PERA files claim in state treasurer’s suit

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The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association filed its own claim today in the lawsuit brought by Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton.

PERA’s claim asks the Denver District Court to provide guidance about the circumstances under which the group can lawfully disclose confidential member information to its trustees.

PERA wants to know whether the release of member information to a trustee is proper if: there is evidence that there is a valid fiduciary purpose; the information requested has a connection to the purpose identified; the cost of production is reasonable; and there are safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information.

Also, the group’s claim asks the court to determine that the board properly concluded that the treasurer is not entitled to information he requested regarding the top 20 percent of PERA benefit recipients.   In its claim, it says Stapleton  did not state “a valid reason for asking for this information.”. In addition, the treasurer could not describe any reasonable connection between the information he was requesting and any valid fiduciary purpose, according to documents.

PERA’s filing came in response to a lawsuit from  Stapleton, who also serves as a PERA trustee.

“This action provides an opportunity for PERA to obtain guidance regarding circumstances under which it can lawfully disclose information regarding its members and benefit recipients to PERA trustees,” said the organization in its formal response to Stapleton’s lawsuit.

PERA has retained Denver attorney John V. McDermott of the law firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP, to represent it in the lawsuit.