By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, May. 24, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 24, 2011 – 7:00 am

Three CalPERS board members and dozens of current and former fund executives are under investigation by the state’s political watchdog agency over allegations that they failed to accurately report gifts in keeping with state law.

The alleged violations under scrutiny by the Fair Political Practices Commission could involve anything from failure to properly disclose token gifts to accepting items beyond the state’s $420-per-year limit for receiving gifts from one source.

The commission has the power to fine violators up to $5,000 per incident.

FPPC Executive Director Roman Porter on Monday confirmed the ongoing investigation and 49 names on a list obtained by The Bee.

The agency started looking into CalPERS’ gift reporting “earlier this year based on information from a variety of sources,” he said, and the fund has cooperated fully and without subpoena.

Porter declined to provide more details.

Board of Administration President Rob Feckner, board members George Diehr and J.J. Jelincic, Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear and Curtis Ishii, a senior investment officer, are among the names on the list.

FPPC investigators are also looking into gifts given to former CalPERS CEO Fred Buenrostro and Joncarlo Mark, a CalPERS senior investment portfolio manager who resigned earlier this year.

Buenrostro has been named in a scandal involving Alfred Villalobos, who was accused of bribing CalPERS officials to influence investment decisions.

Mark, who hasn’t been accused in the influence-peddling case, testified in Villalobos’ bankruptcy hearing that he traveled around the world to meet with CalPERS investment partners at their expense.

At the time, CalPERS allowed partners to pay staff travel costs. In 2008, it started paying for such trips.

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