As a part-time contractor for Treasurer Richard Moore, who runs the $65 billion fund, Andrew Silton also accepted a position with two fund money managers and asked others for work, according to a Raleigh News & Observer report.
The newspaper said Silton’s arrangement had been approved by Moore, who has been a vocal critic of Wall Street firms for potential ethical lapses.
While neither Silton nor Moore broke any laws, the arrangement has produced raised eyebrows in some corners over the potential for ethical conflicts.
“At a minimum, it gives an appearance of impropriety,” Dana Cope, executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, which represents active and retired state employees, told the newspaper. “We would hate to get into a position where there would be favored contracts given.”
Moore asserted in an interview with the News & Observer that no conflict existed. He said he was aware at all times of Silton’s outside work and that the state did not invest any additional money during the period with the firms for which Silton worked – Cherokee Investment Partners of Raleigh and Franklin Street Partners of Chapel Hill.
Silton has been employed in the Treasurer’s office full or part time since 2001.
In an interview with the newspaper, Silton said that he refuses to market any funds or products of his consulting clients to the state and that he mostly provides technical advice on managing risk or on how best to allocate money.
“Anybody that I do business with is going to raise a potential for a conflict, because yes, they are doing business with the state and I know them, or they don’t do business, but I can’t think of an investment organization that wouldn’t like to have the state of North Carolina,” he said.
“The point is, this conflict, or appearance of a conflict, is going to exist because this is my expertise. I work for them part time; I’ve got to do something else” to supplement his income.
As a full-time state contractor, he earned $192,000 a year, according to his contracts. He earned $120,000 as a part-time contractor from March to December 2004, when he had the flexibility to work for outside clients.
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