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Hearing set for man accused in beating of former CalPERS figure who died

The man accused of battery and other charges on a former CalPERS board member who later died made a brief court appearance Tuesday and had a preliminary hearing set on his pending case.

Clarence Irdell Munson, 55, is charged with battery, corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant and elder abuse stemming from an Aug. 24 incident with Charles P. Valdes, 74, who died on Sept. 2.

Prosecutors say they are waiting for a determination from the coroner’s office on Valdes’ cause of death and that no law enforcement agency has notified them that a homicide investigation is underway.

Munson’s lawyer, Roderick MacKenzie, made a motion in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday to have the case against his client dismissed, according to Deputy District Attorney Noah Phillips.

Judge Jaime R. Roman denied the motion. The judge also refused to reduce bail on Munson, who is in custody, from the $110,000 already set. Roman scheduled Munson’s preliminary hearing for Sept. 29.

Valdes was a board member for two decades for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages the nation’s largest pension fund. He retired in January 2010. He was later named in court records as a figure in an alleged bribery scheme to direct CalPERS investment funds into a private equity account controlled by former board member Alfred Villalobos.

Former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco to accepting bribes from Villalobos, who has been charged and has pleaded not guilty. Valdes was named in a civil case as accepting bribes, but he was never criminally charged.

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