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Kentucky Retirement System Representatives Questioned About Troubled Equity Fund Investment

Kentucky Retirement System representatives answered questions about a $24 million KRS investment in private equity fund The Camelot Group Monday.

As one of the earliest major investors in Camelot, the Kentucky Retirement System is now working to protect that investment following the indictment of its manager, Lawrence Penn, who is accusing of stealing more than $9 million from the fund.

KRS executive director William Thielen is still gauging the impact of the fallout.

"We do not know at this time what if any losses have been occasioned by his actions," Thielen said.

Lawmakers on the Public Pension Oversight Board pressed the spokesmen on how the investment was vetted and what new safeguards were in place.

KRS Interim Chief Investment Officer David Peden told the panel the system is now more robust and KRS is paying closer attention to the business side of firms, in addition to the investment end.

"Another thing that would make us pause is that this firm was dominated by a single individual and you need to invest in firms that have broad resources and a lot of voices in a firm so that one individual can't control the outcome," Peden explained.

Peden assured the committee the Camelot investment would not be approved today and currently no other KRS funds show signs of trouble.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.