Former Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer pleads guilty to federal bribery charge
04/19/2016 06:09 PM
UPDATED LEXINGTON — Former Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal bribery charge stemming from his time as head of the agency, less than a month after accusations against him surfaced.
Longmeyer, who resigned his position as deputy attorney general days before the charge against him was revealed March 25, admitted to accepting $197,500 in cash and $6,000 in conduit campaign contributions from an unidentified consulting firm in exchange for helping secure work for the firm through Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan contracts held by Humana and Anthem between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, according to the plea agreement.
That firm has been identified as Lexington-based MC Squared Consulting. The locked office’s blinds were drawn and cardboard covered the mail slot and some windows during a stop before Tuesday’s hearing. The listed phone number for MC Squared Consulting has also been disconnected.
Longmeyer faces $203,000 in restitution under the plea deal and up to 10 years in prison, although his agreement with prosecutors only lays out a general penalty level, 27, and not a specified amount of jail time. Convictions at that level could draw between 70 and 87 months in prison for those with minimal criminal histories, according to federal sentencing charts.
He will remain free on bond until his Aug. 18 sentencing hearing, and U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell noted that she isn’t bound to follow the plea agreement in her decision.
Longmeyer wore a charcoal-colored suit with a white dress shirt and black-and-gray-striped tie as he addressed Caldwell, who asked whether he entered his guilty plea because he committed the crimes attributed to him.
“That’s correct, your honor,” said Longmeyer, who gave similarly brief responses to most of the judge’s questions.
The 48-year-old former prosecutor asked for his removal from the Kentucky Bar Association’s list of attorneys who can practice in the state’s eastern district, and he said he’s been prescribed medication for high blood pressure for about a month. He also agreed to submit a full financial disclosure to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Neither he nor his attorney, Brian Butler, of Louisville, spoke to reporters after the hearing. Butler said his client might talk after he’s sentenced.
U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey was tight-lipped about the ongoing FBI investigation, declining to answer questions on progress, whether Longmeyer is cooperating with prosecutors and whether he expects others to be charged.
Harvey credited the work of law enforcement and prosecutors for Longmeyer’s decision to plead guilty less than a month after he was accused of federal bribery.
“Kentuckians deserve an honest government,” Harvey said outside the federal courthouse. “We can’t expect to have a perfect government because it’s populated by human beings, but we can and we must expect an honest government where our public officials are doing their best to render an honest service to the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“Cases like this, while they are unfortunate, send a very necessary message that when public servants fall short of that standard, their misconduct will be detected and they’ll be prosecuted.”
Harvey has said no one in the attorney general’s office is a subject of the FBI inquiry and that neither candidate who received those $6,000 in conduit contributions were aware of the illicit payments.
Four thousand dollars in donations from MC Squared employees to Beshear’s attorney general campaign and former Attorney General Jack Conway’s gubernatorial campaign match with dates and amounts listed in the criminal complaint against Longmeyer.
Harvey declined to elaborate on who may or may not be under investigation when asked whether others in former Gov. Steve Beshear’s cabinet could be targets.
“The reason that we said that is because I think naturally since Mr. Longmeyer kind of straddled administrations and he served in the Personnel Cabinet as well as Attorney General Beshear that that would be a point that could easily be confused, and we wanted to have some clarity about that,” Harvey said.
“But I think we’re not going to go any further in exonerating or condemning anybody.”
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