CalPERS To Vote Against BofA's Ken Lewis

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The huge California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, will vote against the re-election of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis tomorrow at the bank's annual shareholder meeting.

The news, announced in a press release on CalPERS' web site, is a major blow to the already-beleaguered Lewis.

CalPERS, with more than 1.6 million benefit recipients, is the country's largest public pension fund. The fund, which has $176 billion in assets and owns 22.7 million shares in BofA, says it will also vote against the other 17 board members seeking re-election.

This is the first major shareholder to say it will vote against all 18 of the board members. Other firms, including ratings agency Egan-Jones, has called for the ouster of Lewis and some of the other board members.

"The entire board failed in its duties to shareowners and should be removed," CalPERS president Rob Feckner said in a statement. He cited the deteriorating condition of the bank; its failure to disclose the extent of Merrill Lynch's losses before it acquired the bank last year, and its seeming inaction when Merrill proceeded to hand out $3.6 billion in bonuses before the deal closed.

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