When you're an activist shareholder, constantly complaining about corporate governance problems in management of portfolio companies, you need to be purer than Caesar's proverbial wife. In recent years, CalPERS has taken repeated black eyes for ethical and governance failures. James McRitchie reports on the latest:
CalPERS was in the news negatively again. The Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating more than four dozen CalPERS board members and employees over allegations they failed to accurately report gifts. ... Hopefully, this investigation will turn out to be less than it appears on the surface and many of the mistakes discovered will be shown to have been unintentional errors. Rob Feckner, CalPERS President, recently settled with the FPPC. “I have now signed the stipulation order and submitted payment for my $400 fine for two dinners in five years.”
CalPERS staff and officers need to be scrupulous about following the law, but I suspect that in the case of this investigation, a mountain is probably being made out of a small hill.
To paraphrase the Biblical aphorism, even if CalPERS problems are a more of a molehill than a mountain, CalPERS still needs to get the molehill out of its eye before it next complains about an alleged mountain in some board of directors' eye.