COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Officials hope an agreement between state Treasurer Curtis Loftis and the board that invests South Carolina’s pension money brings an end to the public rancor between them.
The agreement allows Loftis’ staff to review confidential information on investment deals — access he’s demanded for more than a year.
As treasurer, Loftis sits on the Retirement System Investment Commission. He’s had full access to documents, as have other commissioners and the commission’s staff. But he wanted his office’s legal and financial professionals to review the documents, saying he can’t possibly be expected to review and understand all those documents on his own.
Previous attempts to resolve the issue failed.
The increasing animosity led to an unprecedented lawsuit at the state Supreme Court earlier this year, as well as an investigation by state Inspector General Patrick Maley, at Loftis’ request.
Loftis said the agreements he signed last week, giving access to four designated members of his staff, resolve most of the dispute. Commissioners are expected to formally approve the arrangement at their meeting next week.
“It’s going to make life better for everyone,” Loftis said. “Now that that’s done, many of the problems we’ve had will go away.”
Loftis has repeatedly attacked the commission as secretive, but its chief operating officer, Darry Oliver, said Monday that the agency has only tried to protect confidential information. The eventual solution, he said, creates a responsible process for sharing it.
“We’ve finally crossed the finish line, which is good for everybody. It allows everybody to focus on doing their jobs,” said Oliver, who has worked to resolve the matter since starting his job in February.
Both Loftis and Oliver said the real beneficiaries are state retirees.