Letter to the editor | Conflicts of interest of interest

August 24, 2013 

In “Penn State board responds to Khoury’s comments, voices ‘serious concerns’ about trustees’ participation in Paterno lawsuit against NCAA” (CDT, Tuesday), Penn State Spokesman David LaTorre states, “Conflicts of interest require, at a minimum, that the conflicted trustee not participate in any board committee business that might be affected by the conflict.”

Really? OK, let’s talk about some conflicts of interest.

According to the May 4, 2012, board of trustees meeting minutes, trustee Karen Peetz (then Bank of New York vice chairman) participated in a committee meeting that discussed selling 40 acres of Penn State land to Toll Brothers for $13.5 million.

BNY Mellon’s Boston Company Asset Management was Toll Bros.’ seventh largest shareholder in the first quarter, according to U.S. regulatory filings and Thomson Reuters data.

Meeting minutes reveal no discussion about BNY Mellon’s interest in Toll Bros. stock. The Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning, of which Peetz is a member, recommended that Penn State’s board approve the deal, picking Toll Bros. over two other bidders.

Peetz did not remove herself from the discussions, disclose the relationship or recuse herself.

Also, Page 5 of the March 21, 2008, Penn State board of trustees minutes shows the vote to give $10 million to Lubert Adler Real Estate and $20 million to LLR Equity Partners to invest on behalf of the Penn State Investment Council.

Lubert Adler is co-owned by and LLR Equity Partners is co-founded by trustee Ira Lubert.

By the way, we’re still waiting for those overdue financial disclosures.

M.J. Suthern Neumann, Pittsburgh

Centre Daily Times is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service