The staff at the Teachers' Retirement System was awfully accommodating to people seeking business with it, a former TRS lawyer just testified.
Steve Loren recalled attending a meeting in which TRS Executive Director Jon Bauman met with Loren, Stuart Levine ( a board member) and William Cellini.
Cellini, a powerful Springfield Republican, was a real estate manager for TRS and had been invited to the meeting to discuss his own allocation from TRS.
"I was somewhat surprised," Loren said.
"Probably it was a violation of the state ethics act," Loren said. "It just didn’t seem to be an appropriate meeting for Bill to participate in."
At one point, Cellini working through a deal with Levine, allegedly said he was going to need more money for his fund, Commonwealth. It had been slotted to get $50 million.
Loren said he saw Bauman put a line through Cellini's allocation and change the amount, he testified.
At the subsequent TRS board meeting, Cellini's Commonwealth didn't receive the $50 million worth of teacher pension funds it was slotted to receive.
It got $100 million.