In response to public issues, the McLean Residents Affiliation will host a digital Public Informational Assembly to debate two of the three Fairfax County Virginia pension funds’ cryptocurrency-related investments tomorrow. Fairfax County’s Retirement Techniques Government Director Jeff Weiler, who has publicly said that cryptocurrency is “no completely different from every other funding” and the Chief Funding Officers of the Workers’ Retirement System (Andrew Spellar) and the Police Officers Retirement System (Katherine Molnar), each of whom have advocated for cryptocurrency investing will talk about their views. For no matter motive, the Chief Funding Officer of the third pension, the Uniformed Workers Retirement System (Brian Morales), who overtly opposes crypto investing by public pensions—in Fairfax County and past—won’t be collaborating within the digital assembly or sharing his opinions. Registration is supposedly open to everybody. Most annoying, the general public might be unable to confirm any representations made on the public informational assembly relating to the character and extent of crypto-holdings by the Fairfax County pensions since, regardless of excellent public report requests for paperwork, no crypto paperwork have been launched to the general public. A lot for transparency and public accountability in Fairfax County Virginia.

America’s state and native pensions are purported to be probably the most transparency on the earth. In spite of everything, trillions of public {dollars} are held in these largely unregulated funding funds and each state has established freedom of knowledge act legal guidelines designed to make sure public accountability. Sadly, as I talk about in my bestselling guide, Who Stole My Pension? public pensions have turn into very adept at circumventing state public data legal guidelines and stonewalling. I often encourage public pension stakeholders to request paperwork relating to their state and native pension’s investments and witness the hostile response they get. Keep in mind, whereas there may be nothing to stop public pensions from assembly and even exceeding the minimal necessities of their state’s public data legal guidelines—i.e., offering the general public with enhanced transparency—all public pensions I’ve ever investigated refuse to offer even minimal info till compelled to take action by litigation.

Whereas we are able to rail without end in regards to the lack of transparency at public pensions, a real-life instance maybe finest illustrates the issue. Under is a verbatim report of my unsuccessful efforts since early December to acquire data from Fairfax County relating to the crypto-holdings of its three pensions. As you possibly can see, initially I used to be informed the pension had no obligation to reply to inquiries from non-Virginia residents or media representatives until the publication might present circulation in Virginia. After I informed the county consultant, “When you’ve got one thing known as the web in Virginia, then I’m certain Forbes.com has circulation in your state,” the county agreed to start to course of my request. To this point, all I’ve obtained is a nugatory single-page closely redacted doc.

_________________________

Expensive Sirs,

With respect to the Uniformed Retirement System, please disclose any direct or oblique investments, together with by funds managed by exterior fund managers, in any of the next classes because it pertains to digital belongings:

Automated market makers (AMM); Centralized exchanges (CEX); Convertible digital currencies (“CVC”); CVC funds and ETFs; CVC indices; Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs); Decentralized exchanges (DEX); Decentralized finance (DeFi); Derivatives; Ecosystems; Governance tokens; Hedge funds; Id administration; Lending and borrowing; Metaverse; Mining (all types); NFTs and collectibles; Choices; Oracles; Personal fairness; Portfolio administration; Actual property; Staking; Stablecoins; Tokenized commodities; Tokenized securities; Utility tokens; Enterprise; Pockets suppliers; Wrapped tokens; Yield farming.

Edward Siedle

_________________________________

Despatched: Fri, Dec 9, 2022 3:40 pm

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Mr. Siedle,

My identify is Jennifer Snyder and I am the FOIA coordinator for Fairfax County’s Retirement Techniques. Retirement has obtained your request for data at present, December 9, 2022 and has assigned it reference quantity VFOIA-70391. A replica can also be connected.

Please be suggested that pursuant to Va. Code § 2.2-3704(A), residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation within the Commonwealth, and representatives of radio and tv stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth are granted entry to public data within the custody of Fairfax County Authorities. As such, pursuant to Va. Code § 2.2-3704(A), Fairfax County is requiring you to offer your authorized tackle. Please present proof of your Virginia state residency at your earliest comfort.

Thanks a lot,

Jennifer Snyder

________________________________

From: Edward Siedle

Despatched: Friday, December 9, 2022 4:21 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Please be suggested that Forbes journal and Forbes.com each have circulation in Virginia.

Nonetheless, you indicated to me at present that even when I have been a Virginia resident (or the journal I write for had requisite circulation in VA), the knowledge I requested wouldn’t be publicly disclosed as a result of in 2018 the County agreed with Wall Avenue fund managers that every one info associated to their underlying portfolio funding holdings constituted commerce secrets and techniques exempt from public disclosure.

Lastly, you represented to me at present that the Uniform pension has completely not one of the digital belongings I’ve listed under, immediately or not directly, in its portfolio. You indicated you’ve gotten really reviewed the holdings of all of the funds wherein the Uniform pension has invested and are assured there aren’t any direct or oblique digital holdings. Please verify all the above.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Ted Siedle

______________________________________

To: Edward siedle

Despatched: Fri, Dec 9, 2022 5:04 pm

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Absolutely denied, no affirmation given.

Please enable me to make clear.

I stated in 2018 Fairfax Retirement Company adopted and carried out VA-FOIA procedures handed all the way down to companies from the Fairfax County FOIA company.

Step 1 is to finish the requisite that we comply with our FOIA procedures for “residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, representatives of newspapers and magazines with circulation within the Commonwealth, and representatives of radio and tv stations broadcasting in or into the Commonwealth.”

I’ve reviewed your article Ohio Academics Pension Has No Remark Or Data Concerning Its Cryptocurrency Investments (forbes.com) and validate that you’re a consultant of a [digital] journal with circulation in VA. Thanks for confirming.

I additionally suggested of a step 2, which I’ll do now:

Fairfax County could assess affordable expenses to not exceed its precise value incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, trying to find requested data, or creating a value estimate. If you need a value estimate, please tell us promptly earlier than we offer a response to your request. Please observe if we don’t hear from you promptly, we are going to proceed to course of your request, and it’s possible you’ll be liable for any expenses incurred.

I’m going to waive the associated fee and estimates right now. Must you want to proceed with a request below VFOIA-70391, I’ll present a value estimate.

I’m waiving prices related to this request, right now, as a result of:

Please be suggested that VFOIA “applies to requests for public data, not requests for info or for solutions to questions.” VFOIA Advisory Council Op. AO-06-05 (Might 31, 2005). To that finish, if this have been a request cognizable below VFOIA, as a result of it’s a request for info quite than one in search of public data, no response is required.

As at all times, please be at liberty to succeed in again out to me for added help. Within the meantime, some public data for the Fairfax County Uniformed Retirement System could also be discovered on our web site right here: Monetary Publications | Retirement Techniques (fairfaxcounty.gov).

Thanks,

Jennifer Snyder

__________________________________________

From: Edward siedle

To: [email protected] <[email protected]>

Despatched: Tue, Dec 13, 2022 2:04 pm

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Nicely, Jennifer, here is my revised request.

With respect to the Uniformed Retirement System, please present any paperwork associated to any direct or oblique investments, together with by funds managed by exterior fund managers, in any of the next classes because it pertains to digital belongings:

Automated market makers (AMM); Centralized exchanges (CEX); Convertible digital currencies (“CVC”); CVC funds and ETFs; CVC indices; Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs); Decentralized exchanges (DEX); Decentralized finance (DeFi); Derivatives; Ecosystems; Governance tokens; Hedge funds; Id administration; Lending and borrowing; Metaverse; Mining (all types); NFTs and collectibles; Choices; Oracles; Personal fairness; Portfolio administration; Actual property; Staking; Stablecoins; Tokenized commodities; Tokenized securities; Utility tokens; Enterprise; Pockets suppliers; Wrapped tokens; Yield farming.

Edward Siedle

____________________________

From: Edward siedle

Despatched: Monday, December 19, 2022 3:39 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Topic: Fwd: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Jennifer,

Please verify receipt of my revised request under. Additionally, please verify that with respect to the Workers pension fund, direct and oblique investments in cryptocurrency and associated corporations up to now exceeded 10% of the portfolio, inclusive of dedicated capital and that such investments within the Police pension exceeded 13% up to now—previous to any markdowns of crypto belongings. Lastly, please verify that such investments within the Uniform plan quantity to at the very least $190,000, based mostly upon solely these exterior managers which have responded to inquiries by the plan. With respect to any exterior managers that haven’t agreed to reveal cryptocurrency belongings, the quantities are unknown.

Thanks.

Edward Siedle

__________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

To: Edward siedle <[email protected]>

Cc: Morales, Brian <[email protected]>; Spellar, Andrew <[email protected]>; Molnar, Katherine <[email protected]>

Despatched: Mon, Dec 19, 2022 4:03 pm

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Expensive Mr. Siedle,

I verify receipt of the revised request on 12/13/2022. On 12/14/2022 I supplied the revised request to the CIO, Brian Morales to start figuring out managers which will have the listing of asset classes and the place I would discover a report conscious of your request.

On Friday, 12/16/2022, I obtained an electronic mail affirmation from Brian Morales:

Jennifer,

I’ve spoken with Edward Siedle and answered his VFOIA inquiries to his satisfaction.

Brian Morales

CIO – Fairfax County Uniformed Retirement System

I’ve since closed VFOIA-70391. Are you stating that the telephone dialog was to not your satisfaction? If that’s the case, I’m pleased to reopen the request and do a seek for data we could have that could be conscious of your request.

Please keep in mind that VFOIA “applies to requests for public data, not requests for info or for solutions to questions.” VFOIA Advisory Council Op. AO-06-05 (Might 31, 2005). We don’t make confirmations.

Please submit a request for any data for any Retirement Techniques not initially referenced below VFOIA-70391.

As soon as I’ve a request for public data from you, I’ll present a value and an effort estimate in your evaluate and settlement previous to starting work.

Thanks,

Jennifer Snyder

____________________________________

From: Andrew Spellar

Despatched: December 21, 2022

Mr. Siedle,

To a big extent our arms are tied in that we enter into confidentiality agreements with our managers below provisions inside the Virginia FOIA statutes to guard portfolio investments.

I might level you to our web site and our Annual Monetary Reviews that are the general public paperwork of report.

Monetary Publications | Retirement Techniques (fairfaxcounty.gov)

Moreover, you might be free to strategy managers together with your inquiries immediately.

Regards,

Andy

Andrew J. Spellar

Chief Funding Officer

Fairfax County Workers’ System

______________________________________

From: Edward siedle

Despatched: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 12:17 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Cc: Morales, Brian <[email protected]>; Spellar, Andrew <[email protected]>; Molnar, Katherine <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Ms. Snyder,

I’ve filed a public data request with you, as you’ve gotten instructed me to do, versus a request for info or for solutions to questions (as to which you’ve gotten suggested me you haven’t any obligation to reply— at the same time as a courtesy to main media). To this point, I’ve been supplied with no public data. None. I’ve certainly spoken with Mr. Morales and requested, most just lately, that you just or he verify the knowledge he supplied to me over the phone, together with the chances of crypto belongings held within the Police, Common Workers and Uniform pensions, previous to any markdowns. Should you’re not going to offer me with the data requested and ask that I rely solely upon info supplied verbally by Mr. Morales, please verify the accuracy of that info.

Edward Siedle

____________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer

Despatched: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 5:35 PM

To: Edward siedle

Cc: Morales, Brian <[email protected]>; Spellar, Andrew <[email protected]>; Molnar, Katherine <[email protected]>

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391

Mr. Siedle,

VFOIA-70391 pertains to Fairfax County Uniformed Retirement System. We’ve not obtained a request for data from you for the Workers System or Police. I did obtain your affirmation of a revised request the place you added the Workers’ and Police:

“Additionally, please verify that with respect to the Workers pension fund, direct and oblique investments in cryptocurrency and associated corporations up to now exceeded 10% of the portfolio, inclusive of dedicated capital and that such investments within the Police pension exceeded 13% up to now—previous to any markdowns of crypto belongings.”

This was not a request for public data and was added to an current, open request. As a courtesy to you, we are going to open a brand new request with the identical, requested particulars for the Workers’ and Police Retirement Techniques.

Concerning VFOIA-70391, there are 2 paperwork that, when utilized collectively, could also be conscious of your request. I’ve reviewed our contracted settlement with the funding firm and it states we’re to offer the corporate a duplicate of the request, and responsive paperwork for his or her evaluate. They’ll evaluate the request and paperwork for proprietary and commerce secret exemptions that apply (if any). On the identical time, I’ll have our authorized division do the identical evaluate. As soon as all events are in settlement, we are going to reply to VFOIA-70391.

Because of the vacation season and my incapacity to manage the time effort of outdoor events, I want to ask for an extension to the 5 enterprise day rule. I’ll work as diligently as doable by the following 5 enterprise days to get you a response. I’ll hold you knowledgeable as to the work being completed by the exterior events and ask that you just please be versatile if there turns into a necessity to increase the deadline. Once more, I’ll hold you posted.

I’d prefer to advise you that the FOIA request for the Uniformed Retirement System occurs to be for just one funding. Workers and Police doubtlessly have 4-6 investments and can take incrementally extra time. Extra on the extra Retirement Techniques after I open the brand new request and start the method.

Jennifer Snyder

________________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer

Despatched: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 11:45 AM

To: edward siedle <[email protected]>

Cc: Ando, Yuko <[email protected]>

Topic: RE: Forbes article VFOIA-70391 & VFOIA-71027

Mr. Siedle,

Because of staffing shortages by the vacation season, Fairfax County requires a further seven working days to reply to VFOIA-70391. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(B)(4). The County will make any responsive data recognized out there to you 7 working days after at present, the primary 5 enterprise days after your up to date request was obtained, or any updates that may be supplied sooner.

As a courtesy to you, I’ve created VFOIA-71027 which can embody your request for Workers’ and Police Officer’s Techniques data. At the moment, for a similar motive said above, I want to inform you that VFOIA-71027 can even require a further 7 working days.

Thanks a lot in your curiosity in Fairfax County’s Retirement Techniques.

Hope you might be having a beautiful vacation season.

Jennifer Snyder

_________________________________

On Thursday, December 29, 2022, 10:40 AM, Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]> wrote:

Expensive Mr. Siedle,

In gentle of your publication yesterday Fairfax County Virginia Police And Workers Pensions Gamble 13%, 10% In Crypto; Uniformed Pension Not-So-A lot? (forbes.com) do you continue to need us to course of your FOIA requests? We’re pleased to proceed to analysis data which may be responsive, however want to verify your want for us to proceed the trouble.

Hope to listen to from you quickly. We stand able to proceed.

Thanks,

Jennifer Snyder

___________________________________

From: Edward siedle

Despatched: Thursday, December 29, 2022 11:29 AM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Cc: Ando, Yuko <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: Forbes article VFOIA-70391 & VFOIA-71027

Sure. Please do. Thanks and pleased new yr.

Edward Siedle

_______________________________________

From: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

To: edward siedle

Despatched: Thu, Dec 29, 2022 5:03 pm

Topic: VFOIA-71027 Digital Belongings Fairfax County Workers’ and Police Retirement Techniques

Mr. Siedle,

Thanks for submitting your Virginia Freedom of Info Act (VFOIA) request to Fairfax County Retirement Techniques, a duplicate of which is included under. In your reference, we now have assigned it reference quantity VFOIA-71027.

Fairfax County could assess affordable expenses to not exceed its precise value incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, trying to find requested data, or creating a value estimate. The Fairfax County Workers’ and Police Retirement programs at present have 10 investments (per system, 20 complete), every having supplied data conscious of your request.

I want to advise you that these data are topic to contracts with non-public corporations who’ve acknowledged their understanding of Virginia’s FOIA legal guidelines and exemption processes and have both submitted their required exemption supplies, or function below the process whereby they’ve agreed to be told of the request. The funding corporations are allowed to evaluate the request, then provide exemption particulars as the necessity arises. Underneath all circumstances, every of the 20 investments’ contractual circumstances and responses have to be reviewed by me, as a result of assorted complexity of the data implicated below the request, and the need of getting a extra senior worker evaluate a portion of the data.

I estimate every evaluate to take 1 hour, for a complete of 10 hours (assuming when 2 programs spend money on the identical fund all language is materially the identical). At $57/hour, the full estimated value to reply to your request is $570.Pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(H), the County requires cost previous to processing your VFOIA request as a result of the estimated prices will exceed $200. Should you want to proceed together with your VFOIA request, please ship a test to Fairfax County Retirement programs, C/O Jennifer Snyder within the quantity of $570, to the tackle in my signature block under, made payable to the “County of Fairfax”. To the extent that the precise prices could improve, you can be required to pay any further prices, and if the precise prices are lower than estimated, the County will refund you the distinction.

I stand able to service your request upon your settlement. Within the meantime, among the info you’ve gotten requested is out there on-line right here:

We respect your curiosity within the County’s Retirement Techniques and if or when there’s any extra we are able to do, please be at liberty to succeed in out to me, referencing the FOIA monitoring quantity above.

Thanks.

______________________________________

From: edward siedle

Despatched: Saturday, December 31, 2022 12:31 PM

To: Snyder, Jennifer <[email protected]>

Topic: Re: VFOIA-71027 Digital Belongings Fairfax County Workers’ and Police Retirement Techniques

Ms. Snyder,

Since you’ve gotten said you’ve gotten the discretion to waive any charges, I recommend you achieve this given the plain advantages to contributors ensuing from professional evaluation and insights.

Thanks.

Edward Siedle

______________________________________________

Mr. Siedle,

Thanks in your request for a payment waiver for VFOIA-71027. As I discussed in my prior electronic mail, the anticipated value to look, evaluate, redact, and offer you responsive data could be at the very least $570. The County isn’t prepared to waive the anticipated precise allowable prices referring to this FOIA request. In step with Fairfax County’s Countywide FOIA Coverage, payment waivers must be thought-about when the associated fee is predicted to be lower than $50.

As , I’ve supplied you with a payment waiver for one more FOIA, which is in progress (VFOIA-70391). The precise allowable prices of that FOIA are effectively in extra of $100. We are going to reply to this FOIA as quickly as we are able to and we very a lot respect your endurance.

Jennifer Snyder

__________________________________________

January 6, 2023

Mr. Siedle,

A report conscious of your request (VFOIA-70391) is connected. Please be suggested that parts of this report are redacted pursuant to Code of Virginia sections 2.2-3705.7(12) and a pair of.2-3705.1(13) – as marked on the connected report. The second web page of the report, containing one paragraph regarding a mixture of a personal entity’s portfolio corporations or properties, is withheld in its entirety pursuant to Virginia Code part 2.2-3705.7(12).

Sincerely,

Jennifer Snyder

________________________

In conclusion, if you’re a public pension stakeholder (both a taxpayer or participant) I encourage you to file public data requests for details about administration (or mismanagement) of investments. Right here’s hoping you’ll have higher luck than I’ve ever had.