On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•Celebrations begin for a national hero with local ties (2011)
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The Cincinnati NAACP has been informed that two City employees have been put on administrative leave and one supervisor has tendered a resignation over alleged theft of Pension Fund monies. If these allegations are true, the City of Cincinnati has added insult to injury to City employees who have given 30 years of service with the understanding that their pensions are safe. Christopher Smitherman, president of the Cincinnati NAACP, says, “If this information is true, all persons involved with oversight of the Pension Fund should tender their resignations immediately. I have been concerned and outspoken about the losses within the Pension Fund since my term as a City Councilmember.” Smitherman served as Cincinnati City Councilmember during the 2004-2005 term.
The City essentially stole $20 million of pension money when they received stock in Anthem and did not contribute the asset to the Pension Fund. The City continues to underfund their obligation to its retirement system. Smitherman thanked independent media, Media Bridges and The Cincinnati Beacon, for covering the Pension Fund story since 2004. The problems with the Pension Fund are not solely driven by health care as commonly stated by City officials, but the problems are also related to mismanagement of the asset and lack of basic oversight.
The City officials continue to lie about the magnitude of the problem and the solutions. Retirees are encouraged to send public information requests to the City of Cincinnati to learn whether there are any pending allegations of theft of Pension Fund assets and whether such allegations are being investigated by the Cincinnati Police Department. Retirees should also ask how many Pension Fund Board meetings the Mayor and the representative from City Council have attended. “If the allegations prove true and if we find out that our representatives have not been attending meetings, the Mayor of the City of Cincinnati and all nine members of City Council owe taxpayers and retirees a full explanation,” said Smitherman.
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