SEANC Calls on Cowell to Resign from Boards or Her Office

May 15, 2016

The State Employees Association of North Carolina Board of Governors unanimously approved Saturday a resolution calling on state Treasurer Janet Cowell to either resign from the two corporate boards she recently joined or step down from her position as Treasurer and allow someone else to serve North Carolina’s interests free from conflicts.

Cowell’s recent appointments to the corporate boards of both ChannelAdvisor and the James River Group investment firm have come under fire from both state and national media outlets.

Her position as the sole fiduciary of the $90 billion Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and as chairwoman of the State Banking Commission are in direct conflict with her position on these boards. Her influence on these state regulatory boards should not be afforded to a corporate board member.

Cowell and the State Ethics Commission apparently see nothing wrong with the decision. But state employees, retirees and taxpayers need someone who is looking out for them, not the for-profit interests of two corporations.

“Janet Cowell has a choice to make,” said SEANC President Ross Hailey. “Either she can finish out the last eight months of the job the state’s voters elected her to do free from outside influence, or she can resign and focus on making millions in the private sector. She can’t do both.”

The SEANC board’s decision came on recommendation from the SEANC Retiree Council and was also approved by the Executive Committee.