Westly Role in CalPERS Investments Questioned
State Controller Steve Westly, who is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, has received campaign donations from individuals associated with three venture capital firms that gained CalPERS investments with his help, including a firm that works in pharmaceuticals, the Los Angeles Times reports. Westly is one of 13 members on the CalPERS board.
According to the Times, CalPERS' staff invested $5 million into the Healthpoint fund after outside advisers rejected the company's investment proposal twice (Halper/Morain, Los Angeles Times, 5/10). Healthpoint is a specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on the "prevention and treatment of diseased and traumatized skin and related soft tissue," according to the company's Web site (Healthpoint Web site).
Healthpoint partners, one of whom has been indicted in a kickback scheme involving an Illinois pension fund, have helped Westly raise tens of thousands of dollars, the Times reports. In addition, the fund's principals helped organize at least three fundraisers for Westly.
Last month Westly said he would return $15,000 received from the fund's partners and relatives (Los Angeles Times, 5/10).