Pension investments to get audit amid scandal over fees

Eugene DePasquale discusses Harrisburg's pension fund success at a press conference in February.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog will audit the $78 billion in assets under the state’s two big public employee retirement systems.

The announcement Monday by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale comes a days after federal prosecutors announced charges in two cases that revolve around state contracts to invest billions of taxpayer dollars.

DePasquale says the charges didn’t motivate the audit, but he says he’s keenly interested in the fees paid to outside firms.

Federal prosecutors charged ex-Treasurer Barbara Hafer and Richard Ireland, who marketed the services of investment firms. Ireland allegedly tried to bribe another former treasurer, Rob McCord, into helping his clients get contracts from the Treasury Department and State Employees’ Retirement System.

Hafer allegedly lied to FBI agents about payments to her consulting firm from a firm that profited from treasury contracts while Hafer was in office.

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