State News

N.C. treasurer, AG fight over pension lawsuit

Posted October 31, 2008

— North Carolina's attorney general and state treasurer disagree who will represent state government workers and retirees in a fraud lawsuit.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported State Treasurer Richard Moore and Attorney General Roy Cooper disagree about a securities fraud lawsuit against Freddie Mac.

The lawsuit alleges that Freddie Mac concealed and misrepresented the company's poor financial practices, which led to huge losses. North Carolina's pension fund lost $18 million.

The newspaper said Moore hired two law firms to persuade a federal judge to make the North Carolina Retirement Systems the lead plaintiff.

Cooper's chief deputy attorney general, Grayson Kelley, wrote one of Moore's lead attorneys, saying Moore's office has no authority to hire lawyers to represent the state.

The two candidates seeking to succeed Moore as state treasurer, Democrat Janet Cowell and Republican Bill Daughtridge, said Friday that North Carolina needs to bring in lawyers who specialize in securities and pension law to handle the case.

"We have to work however we can to make sure that we protect our pensions," Daughtridge said. "We have to make sure we're dealing with specialists who can get the best results."

"When you're pursuing losses of $20 million, you want the best folks on your team who can represent the state," Cowell said.

Both Cowell and Daughtridge praised Moore for the job he ad done with the pension fund and the state's bond rating – both remain sound despite the financial crisis – but Daughtridge said the State Treasurer's Office needs to be moderinzed and made more efficient.

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  • Southern Fried Yankee Oct 31, 2008

    It'd be nice if every year the state employees that FUND the pension fund get an accounting of WHERE the money is being invested....

    One has to wonder exactly what other "losses" are out there and not brought to the light of day, yet.

  • short Oct 31, 2008

    Here's a thought 'sue' Congressman Barney Franks for telling the american people Fannie/freddie were sound investments and doing nothing to regulate their lending practices based on their capitol...then sue Franklin Raines....a member of Obama's campaign staff for cooking the books so that he would get his bonus's.......each of these names - Obama-Franks were at the top of the list when it came to campaign contributions from Fannie/freddie - but hey lets look the other way...and Raines - is nothing more than a crook....

  • brenthall Oct 31, 2008

    Maybe they should check to see who the two law firms were that Treasurer Moore hired to represent the State. My bet is they are majorly affiliated with him from the past!! More Government corruption and keeping within the "family".

  • gator nation gal Oct 31, 2008

    Venita - when you're talking about "regular folks" it sure sounds like you mean republicans.

  • venitapeyton Oct 31, 2008

    Where was Roy Cooper when the State Employees Assn filed the bogus lawsuit against Richard Moore when he was running against Bev Perdue in the primary? Remember SEANC was supporting Perdue all along. The same group who did nothing to help state employees didn't get their paychecks on time for several months!

    More reasons to bring in Pat McCrory for Governor, Bill Daughtridge for Treasurer and a whole new team to give North Carolina back for us regular folks.

  • Mommyoftwo Oct 31, 2008

    This Contest of Wills is absolutely ridiculous!!!!! Does it REALLY matter as long as the lawsuit goes through?

    Cooper should grow up and not have this whole "My hands are bigger than your hands" stance. Richard Moore is in charge of making sure the retirement plan for state employees is sound so why doesn't he have the power to hire attorneys??? My understanding is that Cooper couldn't represent the state anyway due to conflict of interest.

    Just because it's election year doesn't mean acting like 5 year olds will get you to win!

  • chfdcpt Oct 31, 2008

    The sad part is that here we have two state agencies having a waging contest to see who gets to be in charge...then they really wonder why the public has no faith in the government.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 31, 2008

    Ah yes good move, sue them now that the Feds have taken them over. If you win, the Feds can borrow the money from ?????? Do any countries have any money left?

  • Garnerwolf1 Oct 31, 2008

    Should they not be on the same side? Politicians are going to ruin this country. Doesn't matter if they are an elephant or a donkey!

  • cameragirl Oct 31, 2008

    At least someone is willing to take a stance. Cooper's office should be going after the Easleys to get our money back for the exhorbitant travel and I am sure there are other expenses the we don't even know about. I would love to see bill for the 8 years they have been in the Governor's Mansion. How much alcohol and other items have been charged there?