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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ash Williams reaffirmed as state pension chief

18

January

Ash Williams will remain in charge of state investments -- including its $120 billion pension fund for state employees -- for at least another year.

Gov. Rick Scott, CFO Jeff Atwater and Attorney General Pam Bondi voted unanimously Wednesday to keep Williams on as executive director and chief investment officer of the State Board of Administration, capping a span of heightened scrutiny of his job performance the last few months.

"I recommend adoption," Williams joked, drawing laughs from Scott and the audience.

Bondi and Atwater publicly criticized Williams' response to a state senator's public records request over a $125 million investment. Atwater called for a review of the agency's investment policies and appointment of an inspector general.

Back in September, Williams sent Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, an estimate of nearly $11,000 to fulfill his inquiry into the investment with Ramius,  the president of which knew Williams from his days in the private sector. Williams has said he has never charged a member of the Legislature for access to documents, but this time was different because Fasano intended to share the documents with the Tampa Bay Times.

Fasano received portions of his request over subsequent months, with the final delivery coming the first week of January. All told the documents came at no charge. Even so, Fasano complained in a Tuesday letter to Williams that several documents from his request were either missing or redacted to the point of being "essentially useless."

Redactions were necessary to protect information relating to the company's trade secrets, among other concerns, Williams told a Senate committee last week.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:31pm]

    

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