New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who is anti-drilling, “scolded” Chesapeake last week (according to the headlines) over the program that allows CEO Aubrey McClendon to participate in every well drilled by the company, with up to 2.5 percent ownership in each well. Although DiNapoli released a press statement to his favored mainstream media (MSM) buddies, he has yet to publicly release the statement “scolding” Chesapeake.
Here’s what we have from MSM accounts:
"Simply letting the Founders Well Participation Program expire is too little too late," DiNapoli said in a statement Friday. "Much more needs to be done to restore investor confidence."
In his statement, the comptroller said the [NYS] pension fund’s representatives did not support the Chesapeake board of directors at shareholder meetings each of the past three years.
"The failure of Chesapeake’s board of directors to provide independent oversight of management has been an area of concern for the Common Retirement Fund over the past several years," DiNapoli said.*
Why does Mr. DiNapoli’s statement matter at all? He is the sole trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, a $140 billion pension fund for all New York State employees. And the Fund owns close to 3 million shares of Chesapeake stock. So that gives DiNapoli a platform to voice his opinions. Also according to MSM accounts, the Fund has not taken any formal action against Chesapeake and the Founders Well Participation Program, but they also haven’t ruled out taking formal action (i.e., litigation).
*Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun-Bulletin (Apr 30, 2012) – DiNapoli scolds Chesapeake over CEO’s stake in gas wells
Be sure to participate in this week’s poll (right side of any page) which asks your opinion on Aubrey McClendon’s future.