By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, May. 8, 2013 – 1:40 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 8, 2013 – 3:56 pm

Former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro pleaded innocent today to conspiracy charges in connection with the pension fund’s bribery scandal.

Buenrostro entered his plea in U.S. District Court in San Francisco almost two months after a grand jury indicted Buenrostro and his friend Alfred Villalobos, who earned tens of millions of dollars in commissions from CalPERS investments.

Villalobos entered his innocent plea April 9.

The two were charged with creating phony letters with CalPERS’ logo to make sure Villalobos was paid millions in commissions by private equity firm Apollo Global Management. The two also were charged with lying to the FBI and other investigative agencies about the letters.

Apollo wouldn’t pay the commissions until it received letters from Buenrostro saying CalPERS was aware that Villalobos would earn a fee if the pension fund did business with Apollo.

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