July 17, 2019
Public Safety Personnel Retirement System
State of Arizona
July 17, 2019
Contact: Christian Palmer
Statement from the PSPRS Board Chairman
The board votes to remove system administrator
ARIZONA – Today, the PSPRS Board of Trustees voted 8 to 0 to terminate the system’s administrator, Jared Smout, who had been on paid administrative leave since April 16, 2019, pending an independent review of a personnel matter.
Board Chairman William T. Buividas called Smout’s termination “a decision we could not in good conscience avoid.”
“The Board of Trustees of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System stands united in the core principle that the leadership of our organization must be held to the highest possible standards, in the same way our communities and employers hold our police officer and fire fighter members to highest possible standards.
“To be blunt, the behavior described in the Arizona Department of Administration investigation is in no way acceptable from any employee of PSPRS, let alone the system’s top executive. Let me be as clear as I know how to be: We will not tolerate inappropriate workplace behavior. And, as we did with this complaint, all such allegations will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
“Mr. Smout helped institute important changes during his tenure at PSPRS. Even so, the organization we’re aspiring to be must demand more of its leaders than doing good work. We absolutely must demand of PSPRS leadership that we conduct ourselves in every way beyond reproach. With that in mind, this termination was a decision we could not in good conscience avoid.”
“The Board and PSPRS leadership already have begun to work on a thorough revamp of policies and training procedures meant to prevent and address inappropriate behavior and workplace harassment. We are also revamping the system’s policies governing cybersecurity, records management and the handling of human resources complaints.
“Just as this new Board has worked to ensure the continued effective stewardship of the PSPRS portfolio, we will do everything in our power to make PSPRS a model workplace for the state, the system’s members, our employees and the taxpayers we serve.”