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SERS Former head accused of violations



Published: Thu, August 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



He is charged with conflicts of interest and failing to properly report gifts.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- The former head of the state's teachers' retirement fund was charged Wednesday with illegally accepting golf rounds, theater tickets and other gifts while directing the system serving 410,000 active and retired educators with assets of about $54 billion.

Herbert Dyer was forced to resign in August 2003 after criticism that the State Teachers Retirement System had spent millions of dollars on bonuses, artwork and travel while assets plunged. He also apologized for saying that retirees needed to eat out less if they couldn't afford the fund's higher health insurance costs.

Five charges filed

This week would mark the legal two-year deadline to file charges for misdemeanor ethics violations.

Dyer, 66, was charged with four counts of conflict of interest and one count of failing to report gifts on a required financial disclosure form.

Columbus city attorneys accuse him of accepting golf, meals and tickets to the show "Hairspray" in 1998 to 2003 from Tacoma, Wash.-based Russell Investment Group, formerly the Frank Russell Co., while Russell invested money for the retirement system. Dyer also is accused of failing to list Russell as a source of gifts in 2002.

A court appearance is set for Sept. 8 in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Telephone messages seeking comment were left with Russell; at Dyer's home in Powell; and at the Cleveland office of the attorney who represented him when he worked for the retirement system, Gerald Chattman.




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