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GERS Firing: Sen. Berry Pursues the Paper Trail

Nov. 18, 2004 — Government Employees Retirement System Board Chairman Raymond James made good on Sen. Lorraine Berry's request for explanatory letter or report to the Legislature indicating its reason for dismissing GERS Executive Director Laurence Bryan.
James delivered a mass of documents to Berry's office late Wednesday afternoon as a response to Berry's Nov. 8 letter to James demanding he do so.
The senator had also requested a copy of the "expert testimony" leading to Bryan's termination, the contract leading to that testimony, the request for proposal used to solicit the contractor and copies of the minutes of the meeting relating to Bryan's termination. (See "Senator Calls For Documents Concerning GERS Firing").
"We got a number of documents yesterday," James Francis, Berry's chief of staff, said. "We're still in the process of reviewing them."
James said the GERS board had sent everything requested except a copy of the report from Star Consultants, a company the GERS had contracted with.
Berry was on St. Croix Thursday and was unavailable for comment.
Bryan was terminated Nov. 6 during a board meeting of the trustees. At that time the board gave no reason for its decision except to say it wanted to "move in a new direction." Willis Todman was appointed as acting executive director and will assume Bryan's duties in the interim. (See "GERS Board Fires Bryan; Employees Protest").
In support of Bryan, GERS employees walked off the job upon hearing of his firing, but have since returned to work. Claiming that Bryan had made positive changes, the employees wrote to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull concerning the matter. However, as of Thursday, the group still has not had a formal response from Turnbull.

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