Wednesday, April 6, 2011

AG tells Kentucky Retirement Systems to reveal its salaries, which even its board doesn't know

Attorney General Jack Conway told Kentucky Retirement Systems administrators yesterday that it must reveal how much employees are paid. They had refused a Feb. 10 request by Eva Smith-Carroll of Frankfort for "current payroll records."

“All the other state employee salaries are posted online. It wasn’t clear to me why this one agency should not have to disclose the size of its salaries,” Smith-Carroll told John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader, who writes: “Robert Wilcher, a member of the KRS board of trustees, said he and his colleagues hadn’t heard about the case until after KRS management denied Smith-Carroll’s request. KRS executives have not disclosed their pay to the board, either, Wilcher said.”

Because it deals with open records, Conway's opinion has the force of law, but the retirement systems can appeal it to Franklin Circuit Court within 30 days. "KRS general counsel Schuyler Olt declined to comment Tuesday," Cheves writes. UPDATE, April 22: The salaries have been posted online, Cheves reports: "The new board chairwoman, Jennifer Elliott, on Friday said the board insisted that KRS salaries be posted online as quickly as possible." Elliott told Cheves, “We had not previously been aware that the system failed to turn over this information when requested. The board as a whole wants us to be transparent.”
UPDATE, April 7: One salary just became moot. In an apparently unrelated move, the KRS board fired its executive director and elected a new chairman, reports Tom Loftus of The Courier-Journal reports.

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