Joseph Jelincic, a real estate investment staffer with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, will take over the seat of Charles Valdes, an embattled pension board member who is not running for re-election.
Jelincic received 51 percent of the valid votes cast in a run-off election, defeating the other candidate Cathy Hackett, an employee with the state’s Department of Transportation, according to unofficial vote counts. The election will be certified by the state in the next few weeks. CalPERS members vote in the elections for the 13-member board.
Jelincic has worked with CalPERS, the biggest pension in the US, for more than 23 years. He will replace veteran CalPERS board member Valdes, who served on the pension’s board for 25 years, after Valdes' term expires 15 January.
Jelincic also served as past president of the California State Employees’ Association, one of the biggest state workers’ unions in California.
Valdes has recently come under scrutiny for breaking state political donation rules. A California political ethics commissions determined in December that Valdes had taken illegal campaign contributions during his re-election run to the CalPERS board in 2005.
Some of the contributions came from people and companies affiliated with Alfred Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member who runs a placement agency, ARVCO Financial Ventures. Valdes reportedly has a personal relationship with Villalobos, who reportedly took the board member on a $15,000 trip to London, Dubai and Hong Kong to attend a two-day conference in Dubai in 2006.
CalPERS is investigating fees paid to ARVCO and other placement agents by investment managers, and also is looking into its long-standing relationship with Apollo Global Management, to which it has entrusted billions of dollars over the years. ARVCO secured more than $3 billion in commitments from CalPERS for Apollo.