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Hearing set on MBTA pension loss, lack of transparency

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Service will hold a hearing on a recent investment loss at the MBTA pension fund and the fund board’s refusal to make records open to the public.

The Feb. 25 oversight hearing will examine the pension fund’s $25 million loss on a hedge fund investment with Fletcher Asset Management in New York. The investment was recommended to the fund’s board by its former chief executive, Karl White, in 2007, less than a year after he had left the fund to work for Fletcher.

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White, who no longer works for Fletcher, has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the matter. Fletcher is under investigation by federal authorities and the MBTA pension fund is facing a probe by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Senator William Brownsberger, a Belmont Democrat who chairs the committee on the Senate side, said he intends to look into “the disclosure, the ethics, the condition, and fiscal soundness of the pension plan.’’

Brownsberger helped craft a law enacted last year, requiring the $1.6 billion T pension fund to make its records available to the public. The pension fund maintains that it is a private trust and not subject to the state’s public records or ethics laws.

Beth Healy can be reached at Beth.Healy@globe.com
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