- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A law firm’s investigation into allegations of misconduct by the then-chief investment officer of Pennsylvania’s state government pension system found no support for allegations that he improperly engaged in day trading while working for the agency.

The State Employees’ Retirement Board released a two-page letter Wednesday from its outside counsel that also said there was no evidence that Anthony Clark acted illegally regarding a troubled investment with Tiger Management Advisors LLC.

The letter from attorney Walter Cohen, addressing claims Clark was not working full time for his $270,000 salary, said that a former board chairman told the law firm that “Clark’s presence in or absence from the office was in accordance with the understanding reached prior to his employment.”

Clark released a statement saying he was “relieved to have the shadow cast by unfounded allegations” removed from his life.

“I have lost nearly a year of my professional life because of frivolous allegations,” Clark said. “I am eager to resume my career and use my extensive knowledge and experience to serve other investors.”

Cohen said the Tiger investment, which performed poorly because of its gold component, was the major focus of his firm’s investigation.

“Whether Clark intentionally misled the board by seeking to conceal Tiger’s poor performance is open to question, but the board remained vigilant in monitoring the Tiger investment until its dissolution,” Cohen wrote.

Cohen said the firm knows of no pending investigation by any prosecutor’s office, and the attorney general’s office declined to confirm or deny whether it has an open investigation. Agents with the state attorney general’s office collected computer records from the retirement system in December, shortly after Clark retired.

Cohen said the law firm obtained investigative files about Clark from the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Inspector General, neither of which concluded he was day trading in violation of state rules or that his work schedule “was inadequate to meet commonwealth requirement.”

The firm interviewed agency employees, board members and others.

“Throughout many of the 22 interviews, the discussion wandered to characterization of Clark’s personality, his confrontational style of leadership and his perceived investment biases,” Cohen wrote.

He said the agency should consider a review of the investment office’s practices and possibly hire an outside expert to compare it to others in the public pension industry.

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