Government
11:04 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Gov. Brownback's Former Chief Of Staff Maybe Involved In FBI Probe

The FBI is examining whether Governor Sam Brownback’s former chief of staff and a lobbying and consulting firm he helped found are trading on their ties to the governor to benefit themselves and others financially.

A person familiar with the inquiry told The Associated Press the FBI has been looking for several months into the activities of Brownback's confidante David Kensinger and his Topeka firm, Parallel Strategies. Kensinger and two former Brownback staffers formed last year.

The person said the FBI had interviewed multiple people. The source is not a law enforcement officer and insisted on anonymity because he or she is not authorized to speak publicly about the FBI’s inquiry.

The Topeka Capital-Journal first reported on the investigation Sunday.

The person who spoke with AP said the FBI is examining the aftermath of Governor Brownback administration’s decision to turn over management of the state’s Medicaid program to state subsidiaries of three large health insurance companies.

One of the three firms awarded management of the program at the time employed a lobbyist, Matt Hickam, who was a former partner of Kensinger at another lobbying firm.

Kensinger has declined to comment.

His partners in Parallel Strategies, Riley Scott and George Stafford, did not return telephone messages Sunday or Monday.

Hickam also did not immediately return a call to the AP seeking comment.

Governor Brownback’s spokeswoman Eileen Hawley says administration has had no contact with the FBI and no indication that it’s conducting an investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton says the agency never confirms or denies the existence of an investigation.