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Resource ID: #24716
Subject: State Government
Source: Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
Affiliation: 
Date: 04/11/2010; 04/17/2010

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Description

The Oregonian's investigation spotlighted an obscure corner of state government where Wall Street practices became business as usual, where a set of high-paid employees were granted special exemptions to operate outside the scope of state gift and ethics laws, and functioned with little internal or public oversight. The newspaper revealed that state investment officers charged with monitoring more than $50 billion in state pension investments routinely travel in luxury, paid for by taxpayers and the Wall Street investment managers they are supposed to be overseeing. They stay at high-end resorts and five-star hotels, eat at celebrated restaurants and fly first class. The tab is often picked up by investment firms managing Oregon's investments, who are competing for hundreds of millions of dollars in fees that the pension fund pays annually. The state treasury didn't monitor that travel. It kept no record of the expenses or gratuities provided its employees. And it ignored the potential conflicts of interest.

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