firing. “I think it boils down to the fact that I found and reported ethics violations by board members,” Minturn told the Advocate, referring to an internal audit last year that found that board members had received small Christmas gifts from investors over the last five years.

Minturn said the ethics problems he has reported since then were more wide-ranging, but the Ethics Board has not made final disposition on them. He would not specify what the alleged violations were or whom he might have reported to the state Ethics Board.