Office of Lexington consulting firm at center of alleged bribery scheme involving top Beshear aide locked and "out of town" Monday
03/28/2016 03:49 PM
LEXINGTON — The Lexington-based consulting firm at the heart of a federal bribery investigation involving Tim Longmeyer, former Gov. Steve Beshear’s Personnel Cabinet secretary and Attorney General Andy’s Beshear’s top deputy, was “out of town” Monday morning, according to a sign posted outside the locked office.
No one responded when Pure Politics arrived at the offices of MC Squared Consulting on Prosperous Place around 10 a.m., although a light in an upstairs office was on. The office suite’s front door was locked and dead-bolted.
The Courier-Journal first identified the firm, which allegedly funneled more than $200,000 in kickbacks to Longmeyer in connection to contracts associated with the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan, in a report Saturday.
MC Squared Consulting was not named in the federal affidavit released Friday charging Longmeyer, thus far the only person facing charges in the alleged bribery scheme. Federal prosecutors say Longmeyer steered Humana and Anthem to hire the outside firm for work related to their KEHP contracts.
Whereas signs identified each business housed in the office park, signage outside MC Squared Consulting’s office suite seemed to have been removed. Other than its homepage, the firm’s website is inactive.
Sam McIntosh, the firm’s president and a former operative for Gov. Martha Layne Collins and the Kentucky Democratic Party in the 1980s, did not return email or phone messages left at his office. No one answered the door at a listed address on Kentucky Registry of Election Finance filings on the 3300 block of Kenesaw Drive in Lexington.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been in contact with the Personnel Cabinet “about matters during the previous administration,” and the cabinet “is fully cooperating,” cabinet spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker said.
“There will be no additional comment at this time,” she said in a statement.
Some contributions from a pair of MC Squared employees appear to match with $4,000 of the $6,000 prosecutors believe the firm paid Longmeyer in the form of conduit political contributions, of which the campaigns were unaware. Neither candidate was named in the affidavit.
The affidavit describes entries made in a copy of a ledger provided by a confidential witness at the firm, showing $2,000 bearing the name of candidate two with the date March 6, 2015, $1,000 in the name of candidate one with the date March 12, 2015, and $3,000 in the name of candidate one with the date May 29, 2015.
KREF records show MC Squared consultants Carolyn Hall, of Versailles, and Myron Harrod, of Lexington, each made direct $1,000 contributions to the gubernatorial campaign of former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway on March 6, 2015. Hall and Harrod followed that up with another pair of $1,000 direct contributions to Attorney General Andy Beshear’s campaign May 29, the same day Longmeyer gave his then-boss’s son a $1,000 direct contribution.
Both consultants had previously given Beshear a combined $1,500 in 2014, according to KREF records.
In an interview with Pure Politics on Monday, Beshear was quick to point out that Longmeyer’s actions had nothing to do with the Office of the Attorney General itself.
Beshear said he was unaware of the firm, though he said the company did contribute some to last year’s campaign. In all, three MC Squared Consulting employees gave $4,500 to his attorney general bid, KREF records show.
“It does look like we had some donations from there. Now what’s in the Courier and what’s in the criminal complaint — I think there is some discrepancy about numbers,” Beshear said. “So what I want to do is let all the facts come in. We are going to seek guidance from the U.S. Attorney and from the Registry of Election Finance.
“If any money that was tainted through this process came to the campaign — which if it did the U.S. attorney’s already said there’s no way we would have known — I want to make sure it finds a good home like (non-profit watchdog agency) Common Cause.”
The first-year attorney general said he would donate the dollars to ensure strong ethics are in place, adding that’s what his office stands for.
Mark Riddle, Conway’s campaign advisor, did not return a call Monday seeking comment.
Michael Goins, spokesman for Auditor Mike Harmon, said the auditor’s office had no immediate plans to examine the KEHP contracts in question, citing the ongoing federal investigation.
However, he said information gleaned from the Longmeyer investigation may expand the office’s year-end statewide audit in reviewing contracts at the Personnel Cabinet.
“When we do hear about something like this, it certainly does pique our interest,” Goins said in a phone message to Pure Politics.
Longmeyer, who resigned his position as deputy attorney general days before the federal charges came to light, has been served a criminal summons and is due in court for arraignment 1:30 p.m. April 20. U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey indicated Friday that others may be charged in the investigation, according to reports.
Watch more of Pure Politics Managing Editor Nick Storm’s interview with Attorney General Andy Beshear on Monday’s edition of Pure Politics.
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