CEO of Los Angeles County Pension Fund Terminated
Following a closed door meeting in June, the chief executive of Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) was terminated without being publicly announced. Lou Lazatin, the ousted chief executive, was a former chief executive at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles and had led LACERA since November when she took over for interim CEO Robert Hill. LACERA has an estimated 165,000 current and former county employees as members and pays out over $3 billion annually in benefits to retirees. Steven Rice, chief counsel of the association, stated the following regarding Lazatin’s termination,
The boards thank Ms. Lazatin for her service to LACERA and wish her well in her future endeavors. Beyond the Boards’ action, it is LACERA’s policy not to comment further on personnel matters.
Rice declined to elaborate the termination and LACERA has been conducting a national search to replace Lazatin. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Hints of the tensions surrounding Lazatin first surfaced publicly in late May, when an agenda for a joint meeting of the association’s investment and retirement boards mentioned possible discipline or dismissal of the chief executive.” The June meeting was closed door because personnel matters were discussed. Mira Hasmall, Lazatin’s attorney, claims that one of the reasons for the termination involved a disagreement regarding Lazatin’s approval of travel expenses for some board members. We will have to wait to see who is chosen to lead the Los Angeles County’s massive pension fund.