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Ohio AG files lawsuit to remove two state teachers' pension board members

STRS Ohio oversees about $90 billion invested on behalf of 500,000 teachers and retirees


Key Points

  • State law allows the attorney general to bring a civil case to remove public pension board members if they failed to act in the best financial interest of the system

  • Last week, Yost opened an investigation into whether some board members may have violated their fiduciary duty

  • Gov. Mike DeWine sent documents to Yost and other state agencies that allege that STRS Ohio is facing a "hostile takeover" by private interests


Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to remove two board members of the State Teachers Retirement System, saying they breached their fiduciary duty to protect the pension fund.


Yost filed the case in Franklin County Common Pleas Court just before the 11-member board begins its monthly meeting today.


Yost is seeking removal of Wade Steen, who is the governor's appointee to the board, and retired Wright State University economics professor Rudy Fichtenbaum.


STRS Ohio oversees about $90 billion invested on behalf of 500,000 teachers and retirees. The system is facing historic turbulence as control of the board tips toward "reformers," its executive director is on paid administrative leave and Aon, a national consulting firm, opted to cancel its contract early.


Last week, Yost opened an investigation into whether some board members may have violated their fiduciary duty. State law allows the attorney general to bring a civil case to remove public pension board members if they failed to act in the best financial interest of the system.


Gov. Mike DeWine sent documents to Yost and other state agencies that allege that STRS Ohio is facing a "hostile takeover" by private interests. Among the records is a 14-page anonymous memo that details how a handful of STRS board members have worked in concert with founders of a new financial company called QED and the Ohio Retirement of Teachers Association.


The retiree association called the memo an arrogant and shameful effort by STRS employees to preserve their jobs. "For years STRS Ohio has failed our teachers while enriching STRS staff. This is not a hostile takeover, it is a teacher takeover through fair and free elections."


By Laura Bishoff May 15, 2024


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