TPJ Joins Rep. Gallego's Call for Ceverha to Resign ERS Board
|For Immediate Release:|
For More Information Contact:
|November 30, 2005|
Craig McDonald, 512-472-9770
Austin, TX: Texans for Public Justice today joined Rep. Pete Gallego’s call for Bill Ceverha to resign from the Employee Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees.
“Those overseeing the pensions of Texas public servants should have the highest personal and financial integrity,” said Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald. “Bill Ceverha does not meet these standards after his recent declarations of moral and financial bankruptcy. Mr. Ceverha’s participation in the 2002 Texas election scandal ought to disqualify him from public service—especially from a position that owes a fiduciary duty to retired state employees.”
A state district judge issued a $196,000 judgment against Ceverha in May for violating Texas’ political disclosure laws as the 2002 treasurer of Congressman Tom DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC). During his civil trial, Ceverha testified in his own defense that he paid scant attention to TRMPAC’s campaign finance reports—which were his responsibility as PAC treasurer.
“What state officials would entrust their retirement to a man who confessed to being asleep at the fiduciary wheel?” McDonald asked.
Through his recent personal bankruptcy filing, Mr. Ceverha denied court-ordered compensation to TRMPAC’s victims. Ceverha did so despite the fact that the TRMPAC scandal has been a financial windfall for his lobbying and consulting business. In bankruptcy filings, Ceverha reports an extra $200,000 a year in post-scandal consulting business from clients eager to help him pay his legal fees.
TRMPAC’s legally dubious expenditure of corporate political funds in 2002 helped establish a Republican Texas House majority that installed Rep. Tom Craddick as its speaker. Speaker Craddick appointed Ceverha to the board of the Employee Retirement System after Ceverha served on Craddick’s transition team. In spite of the TRMPAC scandal, Speaker Craddick continues to defend Ceverha’s position on the ERS board.
“Mr. Ceverha was a participant in the white-collar crime wave against Texas voters in 2002,” said McDonald. “How can he and Speaker Craddick deny that state employees deserve better oversight over their retirement funds? The greatest public service Bill Ceverha can perform is to retire from public service.”