Bob Lyons comments on TRS Executive Director Richard Ingram’s ouster.

Former TRS Executive Director Richard Ingram.

I reported this morning that Illinois Teacher Retirement System Executive Director had been forced to resign by the TRS board of directors.

I also speculated that Governor Pritzker was behind the ouster. I have heard different reasons. I assume it will all come out in the wash.

Former retiree representative on the TRS board, Bob Lyons, comments on the events.

Fred called me this morning that Dick Ingram had resigned.  And I sent the following out to my unit board:

More significantly the word in Springfield was that our Executive Director was “forced” to resign, and that the pressure came from the Pritzker appointed members of the board.  I talked to Dick Strand  at the start of last week and also to our state president, John Flaherty, and they both said the appointed board members wanted to bring certain investment opportunities to the board and that Dick and our CIO, Stan Rupnik, were uninterested.

I was on the committee that selected Dick Ingram almost ten years ago.  We offered him the job in December, 2010 and we told him that he could sign the contract in time to be a Tier One employee.  He said, “No, I will sign it on January 1, which will make me the very first Tier  Two in Illinois.”

I told him, “No one was going to put up a statue for your sacrifice” and they haven’t.  It takes ten years to be vested for your pension under Tier Two, but I talked to David Urbanek and he said that he thought that Dick had “bought some time” and that he was vested.  

I have calls out to a couple of board members to see what I can learn and also to remind them of the “bad old days of Stuart Levine and Rod Blagojevich”.   Stan Rupnik is the acting director.  

Fred Klonsky has the story out and said that Rupnik was made director without a board meeting, but it is actually we made it part of Stan’s contract that he would automatically become acting director if Dick would leave.  There are no secrets in Springfield, so I am sure the store will be out in a short time.  More to follow….

Well, I called Larry Pfeiffer, one of the two trustee annuitant on the TRS Board, and he shared with me first that there had been a three hour executive meeting during the board meeting. He said at the end of that meeting the TRS Board voted to put Director Ingram on “administrative leave.”  I asked if he could share with me the issue, he said no that it was covered by the law and board policy that nothing can be disclosed.

Then I asked him about disagreement on investment policy.  He said there was a division with some board members advocating index funds.  I personally cannot see that as an issue in Ingram being put on leave.

Dick turned in his resignation today and some how or another he was vested though he is six months short of year on the job.

2 thoughts on “Bob Lyons comments on TRS Executive Director Richard Ingram’s ouster.

  1. Richard Ingram, said at an TRS Teacher/ Pension information meeting in the South Suburbs of Chicago, years ago that he was Tier 2. This was shortly after he was hired/ appointed. I remember he was condescending, pompous, etc…(Didn’t sit well with the large crowd of about 100-200 lifetime teachers/ staff members.) Richard stated he had moved from out East, relocated from another state. It is better to have Illinois residents as Board members, officials, and more teachers/staff members who have the members best interests.
    Richard told us he wished he could be Tier 1, but because of his hiring date…. he was Tier 2.

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