Home Cryptocurrency News Public Information Stonewalling About Cryptocurrency In Fairfax County Virginia Pensions – Forbes

Public Information Stonewalling About Cryptocurrency In Fairfax County Virginia Pensions – Forbes

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In response to public issues, the McLean Residents Affiliation will host a digital Public Informational Assembly to debate two of the three Fairfax County Virginia pension funds’ cryptocurrency-related investments tomorrow. Fairfax County’s Retirement Techniques Govt Director Jeff Weiler, who has publicly acknowledged that cryptocurrency is “no completely different from some other funding” and the Chief Funding Officers of the Workers’ Retirement System (Andrew Spellar) and the Police Officers Retirement System (Katherine Molnar), each of whom have advocated for cryptocurrency investing will talk about their views. For no matter motive, the Chief Funding Officer of the third pension, the Uniformed Workers Retirement System (Brian Morales), who brazenly opposes crypto investing by public pensions—in Fairfax County and past—won’t be collaborating within the digital assembly or sharing his opinions. Registration is supposedly open to everyone. Most annoying, the general public can be unable to confirm any representations made on the public informational assembly relating to the character and extent of crypto-holdings by the Fairfax County pensions since, regardless of excellent public document requests for paperwork, no crypto paperwork have been launched to the general public. A lot for transparency and public accountability in Fairfax County Virginia.

America’s state and native pensions are imagined to be essentially the most transparency on the earth. In spite of everything, trillions of public {dollars} are held in these largely unregulated funding funds and each state has established freedom of knowledge act legal guidelines designed to make sure public accountability. Sadly, as I talk about in my bestselling e-book, Who Stole My Pension? public pensions have grow to be very adept at circumventing state public data legal guidelines and stonewalling. I frequently encourage public pension stakeholders to request paperwork relating to their state and native pension’s investments and witness the hostile response they get. Keep in mind, whereas there’s nothing to forestall public pensions from assembly and even exceeding the minimal necessities of their state’s public data legal guidelines—i.e., offering the general public with enhanced transparency—all public pensions I’ve ever investigated refuse to supply even minimal info till compelled to take action by litigation.

Whereas we are able to rail ceaselessly concerning the lack of transparency at public pensions, a real-life instance maybe greatest illustrates the issue. Under is a verbatim document of my unsuccessful efforts since early December to acquire data from Fairfax County relating to the crypto-holdings of its three pensions. As you may see, initially I used to be advised the pension had no obligation to reply to inquiries from non-Virginia residents or media representatives until the publication might present circulation in Virginia. After I advised the county consultant, “You probably have one thing known as the web in Virginia, then I’m certain Forbes.com has circulation in your state,” the county agreed to start to course of my request. So far, all I’ve obtained is a nugatory single-page closely redacted doc.

_________________________

Pricey Sirs,

With respect to the Uniformed Retirement System, please disclose any direct or oblique investments, together with by funds managed by exterior fund managers, in any of the next classes because it pertains to digital property:

Automated market makers (AMM); Centralized exchanges (CEX); Convertible digital currencies (“CVC”); CVC funds and ETFs; CVC indices; Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs); Decentralized exchanges (DEX); Decentralized finance (DeFi); Derivatives; Ecosystems; Governance tokens; Hedge funds; Id administration; Lending and borrowing; Metaverse; Mining (every kind); NFTs and collectibles; Choices; Oracles; Non-public fairness; Portfolio administration; Actual property; Staking; Stablecoins; Tokenized commodities; Tokenized securities; Utility tokens; Enterprise; Pockets suppliers; Wrapped tokens; Yield farming.

Edward Siedle

_________________________________

Despatched: Fri, Dec 9, 2022 3:40 pm

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Mr. Siedle,

My title is Jennifer Snyder and I am the FOIA coordinator for Fairfax County’s Retirement Techniques. Retirement has obtained your request for data at present, December 9, 2022 and has assigned it reference quantity VFOIA-70391. A duplicate can also be connected.

Please be suggested that pursuant to Va. Code § 2.2-3704(A), residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation within the Commonwealth, and representatives of radio and tv stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth are granted entry to public data within the custody of Fairfax County Authorities. As such, pursuant to Va. Code § 2.2-3704(A), Fairfax County is requiring you to supply your authorized handle. Please present proof of your Virginia state residency at your earliest comfort.

Thanks a lot,

Jennifer Snyder

________________________________

From: Edward Siedle

Despatched: Friday, December 9, 2022 4:21 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Please be suggested that Forbes journal and Forbes.com each have circulation in Virginia.

Nonetheless, you indicated to me at present that even when I have been a Virginia resident (or the journal I write for had requisite circulation in VA), the data I requested wouldn’t be publicly disclosed as a result of in 2018 the County agreed with Wall Road fund managers that every one info associated to their underlying portfolio funding holdings constituted commerce secrets and techniques exempt from public disclosure.

Lastly, you represented to me at present that the Uniform pension has completely not one of the digital property I’ve listed under, immediately or not directly, in its portfolio. You indicated you’ve truly reviewed the holdings of all of the funds through which the Uniform pension has invested and are assured there aren’t any direct or oblique digital holdings. Please verify all the above.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Ted Siedle

______________________________________

To: Edward siedle

Despatched: Fri, Dec 9, 2022 5:04 pm

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Totally denied, no affirmation given.

Please enable me to make clear.

I stated in 2018 Fairfax Retirement Company adopted and carried out VA-FOIA procedures handed all the way down to companies from the Fairfax County FOIA company.

Step 1 is to finish the requisite that we observe our FOIA procedures for “residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation within the Commonwealth, and representatives of radio and tv stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.”

I’ve reviewed your article Ohio Academics Pension Has No Remark Or Information Relating to Its Cryptocurrency Investments (forbes.com) and validate that you’re a consultant of a [digital] journal with circulation in VA. Thanks for confirming.

I additionally suggested of a step 2, which I’ll do now:

Fairfax County could assess cheap expenses to not exceed its precise price incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, looking for requested data, or creating a value estimate. If you need a value estimate, please tell us promptly earlier than we offer a response to your request. Please notice if we don’t hear from you promptly, we’ll proceed to course of your request, and you could be accountable for any expenses incurred.

I’m going to waive the fee and estimates right now. Must you want to proceed with a request underneath VFOIA-70391, I’ll present a value estimate.

I’m waiving prices related to this request, right now, as a result of:

Please be suggested that VFOIA “applies to requests for public data, not requests for info or for solutions to questions.” VFOIA Advisory Council Op. AO-06-05 (Could 31, 2005). To that finish, if this have been a request cognizable underneath VFOIA, as a result of it’s a request for info somewhat than one in search of public data, no response is required.

As at all times, please be at liberty to succeed in again out to me for added help. Within the meantime, some public data for the Fairfax County Uniformed Retirement System could also be discovered on our web site right here: Monetary Publications | Retirement Techniques (fairfaxcounty.gov).

Thanks,

Jennifer Snyder

__________________________________________

From: Edward siedle

To: [email protected] <[email protected]>

Despatched: Tue, Dec 13, 2022 2:04 pm

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Properly, Jennifer, here is my revised request.

With respect to the Uniformed Retirement System, please present any paperwork associated to any direct or oblique investments, together with by funds managed by exterior fund managers, in any of the next classes because it pertains to digital property:

Automated market makers (AMM); Centralized exchanges (CEX); Convertible digital currencies (“CVC”); CVC funds and ETFs; CVC indices; Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs); Decentralized exchanges (DEX); Decentralized finance (DeFi); Derivatives; Ecosystems; Governance tokens; Hedge funds; Id administration; Lending and borrowing; Metaverse; Mining (every kind); NFTs and collectibles; Choices; Oracles; Non-public fairness; Portfolio administration; Actual property; Staking; Stablecoins; Tokenized commodities; Tokenized securities; Utility tokens; Enterprise; Pockets suppliers; Wrapped tokens; Yield farming.

Edward Siedle

____________________________

From: Edward siedle

Despatched: Monday, December 19, 2022 3:39 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Topic: Fwd: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Jennifer,

Please verify receipt of my revised request under. Additionally, please verify that with respect to the Workers pension fund, direct and oblique investments in cryptocurrency and associated corporations prior to now exceeded 10% of the portfolio, inclusive of dedicated capital and that such investments within the Police pension exceeded 13% prior to now—previous to any markdowns of crypto property. Lastly, please verify that such investments within the Uniform plan quantity to a minimum of $190,000, primarily based upon solely these exterior managers which have responded to inquiries by the plan. With respect to any exterior managers that haven’t agreed to reveal cryptocurrency property, the quantities are unknown.

Thanks.

Edward Siedle

__________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

To: Edward siedle <[email protected]>

Cc: Morales, Brian <[email protected]>; Spellar, Andrew <[email protected]>; Molnar, Katherine <[email protected]>

Despatched: Mon, Dec 19, 2022 4:03 pm

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Pricey Mr. Siedle,

I verify receipt of the revised request on 12/13/2022. On 12/14/2022 I supplied the revised request to the CIO, Brian Morales to start figuring out managers which will have the listing of asset classes and the place I would discover a document attentive to your request.

On Friday, 12/16/2022, I obtained an e-mail affirmation from Brian Morales:

Jennifer,

I’ve spoken with Edward Siedle and answered his VFOIA inquiries to his satisfaction.

Brian Morales

CIO – Fairfax County Uniformed Retirement System

I’ve since closed VFOIA-70391. Are you stating that the cellphone dialog was to not your satisfaction? If that’s the case, I’m blissful to reopen the request and do a seek for data we could have that could be attentive to your request.

Please keep in mind that VFOIA “applies to requests for public data, not requests for info or for solutions to questions.” VFOIA Advisory Council Op. AO-06-05 (Could 31, 2005). We don’t make confirmations.

Please submit a request for any data for any Retirement Techniques not initially referenced underneath VFOIA-70391.

As soon as I’ve a request for public data from you, I’ll present a value and an effort estimate in your overview and settlement previous to starting work.

Thanks,

Jennifer Snyder

____________________________________

From: Andrew Spellar

Despatched: December 21, 2022

Mr. Siedle,

To a big extent our fingers are tied in that we enter into confidentiality agreements with our managers underneath provisions inside the Virginia FOIA statutes to guard portfolio investments.

I might level you to our web site and our Annual Monetary Studies that are the general public paperwork of document.

Financial Publications | Retirement Systems (fairfaxcounty.gov)

Moreover, you might be free to strategy managers along with your inquiries immediately.

Regards,

Andy

Andrew J. Spellar

Chief Funding Officer

Fairfax County Workers’ System

______________________________________

From: Edward siedle

Despatched: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 12:17 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Cc: Morales, Brian <[email protected]>; Spellar, Andrew <[email protected]>; Molnar, Katherine <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Ms. Snyder,

I’ve filed a public data request with you, as you’ve instructed me to do, versus a request for info or for solutions to questions (as to which you’ve suggested me you don’t have any obligation to reply— at the same time as a courtesy to main media). So far, I’ve been supplied with no public data. None. I’ve certainly spoken with Mr. Morales and requested, most not too long ago, that you just or he verify the data he supplied to me over the phone, together with the chances of crypto property held within the Police, Basic Workers and Uniform pensions, previous to any markdowns. In the event you’re not going to supply me with the data requested and ask that I rely solely upon info supplied verbally by Mr. Morales, please verify the accuracy of that info.

Edward Siedle

____________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer

Despatched: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 5:35 PM

To: Edward siedle

Cc: Morales, Brian <[email protected]>; Spellar, Andrew <[email protected]>; Molnar, Katherine <[email protected]>

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Mr. Siedle,

VFOIA-70391 pertains to Fairfax County Uniformed Retirement System. We’ve got not obtained a request for data from you for the Workers System or Police. I did obtain your affirmation of a revised request the place you added the Workers’ and Police:

“Additionally, please verify that with respect to the Workers pension fund, direct and oblique investments in cryptocurrency and associated corporations prior to now exceeded 10% of the portfolio, inclusive of dedicated capital and that such investments within the Police pension exceeded 13% prior to now—previous to any markdowns of crypto property.”

This was not a request for public data and was added to an current, open request. As a courtesy to you, we’ll open a brand new request with the identical, requested particulars for the Workers’ and Police Retirement Techniques.

Relating to VFOIA-70391, there are 2 paperwork that, when utilized collectively, could also be attentive to your request. I’ve reviewed our contracted settlement with the funding firm and it states we’re to supply the corporate a duplicate of the request, and responsive paperwork for his or her overview. They may overview the request and paperwork for proprietary and commerce secret exemptions that apply (if any). On the similar time, I’ll have our authorized division do the identical overview. As soon as all events are in settlement, we’ll reply to VFOIA-70391.

Because of the vacation season and my incapacity to regulate the time effort of out of doors events, I want to ask for an extension to the 5 enterprise day rule. I’ll work as diligently as potential by the subsequent 5 enterprise days to get you a response. I’ll maintain you knowledgeable as to the work being executed by the exterior events and ask that you just please be versatile if there turns into a necessity to increase the deadline. Once more, I’ll maintain you posted.

I’d wish to advise you that the FOIA request for the Uniformed Retirement System occurs to be for only one funding. Workers and Police doubtlessly have 4-6 investments and can take incrementally extra time. Extra on the extra Retirement Techniques after I open the brand new request and start the method.

Jennifer Snyder

________________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer

Despatched: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 11:45 AM

To: edward siedle <[email protected]>

Cc: Ando, Yuko <[email protected]>

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391 & VFOIA-71027

Mr. Siedle,

On account of staffing shortages by the vacation season, Fairfax County requires an extra seven working days to reply to VFOIA-70391. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(B)(4). The County will make any responsive data recognized obtainable to you 7 working days after at present, the primary 5 enterprise days after your up to date request was obtained, or any updates that may be supplied sooner.

As a courtesy to you, I’ve created VFOIA-71027 which can embody your request for Workers’ and Police Officer’s Techniques data. At the moment, for a similar motive acknowledged above, I want to inform you that VFOIA-71027 may even require an extra 7 working days.

Thanks a lot in your curiosity in Fairfax County’s Retirement Techniques.

Hope you might be having an exquisite vacation season.

Jennifer Snyder

_________________________________

On Thursday, December 29, 2022, 10:40 AM, Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]> wrote:

Pricey Mr. Siedle,

In mild of your publication yesterday Fairfax County Virginia Police And Workers Pensions Gamble 13%, 10% In Crypto; Uniformed Pension Not-So-A lot? (forbes.com) do you continue to need us to course of your FOIA requests? We’re blissful to proceed to analysis data that could be responsive, however want to verify your want for us to proceed the hassle.

Hope to listen to from you quickly. We stand able to proceed.

Thanks,

Jennifer Snyder

___________________________________

From: Edward siedle

Despatched: Thursday, December 29, 2022 11:29 AM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Cc: Ando, Yuko <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391 & VFOIA-71027

Sure. Please do. Thanks and blissful new 12 months.

Edward Siedle

_______________________________________

January 6, 2023

Mr. Siedle,

A document attentive to your request (VFOIA-70391) is connected. Please be suggested that parts of this document are redacted pursuant to Code of Virginia sections 2.2-3705.7(12) and a couple of.2-3705.1(13) – as marked on the connected document. The second web page of the document, containing one paragraph regarding a mixture of a non-public entity’s portfolio corporations or properties, is withheld in its entirety pursuant to Virginia Code part 2.2-3705.7(12).

Sincerely,

Jennifer Snyder

________________________

In conclusion, if you’re a public pension stakeholder (both a taxpayer or participant) I encourage you to file public data requests for details about administration (or mismanagement) of investments. Right here’s hoping you’ll have higher luck than I’ve ever had.

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