Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings Asks Texas Rangers to Investigate Police and Fire Pension System's Previous Leaders

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings wants the Texas Rangers to investigate the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System's previous administration.Rawlings said in a written statement released Friday that the pension fund's previous leaders "committed a grave breach of trust with our first responders.""As I have learned more in recent years and months about how the DPFP reached its current crisis, I have come to believe the conduct in question may rise to the level of criminal offenses," he said in the statement. A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.Rawlings said he has also been in "close cooperation" with the FBI, which doesn't confirm the existence of investigations. The feds earlier this year raided the offices of CDK Realty Advisors, which worked closely with the previous administration and worked out of the pension system's building.Richard Tettamant served as the fund's executive director for years until he was ousted in 2014. The fund is now billions of dollars short and heading toward insolvency within the next decade. At fault are overly generous benefits paired with the the fund's heavy bet on risky real estate during his tenure.Tettamant could not be reached for comment Friday morning, but The Dallas Morning News left a message seeking comment. Tettamant told The New York Times last month that the board made investment decisions, not him.Some board members have said they believe the previous administration hid information from them.Rawlings did not name anyone specifically in his statement, but said "anyone brazen enough to commit crimes that harmed those who sacrifice so much to keep our city safe must be brought to justice."The mayor declined interviews or further comment in a news release.Pension Board Chairman Sam Friar was surprised by Rawlings' announcement."But we welcome anything constructive to the process," he said. "We thought that the FBI and the law firm we hired to look into these matters were sufficient. But if the Rangers can come up with something we haven't found, we welcome them."The pension board continues to meet with city officials in City Hall conference rooms to try and find common ground on a potential fix for the pension fund.Meanwhile, the mayor has taken an increasingly public role in the pension crisis. He filed a lawsuit as an individual against the pension system to halt hundreds of millions of dollars in withdrawals from the pension system's Deferred Retirement Option Plan.His role has drawn the ire of public safety retirees and some active police and firefighters. Last week, he tried to speak to them directly in a video, saying they are not to blame for the crisis and their lucrative benefits shouldn't have been offered to them in the first place.  Continue reading...

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