Colorado Supreme Court rejects State Treasurer appeal seeking access to PERA records
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday (18 August 2014) denied certiori (review) of an appeal filed by Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton seeking access to the state’s PERA (Public Employee Retirement Account) records in his role as the sole statewide elected trustee overseeing the public pension fund. The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision left intact a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling (case # 2013 CA 1023) denying the state treasurer access to records as part of the treasurer’s fiduciary oversight responsibilities. The Court of Appeals ruling had likewise upheld an earlier (2011) ruling by the Denver District Court.
State Treasurer Stapleton had requested “individual records of the top 20 percent of benefit recipients to include annual retirement benefit, year of retirement, age at retirement, last five years of salary as a PERA contributor, ZIP Code and division from which the member retired,” according to an article published in the Denver Business Journal yesterday.
Both lower courts rejected the request on the grounds that Stapleton had failed to prove a “fiduciary purpose” for the request, and upheld the principle that “[t]he PERA trustees are subject to the statutory duty of loyalty and are required to “carry out their functions solely in the interest of the members and benefit recipients” rather than to the taxpayers and citizens of the state of Colorado.
Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts. We will continue to work to educate voters and provide information of relevance related to the judicial branch, and to provide useful and substantive evaluations of judicial performance.
Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.