Welcome to our new web site!
To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.
During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.
Montgomery did not return a request from the AP for comment. The complaint was filed in June 2014 by Sam Griswold, a state retiree who has publicly disagreed with Loftis for years. Griswold said he's pleased with the finding. "I don't think the amount of the fine is of tremendous consequence," he said. Loftis said the complaint was filed by the "cronies" of the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, which invests the state's pension portfolio. Loftis, a member of the board, has publicly feuded with his fellow commissioners since taking office. "This decision will not keep me from my duties to the people," Loftis said in his statement. "I work for them and not the handful of rich and powerful elites that run our state." The allegations involve a lawsuit started by Loftis' predecessor. It accused the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. of losing $200 million of state retirees' pension money through bad investments that violated its contract for conservative, short-term securities lending. By the time the case was settled — with the bank continuing to deny the allegations — the actual loss was estimated at roughly $120 million, due to partial recovery from those investments. Loftis re-filed the lawsuit in January 2011. An agreement approved by Attorney General Alan Wilson gave Montgomery 22.5 percent of any attorneys' fees awarded. The settlement, signed in spring 2013, provided no cash to the state. It credited $25 million to South Carolina's accounts and awarded the Bank of New York a new, 10-year contract. In defending the $9 million payout, Loftis said in September 2013 he personally pounded the negotiating table to maximize the attorneys' fees. "I was trying to get as much money as I could," Loftis said then, calling it economic development for two South Carolina law firms. "Not one penny of legal fees came out of retirement money."