State Treasurer Janet Cowell is taking unnecessary heat

June 16, 2014 

Dana Cope, head of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, is continuing a gratuitous crusade against State Treasurer Janet Cowell. The latest volley is a report commissioned by SEANC, or Cope, that criticizes the handling of the state pension fund by Cowell’s office.

The report recommends an investigation by no less than the SEC, and claims that Cowell has hidden some investments on behalf of the $76 billion pension fund. SEANC has ripped Cowell repeatedly, with Cope leading the charge, and the group apparently believes it knows better how to handle the pension fund. It wants the fund overseen by an investment board rather than the treasurer.

Cowell’s office responds to charges with a pretty good answer regarding the secrecy claims: Investments are detailed in an annual report.

And what about the fact that the pension fund is robust? Isn’t that good enough for Cope? Of course not. The longer he drags out all these well-worn allegations, the more his crusade looks like some kind of personal gripe against Cowell.

The treasurer is publicly elected, and Cowell has served on the Raleigh City Council, in the legislature and is in her second term as treasurer. She submits to the ultimate job review, a statewide election.

And she is well-prepared for the office, having worked in the financial industry, and holds an MBA degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Cowell has done and is doing a good job for the taxpayers of North Carolina and the pensioners who are secure in their retirement thanks to a conservatively managed pension fund. Cope should give up his baseless complaints and focus on serving the best interests of state employees – as Janet Cowell has.

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