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MBTA retirement board divided on records issue

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Directors loyal to the Patrick administration are pitted against union representatives on the secretive MBTA retirement board in a new conflict over an old question, whether state law compels them to reveal information about the management of a $1.6 billion pension fund.

The six-member board has fiercely guarded the fund’s status as a private trust, rebuffing legal and political pressure over the past two decades to adopt the same ethical and disclosure rules that apply to other pension funds for public workers.

In the latest episode, a deeply divided board recently voted to withhold records about the fund, which is aided by millions of dollars from taxpayers. Three directors backed by T management and the governor voted to release information sought by the Globe and others, according to officials from the T and the state Department of Transportation. But three other members representing the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 effectively blocked the disclosure and recommended that a judge decide.

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