Sunday January 11, 2004
Envoy Situation Is Submitted To State Attorney General
The California State Attorney Generals office is set to offer its opinion on the Enovy situation. CalSTRS originally referred the Envoy problem to the state AG and then Envoy submitted a request for a formal opinion through an El Centro Congresswoman (Bonnie Garcia - Bonnie, be careful who you deal with...). The request was poorly worded and designed to decieve (that is my opinion - you can read the actual request in the latest teachers advocate - should be out soon). The request gave little context and no history of why the opinion was being sought. The opinion request was eventually revised with a much simpler wording as follows: May a school district assess a fee for providing deferred compensation plans to cover the district's administrative costs?
I have heard through the grapvine that the AG's office will have its opinion written and released within the month. I submitted a five page commentary in regards to the opinion that provided for a proper history and context. It is my belief that the opinion will not be in favor of Envoy. We will have to wait and see. The question remains what will happen if the AG's office says the fee is illegal? I actually don't know - but I do know that the media outlets will probably love to report on school districts who are doing things that are illegal - especially when the teachers bear the brunt of it. If the school districts don't drop Envoy (or at least begin making plans to drop Envoy) then I will bring the full pressure of the media down on Envoy and the districts until the correct decision is made. Unfortunately I can't just make a couple calls and "poof" the media responds - but I do have several people in the media that I think would love this story and good stories catch like wildfire, especially when money is invovled.
If for some odd reason the AG opinion supports Envoy then I have another trick up my sleave - I have found another portion of law that may render Envoy's fee illegal - of course I can't give that away yet. I may reveal this in my next Teachers Advocate, but I don't want to give the other side (Envoy) any more advanced notice than they deserve!
For those of you who think I am picking on Envoy - you are right. I think the company is rotten to the core and harmful to the long term financial health of school dsitrict employees. I would not be waging battle except that Envoy clearly violates what is in the best interest of my cilents and employees of the school districts. If they didn't I wouldn't have a problem.
Until next time..................