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Kamenetz: Council Aware of $21M Pension Loss

County Executive answers question about issue during Sunday appearance on WBAL TV.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said Sunday that he and the Baltimore County Council were briefed in 2008 on a with Merrill Lynch.

Kamenetz answered questions about the pension investment Sunday during an interview on WBAL TV.

Kamenetz said Baltimore County, "like many other jurisdictions, were misled" in a 2007 pension investment known as Mainsail II LLC.

The county lost as much as $21 million in the investment. Last week, with members of the Baltimore County Council to discuss a possible lawsuit against Merrill Lynch over the fund that was built on subprime mortgages.

Kamenetz was chairman of the County Council in January 2008 when the council was asked to that would prohibit future investments in such funds.

There are no minutes for the 2008 meeting and notes prepared by the county auditor's office, which works for the County Council, does not reference any losses.

Don Mohler, a county spokesman and chief of staff to Kamenetz, refused to answer questions last week from Patch regarding the 2008 meeting.

Kamenetz, however, did answer the question during his television interview.

"The council was informed," said Kamenetz. "We were aware of the nature of the loss and enacted changes to our bonding portfolio concept so this would not occur again. Now were investigating the opportunity to pursue a cause of action and if we can recover something it would be great."

Kamenetz did not answer questions about existing checks and balances that would have prevented the investment to be made without oversight.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buzz Beeler April 24, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Someone had to hatch this deal. Someone had to bring it forward, like a PUD. Connect the dots. I find it hard to believe that the pension board all got on the same bus and drove it off a cliff. The charter is very specific about how this money is to be handled. Were the rules followed in this venture. Who approached who and what was said. It's a little like, I've got this great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge. Again I say $600,000 to $1 million is a lot of money for a broker on a deal like this and knowing the right person is a deal maker.
charles richardson April 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Please tone down the rhetoric. I just recently joined patch, find it to be a great vehicle for local information but the posts I've read border on fringe of society. The fringe of the right or left are out of the mainstream thought. Reading about the investment is disturbing to say the least. But history tells us that the entire system was on the verge of collapse so Baltimore County was not alone. This does not make the investment a criminal matter. It may be a huge error of judgement and perhaps policy and procedure were not followed. An investigation into the matter will bear that out. Criminal, let's hold on that thought, give this administration an opportunity to review the checks and balances. If policy was not followed, if there were acts that rise to the level of a dismissal then and only then take that step. Just to have this issue give the fringe elements, both supportive and negative, a platform for spewing their venom doesn't make sense nor does it help any citizen of Baltimore County.
momoftheyear April 25, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Charles. the reason for the 'venom' is that many of us both on and off this blog are simply sick of the way Kevin Kamenetz does business. He is feuding with the council, delegates, senators, county employees, and anyone else who disagrees with him. He is rude to constituents and I believe does not have the county's best interests at heart. That is why you see the anger on here. Issue after issue after issue. I am a parent and was really excited about the school board reform proposed by Lafferty, Brochin and others. And in swoops Kevin to kill it even though I think it is clear that this is what citizens of the county want. He really has been awful. I am not political and I didn't vote for Kevin Kamenetz but I wanted him to be good. He has been a disappointment in my opinion. Just my thoughts.
Bart April 25, 2012 at 02:42 AM
As with "Watergate", the big problem is not so much the action, but the attempt to try and cover it up. Kamenetz it trying to cover i tup, saying that the council already knew about it, yet none of the minutes of any meeting include this discussion. He's trying to cover up a big mistake, or misjudgment on the part of the county council. Mohler and Homan are propping him up, and the citizens are sick to death of it. I heard that Kamenetz appeared at a recent meeting of the Baltimore County Licensed Beverage Associaion and was "booed". A whole lot of people, of all parties and persuasions are not happy with Kamenetz.
Buzz Beeler April 25, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Charles, I would say that what you are reading is what is called public discourse. That is an intricate part of the process. To you it may be rhetoric, but to others it may be a valid concern. It doesn't help when those responsible choose to remain silent. You are engaging in the same rhetoric by making an assumption as to the cause of the loss. You may be right, or you may be wrong, as in the same manor each of us individuals also have an opinion.

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