CalPERS’ PR Strategy on CEO Marcie Frost’s Resume Lies Backfiring

CalPERS should be trying to get a refund from search firm Heidrick & Struggles for failing to vet Marcie Frost’s educational claims during the CEO hiring process. They should also try to claw back any fees they have paid to public relations firms for advice given in the losing battle of shoring up Frost’s deservedly damaged reputation.

CalPERS best course of action was to try to ignore the controversy and hope it would blow over.

But CalPERS and Frost are finding out the hard way that the more they try to spin Frost’s lies, the more it does to call attention to her years of documentable falsehoods. And given that there’s no credible way for her to talk her way out of lies that go back to Washington, the more she and CalPERS try to ‘splain their way out of this, the worse they make matters, particularly since it’s also become all too obvious that their story keeps changing.

As we’ll discuss below, CalPERS’ press strategy backfired in a big way when it used its favored mouthpiece, Adam Ashton of the Sacramento Bee, to run not one but two stories last week defending Frost. It turns out that CalPERS’ favored ruse, to misdirect the public into thinking the issue isn’t that Frost lied repeatedly over many years, but that she was only a high school graduate, is damaging the board’s already tarnished credibility. The second story was even more of an own goal, by making Frost and the board look like union pawns. The Sacramento Bee stories then led the Associated Press to run a not-helpful piece.

With media friends like this, who needs enemies?

Let us not forget that Frost herself is the source of these misrepresentations, and as a result influential insiders like former CalPERS board designee Terry McGuire are calling for the board to fire Frost. CalPERS has conceded she attended The Evergreen State College for only 2 quarters in 2010, and has not disputed what official Evergreen sources told us, that she never enrolled in a degree program and was a mere special student:

From a Washington form filed under penalty of perjury as part of her appointment to head Washington’s Department of Retirement Services in 2013:

Frost also represented on a SecuriCheck form she provided to CalPERS in 2016 that she had last attended Evergreen in 2014, and was “not degreed yet,” which indicates she was working on a degree:

And on her LinkedIn:

Frost never took any business or management courses. She took only an “experiential” writing class.

And these aren’t the only falsehoods we found on Frost’s resumes, but the educational misrepresentations are the ones that have attracted media attention.

It was already odd to see the Sacramento Bee run its first piece on Marcie Frost’s resume misrepresentations last week, since there hadn’t been any coverage in major California papers. The biggest US outlet to take notice so far, Bloomberg, had published its piece before the Labor Day weekend.

Ashton did an impressive job of misleading his readers on behalf of CalPERS and Frost. Scroll upwards to see the image where Frost, in her own handwriting, said she’d last studied at Evergreen in 2014, which was patently false, and managed to achieve the impressive feat of making a second lie in this small space by depicting herself as “not degreed yet” when she had never enrolled in a degree program at Evergreen. Frost clearly wanted readers to think she was working on an advanced degree when she wasn’t.

How did Ashton distort this clear cut lie in his article? Look at his opening paragraph:

Marcie Frost did not claim to have a college degree when she applied to lead the California Public Employees’ Retirement System in 2016. She emphasized it in blue ink, writing “not degreed yet” in a box that asked about her education.

Rather a different picture than you get if you read the posts, which starting with their headlines, make clear that the issue is Frost’s misrepresentations, which as we documented, go beyond her flagrantly overstating her educational status.

Being a mere high school graduate versus being well along on an undergraduate degree (which would have to have been the case for her to be enrolled in a master’s degree program, as she repeatedly claimed) are two different kettles of fish. Not only was at least one board member Henry Jones under the impression that Frost was on the verge of getting a college degree, but so to was reporter John Gittelsohn of Bloomberg, who went so far as to call Evergreen regularly to ask if Frost had yet been awarded a degree.

Ashton also presents Frost’s eye-popping remark that “she told the board and a headhunting firm that she was interested in pursuing degrees at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington” as if that were the same as the repeated claims on CalPERS website that she was actually enrolled in a dual bachelor’s/master’s degree program at Evergreen, when no such program has ever existed. So we are to believe that Heidrick & Struggles fabricated the existence of this program all on its own?

The comments on Ashton’s first article, despite the considerable amount of real estate devoted to board defenses of Frost, show that the effort to falsely depict the issue as being that Frost is only a high school graduate, as opposed to the fact that she lied during and after she was hired about being enrolled in not just a bachelor’s but even a master’s degree program, which at Evergreen requires taking courses regularly to retain one’s enrolled status, is backfiring. When you take out Ashton’s comments and ones of readers name-calling each other, roughly half were critical of CalPERS or Frost.

Ashton’s second story, about how California unions are backing Frost, elicited a higher level of negative comments about Frost and CalPERS. The article showcased a letter by David Low, the head Governmental Affairs for the California School Employees Association, which defended Frost by comparing her to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. That elicited remarks like:

Dan Kelly
Comparisons to Steve Jobs and Bill gates have no relevance; they were/are visionary business people, who drove new paradigms and developed new industries. But, did she misrepresent her qualifications here or in Washington State?

Gregg Franks
Frosty ain’t no bill gates………she worked the “Evergreen” connection and she plays the union card…….board wants a stooge, not a CEO

Low’s intellectual dishonesty is also noteworthy. His letter refers only to our third post on Frost’s shoddy resume and does not acknowledge the existence of our earlier posts on her misrepresentations. The third post described not simply that her resume was rife with errors, but more important, that it listed remarkably few accomplishments and made her sound like a seat-warmer rather than a seasoned executive. Low pointedly avoids the real issue, of Frost’s misrepresentaions before and after being hired by CalPERS, including clearly having committed perjury on her gubernatorial questionnaire in Washington in 2013.

In further proof that CalPERS is losing the public relations war, the Associated Press did a short re-report of the Ashton article, titled, CEO of California’s $350B pension fund has no degree (see a very short version here and a somewhat less short version here). It didn’t help that the Associated Press story hoisted this quote from the Sacramento Bee:

“We are surprised. You just assume in today’s market if you’re going to be CEO of the nation’s largest retirement system that you’d have some kind of degree,” Tim Behrens, president of California State Retirees, told the newspaper.

So if it was all out in the open that Frost was only a high school graduate, why was Behrens surprised?

Let’s step back and review what these stories say about CalPERS’ media strategy.

First, the more press traction this story gets, the worse it is for Frost. So the fact that the Ashton story led the Associated Press to pick up the story, which has run on California local station websites and may also have been picked up by smaller California papers, is the last thing CalPERS wants.

Second, even though the substance of the short article hews to the CalPERS’ “This is about her degree” spin, as opposed to about Frost having lied, the focus on Frost being only a high school graduate isn’t helping her much. Look at how Behrens was taken aback. Recall that virtually all white collar jobs in the California government require a college degree, as is true of most municipalities. Jobs that involve handling or overseeing funds typically require even more qualifications. Readers in and around Sacramento who know state employees tell me that there is a lot of unhappiness and concern about why and how Frost got the job.

How can Frost come to work every day knowing the staff of 2900 people sees that she lied? Or is she a pathological liar like Elizabeth Holmes, who kept playing the victim card even as the FDA was shutting down virtually all of her business and exposing her as a fraud? And will this board perform as badly as the Theranos’did and keep backing Frost when it is becoming increasingly evident that she’s losing more credibility with every passing day?

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51 comments

    1. FL Man

      People make fun of Florida. We Floridians make fun of Florida but it is a much better run state than most and absolutely better run than the “people’s republic of CA” I moved here from San Jose 14 years ago and have not looked back. The cost of living and quality of life is outstanding! Lots of fresh sea air too. ;)

      Reply
  1. vlade

    The more they thrash, the more they get caught in the net (of their own doing). But, as you say, the important (for CalPers beneficiaries) here is that more and more press is getting involved. So it will be harder and harder (well, impossible) to keep under wraps. IMO the question now isn’t whether Frost goes or not, it’s when and who else.

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      It looks as though the entire board of directors, or most of it, is corrupt. At the very least, complicit in this increasingly absurd protection of a CEO that is first and foremost a documented liar and since that doesn’t seem to matter to the board of directors in this most recent gilded age, also unqualified by training and/or experience. Such complicity alone documents a rot in the board of directors that directly affects millions of innocent people. Of course it goes without saying that one can trust our main stream media to keep that a complete secret for as long as institutionally possible.

      One has to wonder if its accurate to say the best thing they (the board) could have done was nothing and hope it all blows over. I doubt Yves was about to give this up and is proving, again, that a single individual can be an absolutely remarkable force.

      Reply
  2. flora

    The Sac Bee article opens the door for other CA papers to pick up and report on the story. Maybe the LATimes will weigh in.

    Thanks for your continued reporting on CalPERS, PE, and pensions.

    Reply
  3. Quanka

    Matt Jacobs needs to be next. Given his lack of candor, his preference for spin vs. honesty, and the fact that he seems to be reaching way beyond his job duties in some of these board meetings, I have to believe there is enough evidence out there for a determined reporter to find.

    CaLPERS is caught fighting the short term battles while willfully ignoring the longer game. This will not end well for them.

    Reply
  4. voteforno6

    Ashton also presents Frost’s eye-popping remark that “she told the board and a headhunting firm that she was interested in pursuing degrees at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington” as if that were the same as the repeated claims on CalPERS website that she was actually enrolled in a dual bachelor’s/master’s degree program at Evergreen, when no such program has ever existed. So we are to believe that Heidrick & Struggles fabricated the existence of this program all on its own?

    Is there any indication that Ashton attempted to confirm this with Heidrick & Struggles? If he didn’t, then why not?

    Reply
  5. Tom Stone

    Does anyone think that Mike Hiltzik doesn’t want to cover this story?
    He’s clearly a regular reader of NC and his previous coverage was quite good.
    And I doubt he’s the only competent reporter to have read the NC coverage of CalPers and Frost.
    Adam Ashton is a different matter, he’s a shill, I actually called and spoke to him about CalPers several Months ago and he basically blew me off.
    The people who decide what’s fit to print have made their position clear, if you want to write about CalPers Don’t rock the boat.
    The problems are a nothingburger, then it will be “just one bad apple”…
    It’s an election year and if this scandal blows up before the election it’s going to make some very important people look bad when they need to look good.
    And of course some people who read the AP article will take a look at the original posts here and realize that the MSM has perhaps missed some of the salient points…despite those degrees from the Columbia School of Journalism.
    Interesting times…

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      He’s supposedly publishing today, which I think means at worst tomorrow. My impression is he got bogged down in some “ten years after Lehman” pieces, plus he is already committed to a big series on how CA is fighting Trump.

      Reply
      1. Tom Stone

        Thanks for the update on Hiltzik.
        In this strange world we live in you lack credibility because you aren’t part of the club, no matter how thorough your reporting is or how carefully you marshal your facts.
        The MSM is used to controlling the narrative, and you and other thoughtful bloggers are making that more difficult.
        Keep this up and you won’t get invited to the right cocktail parties…

        Reply
  6. James McRitchie

    Termination appears inevitable. It is only a matter of time and it has been too long already. Frost should move on.

    Reply
    1. John Wright

      She may be negotiating for her severance package.

      It will probably be enough to cover 10 college degrees at any university in the land.

      Or maybe she can start an advocacy group to promote hiring of those without college degrees..

      It is amazing to me that a “should be completely boring” state pension fund gets into these problems.

      As a CALPers backstopping CA state taxpayer, I want to know how deep does the CALPers rot go?

      Reply
        1. Ape

          Wow. 350 billion investment fund is run by someone who can’t negotiate a better than at will contract? That should be a scandal!

          Reply
        2. fajensen

          If she is smart, she has kept a ledger of whatever else is going down!

          The severance package is really for signing an NDA. “Around These Parts” she likely would, in return for the “seeking other opportunities” or “pursuing a recently arrived unique career-development opportunity” with “no further comments comms package”, be awarded a 6-18 months consulting contract “ensuring business continuity” via a newly created privately owned company (to not have it show up so readily as “Golden Parachute” and to cut the income tax on the lump sum, one want it to be lump sum so it doesn’t go away at the next board meeting).

          Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    I remember that reporter Adam Ashton from a previous CalPERS article. I dug up a bit of his background at the time and was less than impressed. Further familiarization with his work is not improving things any. I love it when he said that Yves was “alleging that she mis-characterized her education in her application”. She wasn’t alleging anything of the sort but was using Frost’s own documentation to prove that she was telling all sorts of fibs.

    I guess that the Board is going to double down in defending her as losing a top exec earlier this year – Asubonten – could be considered an accident. Losing a second top exec would make them look careless. Having a reporter like Ashton write to defend her with all sorts of dodgy mistruths is one thing but the lack of other reporters being let loose to investigate is another sign of a captive media. Of course it would be different if it turned out that she or CalPERS made a large political donation to one DJT back in 2016. Then the real outrage would begin.

    Reply
  8. Retired

    The In Process education lie is grounds for termination. There’s no walking this back. The fact that she doesn’t have a college degree doesn’t matter. The fact that lies are on her application does. She needs to go now!

    Reply
  9. David in Santa Cruz

    The CFO, a Black African University of Michigan MBA, is summarily fired for falsehoods about his background; the doe-eyed White woman from an under-performing rural high school is the $500K CEO. Is the CalPERS Board made up entirely of racists (except for the one playing the role of Stephen in Django Unchained )? This is outrageous in 2018, when institutional racism is everywhere being revived.

    They seem to be telling us, “We knew all along that she was lying,” because main hiring criterion for CalPERS CEO appears to be the ability to lie with a straight face — which Frost is expert at. It’s no surprise that CSEA is leading her defense, since the entire cover-up appears to be designed to protect their plant on the Board from joining his crony in prison.

    Follow the money.

    Reply
  10. Grant T Burner

    I’ve lost all respect and credibility for Adam Ashton. I didnt think he’d spin the article so favorable to CalPERS instead of being objective.

    Reply
  11. XXYY

    The elephant in the room on this story is why Frost was hired by CalPERS in the first place. Even taking her resume at face value, she couldn’t have been the most impressive candidate available to run the nation’s premier pension plan. Was there a shortage of people interested in the prestigious $400,000/year position in a state with a pleasant climate? Was Frost seemingly the best of a disappointing crop of applicants?

    Though one should never invoke malice for something that may be explained by incompetence, it certainly looks like outside hands were directing the emplacement of the candidate in the position, and the studied lack of scrutiny in her CV and background was a key part of this. If others are using Frost as some kind of catspaw, that is a story that needs to come out.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Frost appears to be extremely good at telling people what they want to hear, which is why she tells so many casual lies and does not bother keeping them straight over time. She seems to be like Trump in this regard, a prototypical bullshitter, as in someone who is unconcerned about the truth (see http://www2.csudh.edu/ccauthen/576f12/frankfurt__harry_-_on_bullshit.pdf).

      I believe the job description, which astonishingly had no educational requirement whatsoever, was written with her in mind, either to get the job or at least be a finalist. I assume some people on the board met her at conferences and she succeeded in buttering them up

      Reply
  12. Brian

    We must soon ask the question of where is an accounting of money spent and received; from the employees of CalPers. $390 large large in assets is now questionable, because the veracity of any claim about the staff has to be justified. The lies appear to indicate that this is not possible, and the wagons appear to be circling to defend against attack. The former CEO in prison for crimes doing the job is screaming out about kickbacks and other nefarious mis/mal feasance.
    CalPers appears to be a gravy train for the few that can hide what they are doing with all the money. PE, Vulture Caps, derivatives and other schemes to game the system come from wall street with a clear helping hand from from the government. None of them survived on their own in 2008, they all got bailed out with newly printed money.
    This looks like a crime scene that is large enough to break california government. All the way to the top. The money must be purchasing silence.

    Reply
    1. Retired

      You clearly have no idea of how the CalPERS investment office, or any other large financial institution, operates. The employees do hot have access to any money. Now some of the investment managers that run limited partnerships do but even that is a BIG reach. Your premise is ridiculous.

      Reply
  13. Oregoncharles

    ” So we are to believe that Heidrick & Struggles fabricated the existence of this program all on its own?”
    Well, they specify on the form posted above that they did NOT check up on it, which they could have. That goes a bit beyond incompetence.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ahem, you don’t appear to have thought this through.

      “Not verified” = they did not verify what Frost said.

      Do you seriously think the headhunter got high and made a non-existent program up? That is basically what Frost (and you) are saying.

      The cover page of the Heidrick & Struggles report explicitly states that Frost is the source of the information: “The accompanying report represents a composite of information furnished by the candidate.”

      As for not verifying, my assumption has been that their contract requires them to verify only degrees and the year they were received, probably also years of attendance in concert with having received a degree.

      Reply
      1. EoH

        H&S are broad-based recruiters, but they specialize in high-end hires. The CEO position at CalPERS would be a high-end hire because of its compensation, its considerable responsibility, and its high visibility in California and nationally.

        They are usually competent and politically hypersensitive. If they did so apparently little checking for such a senior position, it was because the client team assessed what their client wanted and delivered it.

        Apparent negligence, like forgetfulness before a Senate committee hearing, is less problematic than documenting information a client wants to ignore. In this case, as with other senior hires at CalPERS, it would appear the board made its decision ahead of time and wanted a rubber stamp, not an argument it was destined to lose if the candidate were properly vetted.

        That’s a pattern CalPERS’s overseers need to address. It’s their problem now.

        Reply
        1. EoH

          I read Oregoncharles’s comment to mean that H&S were not just “negligent” in their vetting, but chose not to vet at all. Presumably, that was in response to clear indications from the client. That would be H&S aiding and abetting an intentionally flawed process. Another search firm might have declined the work under those circumstances, but perhaps it’s naive of me to think so.

          For anyone in the business – CalPERS has its own HR team – and anyone involved in Frost’s hire, that notice by H&S was a big red flag. In my language, CalPERS appears to have bought a rubber stamp, not the usual and customary search service.

          Reply
        2. Yves Smith Post author

          The CEO at CalPERS is not a high end hire. That’s the problem. Headhunters are paid a % of first year expected earnings. Frost’s pay is lower than that of the AVERAGE person at Goldman, and that includes the secretaries, the guards, the kitchen workers, and the back office staff. A mid-level portfolio manager or even a pretty junior hire in private equity would be paid better than Frost.

          Heidrick & Struggles dialed this search in. If they had poked at Frost’s claims and ruled her out for fibbing, it would have pissed off the board plus they would have had to find another finalist. Too much work for too little pay and appreciation.

          Reply
          1. EoH

            Goldman’s and NYC I-bank salaries in general would seem skewed toward the upper end. They would not seem a useful milestone for assessing median executive pay, let alone public sector pay.

            I agree that less than $400K would be cash comp level for a private sector vice president, not a CEO. Or small college president level. But it seems high for the public sector. The president’s salary is $400K. The governor of California’s is about $202K, New York’s is about $180K.

            I also agree that H&S seems to have put their stamp on a resume that was already shortlisted, if not pre-chosen. That may not be unusual, in that many of these jobs are selected through networks. But it does bring up what CalPERS’s executive hiring process really is. As with other executives you’ve written about, the usual screening and vetting do not seem part of it.

            Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        @Yves – I actually thought they just didn’t check anything that might come out against their interest, which isn’t so different from what you said. It is a form of collusion, though.

        I see your comment below about Frost’s, and therefore th eheadhunter’s, payscale. But your middle paragraph makes me wonder why CalPERS is paying a headhunter at all. Applicants can send in their own resumes; a headhunter is hardly necessary for that.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The CEO search cannot be handled by staff. You can’t have staff investigating and opining on potential bosses. So the board has to use a search firm. The board’s only staff is the Board Services Unit, which is competent only to book travel and process expense reimbursements.

          Reply
  14. EoH

    Ms. Frost appears to continue to lie about her background. As Yves says, her lying and her repeated lying is the problem, not having only a high school diploma. Most other state employees have to adhere to a much higher standard or be tossed out without ceremony.

    She seems to be attempting to do what she’s good at: using her force of will and network to override inconvenient reality. I Frost points for assertiveness, none for candor, negative points for lying. Not a valid or acceptable response from a senior executive California state employee.

    I give the board more negative points for having hired her and then supported her through her serial lies. Jacobs, too, needs to go. He probably also deserves to be reported to the California state bar.

    Reply
  15. Susan Wilcox

    The applicant, Ms. Frost is responsible for the validity of all resumes, forms, and applications submitted. The Human Resource Dept is responsible for verification of the information provided. Both Frost and HR Dept are not accepting their responsibility and trying to use Heidrick & Struggles as a scapegoat. Honesty and integrity should be requirements for the CEO position, even if a degree is not a requirement. We need an honest and responsible person in the CEO position.

    Reply
  16. ThisIsNuts

    Stay tuned for the September Board meeting agenda.

    Sorry if this is off topic, but I want to say into the abyss that CalPERS needs to allow e-commenting on their agenda items. Many local governments already allow this to accommodate constituents who work or have family obligations during City Council meetings. In a state the size of California, they must find a way to accommodate retirees and active members who obviously can’t go to Sacramento every month to provide public comment. To expect retirees and working people to show up to meetings is ridiculous, but why would they change anything when it’s working to their favor. I really think this is part of the problem. Members get to vote but otherwise have no voice.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      It would be interesting to know why H&S proposed Frost as a candidate for the Calpers job.

      Once could speculate H&S were invited to forward her resume, under the understanding it would be favorable received, and H&S’s commission would be expedited.

      The next question would be the identity of the Calpers connection.

      I do conclude from the “hints” passed to Yves that Ms Frost has some serious enemies inside Calpers.

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith Post author

      CalPERS will never in a million years allow that. CalPERS has no interest in hearing from the public.

      They’ve already taken considerable steps under Matt Jacobs to implement regulations to considerably restrict public comments, such as an overall timed agenda, a three minute limit per individual comment, and a requirement that public comments hew to the subject matter of particular agenda items. So, for instance, union members would often come and complain about specific private equity investments. CalPERS can now deny them the right to speak.

      If you want to apply pressure to CalPERS, the best way is to write your Senator and Assemblyman, and cc the heads of the pension committees, the Controller and the Treasurer, and importantly, Priya Mathur on behalf of the entire board and Marcie Frost. If you can get print letters out in the next 2 days, great, but if not, e-mail works too.

      Priya Mathur
      President, CalPERS
      Lincoln Plaza North
      400 Q Street
      Sacramento, CA 95811
      Copies to: Board Members
      Marcie Frost

      Betty Yee
      State Controller
      300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1850
      Sacramento, California 95814
      Phone (916) 445-2636

      John Chiang
      State Treasurer
      915 Capitol Mall, Suite 110
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      (916) 653-2995

      Governor Edmund G. Brown
      State Capitol, Suite 1173
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      (916) 445-2841

      Gavin Newsom
      Lieutenant Governor
      State Capitol, Suite 1114
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      (916) 445-8994

      Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez
      Chair of the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee
      Capitol Office, Room 2188
      P.O. Box 942849
      Sacramento, CA 94249-0052
      (916) 319-2052

      Assembly Member Travis Allen
      Vice Chair of the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee
      Capitol Office, Room 4208
      P.O. Box 942849
      Sacramento, CA 94249-0072
      (916) 319-2072

      Senator Richard Pan
      Chair of the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee
      State Capitol, Room 5114
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      (916) 651-4006

      Senator Mike Morrell
      Vice Chair of the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee
      State Capitol, Room 3056
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      (916) 651-4023

      Here are the e-mail addresses:

      cc Priya Mathur (priya.priyamathur@gmail.com) on behalf of the CalPERS Board and Marcie Frost (Marcie.Frost@calpers.ca.gov).

      The two chairs of the pension committees, since CalPERS is afraid of the legislature, Dr Richard Pan (Senator.Pan@senate.ca.gov.; fax 916- 651-4906 or 916-914-2179 ) and Freddie Rodriguez in the Assembly (Freddie@FreddieRodriguez.com; fax 909-902-9761).

      The two ex officio members of the board, the State Controller, Betty Yee (b.t.yee@sco.ca.gov) and the State Treasurer, John Chiang (john.chiang@treasurer.ca.gov). Chiang is termed out, so he might do the right thing.

      You can also e-mail Governor Jerry Brown, who has appointees on the board (e-mail form https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/; fax 916-558-3160)

      Reply
  17. Bob

    Yves,

    Not sure if you saw this or not, but when I left the following comment on the SacBee article:

    The issue has never been the lack of degree, it’s been the false claim that:

    “Frost is pursuing dual bachelors and master’s degree in public administration from Evergreen State College.”

    Adam replied by essentially confirming Marcie Frost lied to the headhunting firm and CalPERS:

    “Sir, the story has Frost saying that she provided that information to the headhunting firm and to CalPERS board.”

    His story doesn’t actually say that, of course, it just says that she told the firm that she “was interested in pursuing degrees.”

    But his comment reveals that he believes – and believes his story conveys – that Frost explicitly lied about being enrolled in the non-existent dual degree program to both the headhunting firm and the CalPERS board.

    I think that’s notable, albeit unfortunate it’s only found in the comments section as opposed to the actual article!

    Reply
  18. Anon

    In looking over the documentation again, Ms. Frost did not follow the directions of the form. It asks for graduation date or dates attended in (mm/yy) format. She simply indicates “2014”.

    Maybe, since she didn’t actually attend college, she didn’t understand that there is a Winter and a Spring Commencement. (Students actually graduate mid-year on the semester system.)

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You are missing the point, although I admit there is a lot of information in this case, and if you haven’t been following closely, it’s easy to lose track of key details.

      “2014” is utterly false with respect to Frost having attended Evergreen.

      She took courses only for 2 quarters in 2010 as a “special student,” meaning she was not pursuing a degree. She had never applied to be admitted to a degree program, which is pretty remarkable since Evergreen has an admission rate of well over 90%. CalPERS has conceded that Frost last took classes at Evergreen in 2010.

      In addition, in this post, where we show the full SecuriCheck form, you can see Frost told another lie.

      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/08/calpers-ceo-marcie-frosts-misrepresentations-regarding-her-education-and-work-history-during-and-after-her-hiring.html

      She finally admitted to having worked as the Washington State Employees Credit Union, which she had omitted from her resume. Leaving out an employer on a resume has been found to be grounds for “after acquired evidence” terminations. But she lied about when she worked there. In her own handwriting, she presented it as occurring between when she worked at the Department of Labor and Industries, which she left in 2000, and the Department of Retirement Systems. In fact, she left DRS, it appears in 2009, went to WSECU, and then returned to DRS.

      Reply

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