Doane to depart | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Doane to depart

Posted By on Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 2:00 PM

-- Video courtesy the Tolbert Report, 

Paul Doane, executive director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, told a legislative committee today that he will resign. Doug Smith's report is on the jump.

Doane, you recall, has been the subject of a devastating audit about his excessive travel on public money to his other homes.

Paul Doane, executive director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, headed off hostile questions from legislators Thursday by announcing his resignation at the beginning of a legislative committee meeting.

Doane and the Teacher Retirement System had been criticized by legislators for what they considered excessive travel expenditures. The meeting of a subcommittee of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee had been intended to address that criticism. But Doane was the first witness, and he said that he felt his effectiveness had been impaired and he would therefore resign. He said he’d continue to perform the functions of the executive director until the end of the year, if the System’s Board of Trustees wanted him that long.

Doane’s salary is $153,000. Robin Nichols of Nettleton, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said the next called meeting of the Board was Dec. 8. But, she said, “We’ll probably have a meeting before then,” because of Doane’s resignation. Nichols' own extensive travels on board business has also been the subject of recent news reports.

Subcommittee members sparred lightly with Doane and Nichols about travel expenses and other matters, before the subcommittee voted to file the auditing staff’s report, and instructed the Board to revise its travel policies and report back to the subcommittee. “They haven’t done well in keeping records,” Sen. Steve Faris of Malvern said, adding that other boards also had had problems with travel expenditures. The legislature needs to send a message to all of them, he said. Faris said that Doane had done a good job handling the system’s investments, “but he had problems with his own record-keeping.”

-- Doug Smith


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