HELENA – A state pension fund director was “completely blindsided” and “devastated” when she was put on administrative leave this week by the Montana Public Employees’ Retirement Board president, her attorney said Friday.
Phil Hohenlohe is the Helena attorney who is representing Roxanne Minnehan.
She was placed on paid leave from her job as executive director of the Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration, which manages eight state pension funds.
Hohenlohe released this statement late Friday afternoon:
“Ms. Minnehan has served as the executive director of MPERA for seven years. She is loyal and hardworking and a person of integrity. She has done her job effectively.
“Ms. Minnehan was shocked and devastated by the decision to put her on leave. She was completely blindsided by this decision. She has not been given an opportunity to respond to the allegations, nor has she even been made aware of the details of the board’s supposed concerns.
“We are disappointed that the board chose to place her on leave and then share this information with the news media. Instead, MPERA should have discussed its concerns with Ms. Minnehan.
“Ms. Minnehan should be permitted to return to work immediately.”
The board’s president, Scott Moore of Mile City, met with Minnehan on Wednesday and put her on paid administrative leave.
Moore issued a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday that his meeting with Minnehan “was precipitated by concerns brought to the board president by staff and board members concerning multiple issues.”
Moore said he deemed it “in the best interest of both Roxanne and staff at MPERA that she not be involved at the workplace until an executive session of the full board, which will be held on Monday.”
The board has called an executive session for a personnel matter for 9 a.m. Monday at the MPERA offices in Helena. The two items are a request for an investigation and legal representation options.