I’m still trying to confirm an email I received yesterday about Illinois Teacher Retirement System’s chief counsel, Mary Dutton, being placed on administrative leave by the board of trustees on Friday.
If it is true, she would be the third high level person at TRS to be out.
Executive Director Richard Ingram was fired the first week in August. The chief financial officer, Jana Bergschneider, a 24-year veteran of TRS was terminated by the TRS board shortly before Ingram.
Since the Ingram departure there hasn’t been much media follow up. This surprises me given how public pensions always make for an easy story on a slow news day.
Trustees include the state superintendent of education, seven trustees appointed by the governor, five trustees elected by contributing TRS members, and two trustees elected by TRS current retirees.
Of the five elected “active” TRS members on the Board, no more than four of those members can belong to a single statewide teacher organization that has more than 10,000 members. The fifth elected “active” trustee must belong to a different statewide teacher organization.
The larger Illinois Education Association always held the active seats on on the TRS board. The new law guaranteed a seat to the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a legislative gift to the smaller IFT.
The law also gives the governor the power to select the board president from among the trustees. For more than 80 years, the president of the TRS Board automatically has been the sitting state superintendent of schools. The current state superintendent will continue to be “ex officio” members of the Board.
All the recent high level changes at the top have been the result of board discussions held in executive sessions.
That means TRS members don’t get to know the details.