Denver Post editorial: PERA transparency gets boost from governor

From The Denver Post: For 2 ½ years, Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton has doggedly pursued data in the state pension system that he believes would help him better understand the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association’s future liabilities.

In response, PERA has sought to portray Stapleton as a mischievous rogue rather than a dedicated public servant. Fortunately, that tactic has become a whole lot harder now that Gov. John Hickenlooper has joined Stapleton in asking the state Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision that denied the treasurer access to the data.

Stapleton is a Republican. Hickenlooper is a Democrat. Their joint cause in this case is good government.

Stapleton made his data request as a PERA trustee, so you wouldn’t expect it to have been controversial. Ah, but it was. And how.

Not only did colleagues on the PERA board deny his request for data concerning the top 20 percent of PERA benefit recipients, they also hired an attorney whose initial legal opinion cast baseless aspersions on Stapleton’s character.

After that, they successfully fended off Stapleton’s pursuit of the information in the courts, convincing both a district and appeals court that informational transparency in PERA even for trustees was a bad thing.

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