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Board brings back head to retirement agency

HELENA (AP) — The Montana Public Employees Retirement Board reversed course Tuesday and decided during a closed-door meeting to reinstate the head of the state pension agency less than two weeks after placing her on leave.

The board had little to say after making the decision to keep Executive Director Roxanne Minnehan.

Minnehan had been placed on administrative leave late last month after a meeting with board President Scott Moore. At the time, Moore said there were concerns with workplace issues involving Minnehan.

But the board said Tuesday in a joint statement that there were never any allegations of any "improprieties."

"The board has completed its assessment of the situation, discussed possible options, and has decided to reinstate Ms. Minnehan," the statement said.

It said all sides were "committed to move forward cooperatively."

The statement did not indicate whether a financial settlement or deal of any kind had been reached.

Board members declined to comment after the meeting.

Minnehan only said she was "happy" with the outcome. Her attorney said she looks forward to returning to work.

"Beyond that, we're not going to have any comment," said Helena attorney Phil Hohenlohe.

The Montana Public Employees Retirement Administration manages pension systems for many public employees.

Recently it has had to make decisions regarding the implementation of a pensions overhaul plan put in place earlier this year by lawmakers. The board is now the subject of a lawsuit from retirees who argue cuts to their benefits are an unconstitutional change in contract.

Minnehan has been executive director for seven years. She has worked for the state for more than 23 years and her salary is about $145,000 per year.


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