The same day Marchman’s letter went out, Teague was ousted as OGB’s CEO. By all accounts, Teague was a competent and well-liked administrator. The reasons for the move remain opaque, apparently even to Teague.
“I’m six months shy of retirement and I get terminated,” Teague told The Baton Rouge Advocate. “They told me I could resign or be terminated.”
Teague said Deputy Commissioner of Administration Mark Brady had not given him a reason for the firing. Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater declined to discuss the details with the Advocate.
“Our focus has been leadership,” Rainwater said. “We just think it is extremely important to have a leader who will work with us.”
Scott Kipper, who had been on the OGB’s board and a deputy commissioner at the Louisiana Department of Insurance, was installed as the agency’s new CEO.
TPM’s attempts to contact Teague were unsuccessful, but DeWitt, the board member, told TPM she believed the firing was related to the privatization push.
“Tommy [was] sitting between a rock and a hard spot,” she said. “He was appointed by the governor but wanted to do a good job for the organization.”
Meanwhile, also on Friday, Aswell was suspended with pay from his job at the Office of Risk Management. He says he was told he had a “conflict of interest,” apparently related to his side work as a reporter for local papers. On Monday, he filed his papers for retirement.
Gautreaux, the State Senator, has scheduled a meeting of the legislature’s Committee on Retirement for April 26, to discuss the privatization plans. He has invited three people to give presentations: Commissioner Of Administration Rainwater, OGB’s new CEO Scott Kipper and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
The governor’s office and the Division of Administration did not return numerous requests for comment from TPM.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com