Ceverha asked to resign from Employees Retirement System of Texas

Remember Bill Ceverha, the onetime treasurer for TRMPAC who declared personal bankruptcy last month so he wouldn’t have to pay a portion of the plaintiffs’ legal fees as ordered by the court? Apparently, he’s on the board of the $19.9 billion Employees Retirement System of Texas. State Rep. Pete Gallego thinks that recent events should be cause for Ceverha to resign, and he’s sent him a letter to that effect. Click the More link to see it. Thanks to reader K for the scoop.

November 28, 2005

Mr. Bill Ceverha, Board Member
Employees Retirement System of Texas
18th and Brazos Streets
P. O. Box 13207
Austin, Texas 78711-3207

Dear Mr. Ceverha:

I write to ask that you immediately resign your position as a board member for the Employees Retirement System of Texas. This would be in the best interests of all current and retired state of Texas employees.

As a trustee of the Employees Retirement System, you have fiduciary responsibility for the management of a $19.9 billion portfolio. Yet, you have now declared personal bankruptcy. It is unreasonable to ask Texans to trust their financial futures to a man who has shown himself unable to manage his own fiscal affairs – and admitted it in a court proceeding.

Your credibility as a board member has been irreparably damaged. You have squandered the confidence of both current and retired state employees. After all, how can these employees be confident that you will protect their retirement and health benefits when you have proven to be ineffective and incompetent in governing your own personal finances?

There are more than 64,000 retired state employees and more than 132,000 active state employees participating in the Employee Retirement System of Texas. A number of these Texans reside in the district I represent. As a fiduciary for all of these individuals, you would best do your duty by resigning your position.

In addition to the fact that you have declared personal bankruptcy, I note also that you served as treasurer for an organization under criminal indictment. As the treasurer of Tom DeLay’s political action committee (TRMPAC), you were responsible for many of the activities found by a Travis County Grand Jury to violate state law. Again, how can Texans rest assured that you will protect their health care and retirement funds when you have shown such blatant disregard for the law?

Finally, a state district judge ruled in a civil case that you violated Texas’ campaign finance and elections laws while acting as the treasurer for Mr. DeLay’s indicted political action committee (TRMPAC). The judge issued a $196,000 judgment against you; the first judgment against any single individual regarding the same allegations that resulted in the criminal indictments of Tom DeLay, three of his top lieutenants, his political action committee (TRMPAC), and the Texas Association of Business.

Felony indictments against an organization in whose governance you participated. A personal judgment for violating state law taken against you in an amount nine times the average income of most Texans. A personal bankruptcy. These are not the mistakes of youth. And, though one mistake might be overlooked, three strikes always makes an out.

Texas asks its public servants to lead by example. Clearly, this behavior is not the type Texas seeks. Your behavior makes it impossible for you to continue in the fiduciary governance of a $19.9 billion portfolio. I ask that you put Texas’ interests ahead of your own and resign your position as a trustee of the Employees Retirement System of Texas.


Pete P. Gallego

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