Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brownback questions motives of FBI investigation into his staffers

By The Herald Staff | 5/7/2014

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t pleased with media coverage of the FBI investigation into his former chief of staff, according to the Wichita Eagle. In fact, he believes the news is a smear campaign.

“I’m not seeing the allegations of criminal activity,” Brownback said in his first public comments on the topic, the Wichita Eagle reported. “I’m seeing a lot of efforts to try to smear people.”

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t pleased with media coverage of the FBI investigation into his former chief of staff, according to the Wichita Eagle. In fact, he believes the news is a smear campaign.

“I’m not seeing the allegations of criminal activity,” Brownback said in his first public comments on the topic, the Wichita Eagle reported. “I’m seeing a lot of efforts to try to smear people.”

The Topeka Capital-Journal broke the story that Dan Kensinger, Brownback’s former chief of staff, and two of his colleagues and former Brownback staffers, George Stafford and Riley Scott, were being probed by the FBI.

The federal agency apparently is concerned with the possibility that the three former Brownback staffers made political promises in exchange for money related to the state’s $3 billion Medicaid program, according to the Capital-Journal report. The governor’s KanCare program handed exclusive contracts — to provide Medicaid services to 380,000 of Kansas’ disabled and poor — to three for-profit insurance companies.

The Eagle reported Brownback specifically attacked the report on his former staffers and the KanCare contracts.

“We bid everything out on KanCare,” he said. “And you’ve got to be qualified, and you’ve got to get the lowest bid on it.”

Brownback said his administration is careful to protect against impropriety when awarding state contracts.

“We try to run things at a very high standard,” Brownback said. “We try to bid out most state contracts. And do it purposely so that you get the lowest bid but also so that you don’t have the ethical questions raised about it.”

He also dismissed the notion that Kensinger, the chair of Road Map Solutions Inc., a political entity supporting Brownback and other conservatives, or any other associates acted illegally at any point before or after leaving his administration.

“And anything else I’m hearing people talk about are allegations — I’m not hearing what anybody’s saying that’s criminal activity,” he said.

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