What passes for the elite on this nation is generally immune from prosecution and even profession hurt in the event that they observe their financial pursuits: curry favor with the correct folks, by no means cross anybody necessary until the potential payoff is value it. Morals be damned.
We could have the gratifying spectacle of somebody who overtly, as in too overtly, adopted that creed having a day of reckoning. Regina Calcaterra, accomplice within the legislation agency Calcaterra Pollack and a infamous New York State fixer is charged with bid rigging. The New York Occasions printed an investigative sequence concerning the Moreland Fee, an anti-corruption probe. Calcaterra was its govt director. The fee was disbanded early. The Occasions reported that Calcaterra harassed investigators, interfered repeatedly within the report drafting course of, improperly blocked subpoenas and communicated with Governor Cuomo, with the goal of squashing any findings which may embarrass Cuomo. The New York Board of Elections sued Calcaterra a number of occasions for violating marketing campaign finance legal guidelines. She was barred from operating for workplace for mendacity about her residency. To the extent she is aware of something about public pension funds, she realized it from her one-time boss, state controller Alan Hevesi, who went to jail in a pay-to-play scandal (observe Calcaterra labored for him his earlier function as New York Metropolis controller; in that capability Hevesi was additionally chargeable for the pension investments).
As you’ll be able to see under, the tenacious authorized crew that initially represented the so-called Mayberry eight in Mayberry v. KKR has Calcaterra and an alleged co-conspirator at Kentucky Retirements Methods, its now basic counsel Vicky Hale, in its cross-hairs for alleged violations of Kentucky procurement statutes, breach of belief and fiduciary responsibility, and conspiracy claims. A brand new group of so-called Tier 3 (outlined contribution) plaintiffs are searching for to sue the KKR, Blackstone et al for promoting overpriced, misrepresented custom-made hedge funds that underperformed shares and even money. The go well with towards Calcaterra, members of her agency, and Kentucky Retirement Methods’ Hale is a facet however nonetheless revealing motion.
The submitting under perfects allegations beforehand made towards Calcaterra and her obvious companions in misconduct. The primary time the Tier 3 attorneys, led by Michelle Lerach, coated a lot of the identical floor in an early 2021 submitting and requested for the so-called Calcaterra Report back to be launched. Choose Philip Shepherd reacted harshly, as if the purpose of the submitting was primarily to soiled up Calcaterra. He additionally discounted the New York Occasions investigation, saying roughly than anybody who has held an necessary job has been on the receiving finish of unhealthy tales.
However as we famous on the time of the sooner submitting:
In contrast, nearly every little thing about this new “investigation” stinks. Recall that on July 20, the Kentucky Lawyer Basic filed his sudden intervention. On July 29, the plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a movement asking permission to file a Second Amended Criticism on behalf of a rejiggered “Mayberry 8,” this time together with three Tier 3 beneficiaries instead of three of the unique beneficiaries.
On August 24, the Commonwealth of Kentucky solicited bids on a contract to establish “if there are any improper or unlawful actions on the a part of the events concerned,” that means KRS and the Kentucky Public Pensions Authority, with a due date of September 14. Such a good timeframe that included the Labor Day weekend smacks of an intention to discourage submissions. We noticed the identical habits when CalPERS was attempting handy its non-public fairness funding program over to BlackRock, properly, besides that CalPERS offered for a four-week bid interval, versus three for the KRS.
How might a bona fide investigation query if there have been any improper/unlawful habits when an impartial litigation committee, a lot nearer to the date of the alleged frauds, had concluded there was sufficient to take the nearly unprecedented step of endorsing litigation? One has to surprise it the plan was to have the report reduce misconduct in order to pave the best way for a lowball settlement.
Since then, the Calcaterra Report and associated paperwork have been made public, mockingly by way of a public data submitting that wound up earlier than Choose Stephens. Stephens discovered that there was just about no cause to not make the report public. It was costly and paid for by taxpayers. Kentucky Retirement Methods had mentioned repeatedly in his courtroom that it will be made public. From his in-camera evaluate, it was a stretch to deem a only a few sections as providing authorized recommendation; a mere compilation of data shouldn’t be topic to attorney-client privilege. And importantly, to the extent there was any privileged data, Kentucky Retirement Methods waived that by handing the doc to the state Lawyer Basic with out acquiring any protections.
The Kentucky Courier Journal has a very good write up. Vital sections:
Following the latest launch of the Kentucky public pension system’s $1.2 million investigative report on alleged unlawful actions involving its hedge fund investments, a brand new lawsuit claims there was an unlawful bid-rigging conspiracy behind the hiring of the agency contracted to do the report….
The 88-page grievance filed by California-based legal professional Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach alleges not solely that the legislation agency conspired with pension workers to violate the Kentucky Mannequin Procurement Code and illegally safe the investigative contract, but additionally that the report itself served as a “whitewash” and “cowl up” of wrongdoing by the pension authority’s management.
The lawsuit seeks to carry the Calcaterra Pollack agency and its companions responsible for damages, the voiding of the agency’s contract with the pension authority and the return of the $1.2 million it was paid. It additionally seeks a judicial order for the firing of the authority’s govt director, David Keen, and its basic counsel, Victoria Hale….
Lerach’s grievance cited Shepherd’s order questioning the bidding course of, which notes Calcaterra Pollack first submitted a proposal to analyze the allegations greater than two months earlier than the KPPA put out the preliminary request for proposals in 2020.
Shepherd wrote that Calcaterra Pollack’s second bid-winning proposal was considerably an identical to its first one, including that this and the report’s closing content material raised questions on whether or not its goal and intent was to “absolutely expose all of the related details (and to find out if the KPPA and its workers made errors)” or to “cowl up or reduce these errors in an effort to persuade the (legal professional basic) to not pursue claims that might show embarrassing to the present or former administration of KPPA.”
The brand new grievance picks up from there, alleging Regina Calcaterra had lengthy been buddies with Hale, KPPA’s basic counsel…
It additionally alleges Hale was promoted to basic counsel by Longing for pushing via the agency to win the contract, which produced what Lerach known as “a corrupt multi-million greenback investigation and report” that served as a “cowl up.”
Calcaterra spoke to the Courier Journal and dismissed the submitting as determined. Michelle Lerach is a really savvy and tough-minded legal professional. I’m very a lot trying ahead to her squaring off towards Calcaterra.