State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald has once again failed on the job. Standard & Poors recently placed the I-Jobs bonds on the CreditWatch Negative list because Treasurer Fitzgerald failed to deposit the required amount in a debt service reserve account. Mike Fitzgerald needs to explain to Iowans how this black mark ended up on our good name.
A recent Des Moines Register article quoted Fitzgerald’s Deputy Treasurer as saying “officials did not know of the deficiency till this week.” However, an article in The Bond Buyer dated September 2, 2010 states Iowa originally planned to fully fund the debt service reserve account but instead changed plans and funded the account at less than half the required amount. “Originally planned” indicates a knowledge of the situation during the time of issuance more than a year ago. Mike Fitzgerald needs to explain to Iowans this discrepancy.
Every Iowan understands the value of good credit and the importance of being honest when applying for loans. Misrepresenting facts and failing to disclose serious discrepancies to creditors leads to a false measure of risk – a false credit rating – and a black mark for future business transactions. When did Mike Fitzgerald know of the discrepancy and why was it not reported to Standard & Poors immediately to protect Iowa’ s good name?
Fitzgerald’s silence on this matter is not a new approach to failings during his 28-years as State Treasurer. The Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) / Westridge Capital Management scandal is well documented though little reported. $500 million dollars was stolen from Iowans and used to fund a lavish life-style including $80,000 stuffed animals and a horse ranch on the East coast. Mike Fitzgerald is the Custodian of the IPERS fund and failed to protect our money. Yet Iowans have heard little from Fitzgerald regarding the largest theft in Iowa’s history. Iowans deserve to know how this happened; what steps are being taken to recover money; and what procedures are being put in place to make sure this NEVER happens again.
Dave Jamison, candidate for State Treasurer, is a public finance officer with 16 years experience. Jamison released this statement regarding the I-Jobs reserve account; “Clearly , Mike Fitzgerald has failed us again. After 28 years, Fitzgerald should know how things work. Mistakes of this magnitude are unacceptable and a clear sign that new leadership is needed in the treasurer’s office. As State Treasurer, I will work tirelessly to protect our money and our credibility – I will always put Iowa First!”.
Iowa needs new leadership, someone who will work to improve the office of the Treasurer, cut costs, and protect Iowa’s investments. Iowa needs someone who will be on the job full time. Iowans can count on Dave Jamison to bring greater competency, accountability and transparency to the office of State Treasurer.
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