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Letter: Missouri pension director stood up to powerful politicians

Letter: Missouri pension director stood up to powerful politicians

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Bob Onder

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, works at his desk in the Senate chamber in Jefferson City on March 31, 2016. (Associated Press)

Regarding “Pension: Firm facing lawsuit tried to influence lawmakers” (Jan. 28): Congratulations to Ronda Stegmann, executive director of the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System. She bravely stood up to political pressure put on her by House Speaker Pro Tem Rep. John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, and Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, the chairman of the Senate Health and Pensions Committee. These are two experienced, powerful politicians who know how to apply pressure. I believe Onder put the squeeze on Stegmann to engage in highly unethical activity.

This was all instigated by lobbyist Richard McIntosh to benefit his client, private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group. Catalyst was involved in a lawsuit with the retirement system. Stegmann testified that the lobbying put her “in an impossible position.” Stegmann stood her ground and did not do what was requested of her. The 51,000 Missouri state retirees and the citizens of Missouri should be thankful to her and proud of her. It was not easy to stand up to these powerful men.

In my opinion, Onder and McIntosh knew that what they did was wrong and improper.

John Davis • St. Charles

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