Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Questions go unanswered

None of the three elected officials responsible for oversight of the State Board of Administration or its executive director agreed to be interviewed. The St. Petersburg Times submitted written questions, which none of the elected officials answered. Instead, each issued a brief statement.

Here are two of the questions they chose not to answer, followed by their statements.

QUESTION 1: Without proper federal certification, the SBA bought billions of dollars of prohibited securities for local governments in 2007. …

Did you know about these prohibited investments and the scope of the unauthorized trading? If you knew, how do you justify making investments that violated the rules? If you didn't know, why not?

QUESTION 2: You and others blamed Wall Street, saying the bad securities were "dumped'' on Florida or some companies doing business with the SBA may have committed fraud. …

Did you know the SBA had been told repeatedly it was not qualified to buy securities for local governments like those that went bad — but the agency went ahead and bought them anyway?

Gov. Charlie Crist

Spokesman Sterling Ivey wrote: "I understand that you have been provided a letter from the attorney representing the SBA and due to the ongoing litigation surrounding the LGIP (Local Government Investment Pool) issue, it is not appropriate for the Governor to comment directly at this time.''

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink

Communications director Jerri Franz wrote: "It's important to point out again that Trustees are not involved in the day-to-day investment process of the SBA. I understand that you have been provided a letter from the attorney representing the SBA that outlines the state's position and it is not appropriate for the CFO to comment directly at this time.

"… CFO Sink led the process in 2007 to immediately mitigate the damages to LGIP participants by taking appropriate action to temporarily suspend withdrawals and hire an experienced, independent financial firm to develop a plan of action with the input of the pool's investors. The LGIP today benefits from stronger oversight, transparency and accountability as led by CFO Sink.''

Attorney General Bill McCollum

Communications director Ryan Wiggins wrote: "As it relates to the broker dealers, we are assisting the OFR (Office of Financial Regulation) in their investigation and it would be inappropriate for us to discuss any further.''


Spokesman Dennis MacKee said executive director Ashbel C. Williams Jr. was out of the office and unavailable to be interviewed. Attorney Michael Pucillo sent a two-page statement that is available, along with other documents, at

Questions go unanswered 09/18/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 20, 2010 11:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Editorial: UF shows how to preserve free speech


    The University of Florida was forced to navigate a treacherous terrain of constitutional concerns and public safety this week, all in a glaring public spotlight. In the end, Thursday's appearance by Richard Spencer was a success — as much as an unwelcome visit from a notorious white nationalist can be. The …

  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway


    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. Editorial: When protest leads to understanding


    The protests against racial injustice by professional athletes across the country include examples of communities where it has not been handled well. And then there is the example set in Tampa Bay.

  4. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs


    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Backlog of immigration cases under Trump stymies immigrants in Florida


    It was supposed to be a routine green card renewal for a Thai woman who has called Central Florida home for years.

    Immigration lawyers such as Gerald P. Seipp of Clearwater worry that their clients' circumstances will change with long delays in their immigration court appeals, hurting their chances of staying in the country. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]