Costly Lessons
Forbes Magazine
April 25, 2005


"...Mutual back-scratching between insurers and
unions is ubiquitous with 403(b)s, says Daniel
Puplava, who sold
the NEA’s Valuebuilder in California when it was
run by Nationwide. “When I did work at the
union, I had to pay for tables, provide door
prizes and dine labor people to market in their
territory,” he says. “I felt like a whore.”

"These days he runs a 403(b) plan he devised
for San Diego County’s Office of Education..."

[Blogger's note: From what I know of
SDCOE,
it's deeply corrupt.  What's worse is
that it is part of government.  Taxpayers
have no choice; they participate whether
they want to or not.]
Daniel Puplava
Self-admitted annuity gamer

This blogger learned the hard way about the authorized retirement planners for
Chula Vista Elementary School District.  The union, Chula Vista Educators, was
partly to blame.  But the district, in the person of
Lowell Billings, was deeply
involved in the scam.
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"These days [Dan Puplava] runs a 403(b) plan he
devised for
San Diego County’s Office of
Education..."

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE EDITORIAL
Feckless, hapless, clueless
Handling of county schools
conflict of interest is
unacceptable

March 29, 2009

In the grand scheme of things, the San
Diego County Office of Education is
something of an obscure bit player. It
provides administrative support to local
school districts and runs continuation
schools for students with disciplinary
problems. This fringe status, however,
does not excuse it from having to meet
basic standards of good government.

That absolutely hasn't happened in the
case of Daniel Puplava, who manages the
office's retirement program while also
working as a private broker who sells
investments to administrators and
teachers served by the program. This is
prohibited, according to a 2008 opinion
from the state Attorney General's Office.

But even with such an opinion, it is
obvious that this is an unacceptable
conflict of interest. While a full-time school
office employee, Puplava lined up fellow
government employees for his private
brokerage and used his government
phone as his primary contact number.
Incredibly, Superintendent Randolph Ward
himself bought an annuity from Puplava
shortly after Ward began work in 2006.

Now Ward is refusing to answer questions
on the matter. Board trustees John Witt
and Mark Anderson also are stonewalling.
Trustee Sharon Hartley says it's much ado
about nothing, evidently concluding that
the county schools office is not
answerable to Attorney General Jerry
Brown. Board President Sharon Jones
pretends she's not allowed to comment on
the matter because of “personnel” rules.
Only trustee Jerry Rindone shows the
appropriate level of dismay.

A respected high school principal and
Chula Vista councilman before being
elected to the county schools board,
Rindone understands this isn't how
government is supposed to work.

That doesn't hold for Ward, Witt,
Anderson, Hartley and Jones. Their “what,
me worry?” approach is an
embarrassment.
Education Reform Report
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