Business & Real Estate

Former CalPERS chief faces bribery sentencing delay after battery charges

Former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro testifying before the Legislature in 2005.
Former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro testifying before the Legislature in 2005. Sacramento Bee file photo

CalPERS’ former chief executive, sitting in jail and accused of committing battery against a former girlfriend, is expected to have his sentencing postponed a week for his role in the pension fund’s bribery scandal.

Fred Buenrostro was scheduled to be sentenced May 18 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco after pleading guilty to accepting bribes from a Lake Tahoe investment banker. But with Buenrostro expected to be in Sacramento County’s main jail until May 22, prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to postpone the federal sentencing to May 24. The proposed delay awaits a judge’s approval.

Buenrostro, 66, is serving a 60-day jail sentence after being arrested twice on misdemeanor battery charges. Because the battery charge constituted a violation of his bail terms in the bribery case, federal officials issued an arrest warrant this week. That means Buenrostro probably will remain in custody in Sacramento and then be transported by federal marshals for sentencing in San Francisco.

Buenrostro, who was CEO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2002 to 2008, is expected to receive up to five years in prison in the bribery case. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to accepting more than $250,000 in bribes from investment banker Alfred Villalobos in a scheme to steer pension money to Villalobos’ clients in the private equity industry. Villalobos, who pleaded not guilty in the case, committed suicide last year in Reno.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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