Sen. Dan Gelber, vying to be Florida's next attorney general, says the proposed anticorruption package he unveiled earlier this week is more vital than ever in light of confirmation this week that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible fraud by the board that oversees the state pension fund.
The reform package by Gelber, D-Miami Beach, would remove the AG from the SBA board, which now consists of the Governor, AG and Chief Financial Officer. Gelber says the AG should have "more arms length oversight" that will lead to prosecuting wrongdoing if needed.
"Floridians should expect their Attorney General to be scrutinizing their pension fund and protecting them from wrongdoing," Gelber said. His proposal would replace the AG with the Commissioner of Agriculture.
The federal investigation centers on whether the state and three Wall Street firms -- JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and the now-defunct Lehman Brothers -- misled the public about the risk and liquidity of some of the SBA's investments.
The investment fund holds over $130 billion that are the retirement savings for more than 1 million Floridians. The SBA also manages the Local Government Investment Pool for cities and counties throughout the state.