Nationally known financial consultant Mallory Factor spoke to Saturday's Berkeley Republican Party breakfast after days of media focus and an interview with the State Law Enforcement Division Friday.
Factor, whose involvement with the state retirement commission is being questioned by the S.C. attorney general's office and by SLED, warned Saturday of a potential crisis within the pension fund itself.
Factor, president of Mallory Factor Inc. and a professor of American government at The Citadel, has been the focus of reports of what the attorney general's office called a possible "pay to play" scheme with the commission that manages the $26.2 billion state pension fund. South Carolina paid nearly $350 million in investment management fees last year.
Factor said no wrongdoing occurred.
"Totally fabricated," he said Thursday of the documents leaked to the media. The documents include notes purportedly taken during a phone call between Factor and investors.
The news reports had focused on Factor and his friend, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, who Factor said has been demanding transparency on the state's under-performing retirement fund.
"With all the fees, we have one of the worst track records," said Factor. "The problem is that (taxpayers) have to make up for it personally. All of you do."
As an example of South Carolina's under-performance, Factor noted that Virginia's pension fund is twice as big as South Carolina's and pays less in fees. He added that because of the lack of transparency, "we don't know how far in the hole we are" with the pension fund.
"Has anyone seen a management audit on the pension plan? That would be nice to see an audit. There isn't any. ... There's an internal audit, but that's like a fox watching the chicken coop," said Factor.
"The problem was that I was getting too close to actually finding some stuff, so they had to try to do me in. I'm under no personal legal attack, but they just had to besmirch my reputation."
Factor said he had planned to talk about government worker unions on Saturday, but the events of last week forced a change.