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Former Calpers CEO gets 4-1/2 years in prison on bribery charges

A former chief officer of Calpers, the nation's largest public pension fund, was sentenced by a federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday to 4-1/2 years in prison on a bribery conviction.

Federico Buenrostro, who served as chief executive officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System from 2002 to 2008, had admitted to accepting gifts, travel and other benefits totaling approximately $200,000.

Ken James | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The president of the Calpers Board of Administration, Rob Feckner, in a statement on Tuesday expressed relief that "this saga has now come to an end. We are stewards of a sacred trust, and it must never be compromised for personal gain."

The public pension fund has incorporated a number of critical measures since 2009 to strengthen internal controls and risk management, improved accountability, and increased openness and transparency.

"This chapter in our history is now behind us, and Calpers has emerged a stronger, more dynamic organization," Calpers CEO Anne Stausboll said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Buenrostro was involved in a scheme with Alfred J. Villalobos, a former member of the pension fund's board, who later worked as a placement agent that solicited investments by public pension funds.

In 2014, Buenrostro pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud as part of a federal conspiracy case. Villalobos, who also faced federal corruption charges, died in 2015.