Jelincic disciplined for disclosing confidential information

California Public Employees’ Retirement System Board Member JJ Jelincic has been disciplined for disclosing confidential material.

Board member William Slaton accused Jelincic of leaking confidential information during a public meeting earlier this year. He did not provide specific examples, but CalPERS President Rob Feckner agreed to examine the issue.

Jelincic requested a public hearing to refute accusations that he had leaked confidential material, given the public nature of Slaton’s accusation. CalPERS opted to conduct the investigation and disciplinary proceeding behind closed doors.

Jelincic, who disputed the charges, said the accusations were related to comments about CalPERS’s new asset allocation, as well as an FTI Consulting audit of the retirement system’s private equity portfolio. In a statement, he said the retirement system had already disclosed the information he’s accused of disseminating, or it had been publicized in other forums.

“Public demand for resignation. Secret charges. Secret review. No opportunity for a public defense or public exoneration. Looks less like an investigation and more like a witch-hunt,” Jelincic said in a statement.

In a statement, Feckner replied: “He can characterize it any way he wants, but the fact is he did disclose information that was intended to be confidential. We have disciplined Board members before, including Mr. Jelincic, and they have accepted it. That’s my expectation of JJ in this case. As far as I’m concerned, this matter is closed.”

As punishment, Jelincic must attend a one-day public conference on open meetings and public records law hosted by the California State Bar at UC Berkeley’s law school later this month, according to reports.

“This issue is, and always has been, about trust. Trust is critical to our fiduciary responsibility and running a system where public employees and their families are counting on us. As Board members, we must trust each other that what’s discussed in confidentiality stays there,” Feckner said.

Jelincic is known for asking specific, probing questions of the $320 billion retirement system’s investment staff. He’s frequently butted heads with staff and fellow board members in the past, including CIO Ted Eliopoulos.

Action Item: To read JJ Jelincic’s statement, click here: JJ Jelincic response 5-1-17

Photo of JJ Jelincic by Alastair Goldfisher for Buyouts Insider, 2015