Mr. Vickrey, it’s about your ‘special consultants’

Posted on April 30, 2011

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Two days ago JCW learned of a lawsuit by CALPERS participant Daniel E. Francis against the Calpers Board of Administration and CALPERS. That lawsuit alleges that J. Clark Kelso is being assisted by the AOC in laundering his substantial pay as the prison receiver (a temporary position of appointment made by the federal courts thereby making him an appointee of the federal courts) through a CALPERS qualifying agency, namely, the AOC.

In a fascinating case of Bell, California largesse it seems to us that the prison receiver might have closer ties to oh, say, something like the department of corrections than he does to the AOC. Yet shortly after the appointment was made by Federal Judge Henderson, the judge inquired with the AOC as to if accomodations could legally be made to accomodate Mr. Kelso via the AOC so that Mr. Kelso could continue his CALPERS participation and credits. The correct answer to Judge Henderson should have been no but Mr. Vickrey had other things on his mind.

Lacking any proof of obtaining this permission, Mr. Vickrey indicates that he checked with the executive branch and with the legislative branch. Low and behold, it is okay for Mr. Kelso to get paid as an employee of the AOC and accrue the lucrative CALPERS credits and benefits as an AOC employee.  The one place where Mr. Vickrey did not check, the one place they had a fiduciary obligation to check was CALPERS. In an exclusive interview with Mr. Michael White the Attorney for Francis, he indicated to our reporter that the focus of the lawsuit is CALPERS because they’ve been violating their own rules in permitting this special arrangement. He didn’t wish to entangle the AOC because “things would get too political”

There’s a lot of curious things about this special arrangement. The benefits earned via the AOC for example are accrued faster than they would be as CIO or even working for the DOC. Mr. Kelso gets lifetime medical after only 10 years at the AOC as but one example, whereas it might take him 20 years of service otherwise. In the contract, Mr. Kelso is only an AOC employee for payroll and benefit purposes. Why doesn’t all of the public have the right to run their paycheck thru AOC HR to earn CALPERS credits…or even employees of other public agencies? I mean… the reasoning utilized by Mr. Bill could be justification for anyone to be payrolled through the AOC HR department. Regardless, the largest benefit we see going to Mr. Kelso is an out-of-this world pension spiking for temporary federal employment.

Mr. Kelso, meet Mr. Rizzo.

Sadly, we wish this behavior was limited to just one contract, just one single person but it isn’t. Not mentioned in the lawsuit because the cause of action is quite different is AOC special consultant Dennis Jones. Who is AOC special consultant Dennis Jones? Could this be the same Dennis Jones that is court executive officer of the Sacramento Superior Court where this lawsuit, Francis v Calpers is filed?

Isn’t Sacramento Superior Court a SCERS 1937 Act benefit court? Indeed it is. Where can we sign up at the AOC for these custom benefits packages?

Francis v. CalPERS