Detroit Pension Fund Faces Protests And Legal Woes
DETROIT (WWJ) – Protestors will gather in downtown Detroit Thursday to call for the removal of the Detroit Pension Fund general counsel. Outside of City Hall, protestors will greet pension board trustees as they continue their meetings Thursday morning. David Steven is the spokesperson of Citizens For Honest Government, a group which wants the general counsel, Ron Zajac, fired saying he’s under FBI scrutiny. But, Zajac hasn’t been accused of anything.
“What we’ve seen is that officials shoot first and ask questions later. So, they will take over our pension system, investigate Zajac, he’ll be found guilty, not guilty, whatever the case may be. But, in the process, we will have lost our pension system and never see it come back,” says Steven.
The pension board said in a statement that Zajac has not done anything wrong as far as they are aware.
Meanwhile, a Southfield businessman is now locked in a legal fight with the Detroit Pension Fund. Robert Shumake spoke exclusively with WWJ about his dealings with his partner, the Detroit Pension Board. Their real estate investments soured when the economy tanked. Shumake says it’s an unfair fight.
“It’s very difficult to try to fight your partner when many of them are now targets of federal investigations. So, it makes it difficult to go in and depose and ask questions. Of course, many of them will have to take the 5th amendment. And our objective, of course, is to run a business – we started out to run a business. I am not a trustee, I’m a business person and my objective is to make money for myself and for my client, them included,” says Shumake.
WWJ contacted the Pension Fund for comment, but so far there has been no response.