The Latest: Arizona public safety pension chief fired
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on deliberations over the future of the chief of an Arizona pension fund (all times local):
The board overseeing a $10 billion pension fund for retired Arizona police and firefighters has fired its embattled top executive.
The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System board voted 8-0 Wednesday to fire administrator Jared Smout. The move comes after state human resources officials said he admitted to sexual harassment and poorly handling complaints that computer staff were spying on workers.
Board chairman William Buividas says the behavior was unacceptable from any employee, let alone the system’s top official. He says the board “could not in good conscious avoid” firing Smout.
Smout has been on paid leave since April after complaints were filed against him.
The Arizona Department of Administration on Monday recommended Smout be fired and not considered for any other job in state government.
Arizona’s pension system for retired police and fire officials is deciding the future of its embattled leader.
The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to take action against administrator Jared Smout after state investigators recommended he be fired.
Smout has been on leave since April after complaints were filed against him.
An investigation by the Arizona Department of Administration says Smout admitted he was attracted to an employee of the pension fund, sent inappropriate text messages and often hugged the worker inappropriately.
He also was investigated for improperly handling complaints that computer staff were spying on employees, among other things.
Smout oversees a nearly $10 billion pension fund that administers retirement benefits for police, firefighters, corrections officers, judges and elected officials.