NYCERS Rocked By Theft, Improper Promotion Scandals

April 4, 2005 ( - Two separate scandals have rocked the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS), with one executive being pushed out for promoting his mistress, while another employee has been charged with stealing $1 million in checks.

NYCERS Executive Director John Murphy has been forced to leave his post after it was revealed that he promoted his mistress, Niki Browne, to a $96,400 supervisory job during their affair, the New York Post reported. Both Murphy and Browne were married at the time; Murphy will leave April 29. Murphy will be replaced by deputy director Milton Aron.

A separate probe into actions at the large pension fund has found that $1 million had been purloined through stolen and forged checks. In an ongoing criminal investigation, NYCERS clerk Frank Jimenez has been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and bank fraud, the Post reported.

Jimenez and three outsiders have been accused of stealing bank checks and pension-loan checks issued to NYCERS members and delivering them to others, who in turn forged or altered them. The theft occurred between 2002 and 2004, and the checks were deposited in various banks and then cashed.

The four men involved, including Jimenez, have pleaded not guilty.