Fire and police pension fund director rescinds resignation

EL PASO, Texas - The Executive Director for the El Paso Firemen and Policemen's Pension Fund is under fire for his spending habits and possible mismanagement.

But that didn't keep him from rescinding his resignation Monday.

Robert Stanton's resignation was announced last week after an article in the El Paso Times brought to light these concerns. But on Monday, after getting a vote of confidence from the board, the board's chairman told ABC-7 Stanton will remain in charge of the fund.

"This morning he notified me he wanted to rescind his resignation," said Lt. Tyler Grossman, chairman of the El Paso Firemen and Policemen's Pension Fund Board.

Grossman told ABC-7 that Stanton will remain in his position despite concerns raised about his past, including spending habits and the settling of a civil lawsuit with his former employer.

"Those items were dismissed or a settlement was made on the civil side," Grossman said. "And all criminal events were dismissed and expunged from the record."

Grossman says the 11-member board, made up of six appointees from the Police and Fire Departments and five from the City of El Paso, took a vote on Stanton.

"We went ahead and made a motion to show our support of our executive director," he said.

Stanton was not present at Monday morning's meeting, but Deputy City Manager Bill Studer, an appointee to the board by the City Manager, said the vote was 7-3 with him and two others voting against a vote of confidence for Stanton.

"There are some definite concerns on the table," said City Rep. Cortney Niland, who called the pension fund in its current state unsustainable. "The reason why their fund is unsustainable is because they pay out more than they take in. You can say that's the nature of the fund, which is what they like to say, but if that was my household at home we would be broke! So it doesn't work."

Niland said she will call for a full investigation.

"I absolutely will and I told the City Manager in the past if we need to be delving into this," Niland said. "They're supposed to be coming to us at the end of the month with a full report to talk to about some of the mismanagement practices. I think we need to go a bit further."

Presi Ortega, an appointee of the Mayor to the board, was absent from Monday's meeting. According to Studer, Mayoral appointee Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria and City Manager appointee Terri Garcia were the other votes against supporting Stanton.

ABC-7 left a message for Stanton but was told he is out of the office until Thursday.

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