Arizona Public-Safety Pension Cleared of Wrongdoing in Federal Criminal Investigation

The Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System has been cleared of any wrongdoing as federal officials close an investigation into the fund’s real estate valuations.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI were investigating whether fund staff inflated real estate values to trigger bonuses.

More from the Arizona Republic:

“Based upon our joint investigation with the FBI, at this time we do not believe that PSPRS committed any criminal misconduct,” U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Strange wrote in a letter to the pension system. “This office takes no position on civil or administrative liability, however, as our review focused exclusively on whether PSPRS engaged in criminal conduct in violation of federal law.”

Trust officials, including PSPRS Chairman Brian Tobin, said during a news conference Monday at the organization’s headquarters in central Phoenix that they were vindicated.

“We knew we were innocent of any wrongdoing,” said Tobin, flanked by junior-member PSPRS staff. “We kept our heads down and focused on the work and … the outcome we believed would come did. … We, this agency, our board, this staff have done nothing wrong.”

The leader of a police organization who called for the inquiry noted, however, that it was unclear whether individuals at PSPRS had been exonerated.

The investigation began after four high-ranking employees quit in protest last year over how PSPRS was reporting the values of trust real-estate assets managed by Scottsdale-based Desert Troon. The 13,000-member Arizona Police Association responded last fall by calling for a criminal investigation.

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