Franchot Says Black Pension Manager Treated Unfairly
State Comptroller Peter Franchot complained yesterday that Larry E. Jennings Jr., was treated unfairly when considered for becoming a money manager for the State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland.
Jennings, who would have been the first black money manager overseeing the $38-billion pension, withdrew his name after some pension board members raised questions about Jennings’ potential involvement in a bribery scheme in the 1990s that centered on no-bid contracts his father’s company, according to the Sun. However, Jennings was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“The nature of the discussion left me, as someone who was there, quite troubled,” Franchot told the Sun. “I think it’s a terrible shame.”
It’s hard to understand why Jennings or Franchot thought the questioning to be out of line. In fact, it would have been negligent of the committee not to ask such pertinent questions of someone who would potentially have the ability to invest millions of dollars of state employees’ pension funds.
It appears that Franchot is more interested in wooing the support of Civil Rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson in an attempt to increase his support among black Marylanders for a possible run for the state house in 2010 then he is in being a prudent fiduciary of the state pension fund.
The ultra-left, Democrat Franchot joined Jackson and others earlier this week calling for states to appoint more minority money managers to oversee state pensions.
Once again, Franchot focuses on the color of an applicant’s skin rather than working toward a color-blind society where only the qualifications of an individual is considered.
What do you think? Was the committee too harsh on Jennings?