COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement Friday regarding the appointment of special counsel to investigate allegations of misconduct by Bill Neville, director of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS).

“Any allegation of misconduct of this nature is troubling,” Yost said. “Half a million teachers and retirees rely upon the fiducial trust of STRS, which compounds my concern. I have appointed outside counsel to conduct a thorough, independent investigation of these allegations.” 

According to our affiliate, WCMH in Columbus, Bill Neville, the executive director of Ohio’s $90 billion teacher pension fund has been suspended following allegations of sexual harassment, verbal abuse and threats of violence against staff.

STRS staff allegedly wrote an “anonymous letter” which WCMH obtained claiming the director verbally abused staff and had violent outbursts on a “regular basis,” at some points throwing furniture and office materials when he became upset.”

The letter also accuses Neville of sexual harassment and physically threatening employees with physical violence.

By statute, the Ohio Attorney General’s office provides legal counsel for STRS.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office says no further information will be released while the investigation is in progress.

According to WMCH, “The STRS is one of the largest teacher pension funds in the country with 530,000 active, inactive and retired public educators. Members have blamed Neville for apparent failures of the pension fund to provide for retirees, including the elimination of automatic cost of living increases while investment staff has received hefty bonuses.”