Dallas Police and Fire Pension System faces FBI inquiry

DALLAS – The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System helps support our first responders in their retirement.

It has come under intense scrutiny over millions of dollars in questionable investments, and now sources tell News 8 the FBI has made contact with certain members of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund staff and board of directors.

While we do not know the exact nature of their inquiry, the fund has come under scrutiny over lavish expenditures and several risky investments, causing the fund to lose millions of dollars. The questions began to surface two years ago.

Instead of safe and traditional investments, managers of the $3.4-billion Dallas Police and Fire Pension System took pride in taking risks. They sank tens of millions of dollars into high-risk real estate ventures, including boutique rental properties in Hawaii and Arizona, and wine country resorts in Napa Valley.

News 8 brought to light numerous and extravagant trips made by top pension fund administrators and some board members.

Last summer, after mounting scrutiny, the board of directors fired top administrator Richard Tettamant.

It was around the same time the fund was forced to realize multi-million dollar real estate losses.

Late Wednesday, the pension fund’s in-house real estate advisors, CDK, notified directors they were severing their relationship, saying, “Based on the new investment strategy of the System, it is evident that this strategy is not consistent with the joint venture development strategy currently pursued by our firm.”

The nature of the inquiry is unknown, but the fund has come under intense scrutiny over expenditures and risky investments in recent years. Brett Shipp reports.

There is no indication that the CDK resignation has anything to do with the FBI inquiry, and the FBI inquiry may not blossom into a full investigation.

Regardless, the pension system board of directors voted Thursday to hire a forensic audit team to conduct a thorough examination of the propriety of the system’s failed real estate investments.

http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/dallas-county/2015/08/13/dallas-police-and-fire-pension-system-faces-fbi-inquiry/31686407/