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Ash Williams hires inspector general

Well, it's two or three months later than Jeff Atwater would have liked, but pension chief Ash Williams has fulfilled the CFO's fervent request that he hire an inspector general.

Williams, State Board of Administration executive director and chief investment officer, announced Monday the hiring of Ken Chambers, a Tallahassee native who's worked as a state auditor or investigator for 32 years, most recently as the Florida Supreme Court's inspector general. He will make $96,000 annually.

Atwater made the SBA's unfilled position an issue last fall amid controversy surrounding Sen. Mike Fasano's $10,750 estimate from Williams for fulfilling a public records request. The inspector general is supposed to serve as an independent watchdog of agency functions and conduct.

Atwater said in October he wanted the new inspector general presented at a November Cabinet meeting. The position had been vacant for months, with no search initiated to fulfill it, since Melinda Miguel left for Gov. Rick Scott's office in January 2011.

Williams told Scott, Atwater and Attorney General Pam Bondi in the Jan. 18 Cabinet meeting that he was days away from filling the position.

"I am eager to lend my experience in ensuring SBA stakeholders and the citizens of Florida that the SBA meets the highest ethical standards," Chambers said in a statement.

He starts Feb. 13.

Here's the SBA's release:

The Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) today announced the appointment of Ken Chambers as Inspector General. Mr. Chambers comes to the SBA from the Florida Supreme Court, where he has been the Inspector General since 2004 and was responsible for audits and investigations involving the State Courts System. Ken will begin at the SBA on Monday February 13, 2012.

"I am excited to bring Ken to the State Board of Administration with his extensive professional experience," said Ash Williams, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer. "The SBA is committed to providing superior investment and trust services while adhering to the highest ethical, fiduciary, and professional standards. I am certain the addition of Ken to the SBA's staff will provide appropriate assurances that these standards are met and exceeded daily."

Mr. Chambers has worked as an auditor/investigator for the State of Florida for 32 years, having served in all three branches of government and the state university system. Ken is also a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Government Auditing Professional, and is an active member of two professional organizations; the Association of Inspectors General and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

"I am eager to lend my experience in ensuring SBA stakeholders and the citizens of Florida that the SBA meets the highest ethical standards," said Mr. Chambers.

Ken is a Tallahassee native, having been born and raised here and a graduate of Godby High School. He attended Florida State University, receiving a bachelor's degree in Accounting. He was a member of the Marching Chiefs at FSU and has been active in the FSU Band Alumni Association.