By Dale Kasler
Published: Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 – 4:26 pm

Questioned in connection with a bribery scandal at CalPERS, a former board member of the giant pension fund invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 126 times earlier this month, according to court records filed today.

Charles Valdes repeatedly refused to answer questions from a state lawyer about his relationship with Alfred Villalobos.

Villalobos, also a former board member, was accused in a lawsuit of bribing Valdes and two other CalPERS officials in an effort to steer investments to his Wall Street clients.

Valdes invoked the Fifth when asked about his doings at CalPERS and even declined to answer the most basic question about his tenure on the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board.

No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the CalPERS scandal, although the Wall Street Journal has reported that federal prosecutors are looking into the matter.

A transcript of Valdes’ 45-minute closed-door testimony was filed by state officials today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. They filed hundreds of pages of documents in their request for a court order so they can pursue their lawsuit against Villalobos. Villalobos filed for bankruptcy in June, and normally a bankruptcy shields the debtor against litigation.

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