Investigation Continues Into Canceled Medicaid Contract

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A special grand jury that indicted Gov. Bobby Jindal's former health secretary has expired, but the chief prosecutor said Tuesday the investigation continues into a now-canceled $200 million state Medicaid contract.

         Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell said the probe into the contract that had been awarded to Maryland-based Client Network Services Inc., known as CNSI, will start running into time limits for bringing further charges later this year.

         "It's sooner rather than later. This isn't going to go on indefinitely," Caldwell said.

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         Ex-Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein was indicted in September on nine perjury charges stemming from the attorney general's investigation. Caldwell spoke outside a Baton Rouge courtroom after turning over thick stacks of documents to Greenstein's lawyers tied to the perjury charges.

         Greenstein's attorneys said they'd only had a chance to skim the documents so far, but lawyer Brent Stockstill said: "We still don't think a crime has been committed, and we don't see anything that changes our mind right now."

         CNSI was chosen for the 10-year Medicaid claims processing contract in 2011, but the Jindal administration voided the deal in 2013 after details emerged about a federal subpoena seeking information about the contract award.

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         Since then, the administration has accused Greenstein, a former CNSI vice president, of inappropriate contact with the company throughout the bid process. It said Greenstein exchanged hundreds of phone calls and thousands of text messages with company officials.

         Greenstein, who now lives in Seattle, resigned after the contract was canceled; he says the resignation was forced by Jindal's chief of staff.

         Four months ago, the one-time health secretary was charged with lying when questioned about the contract award during his sworn testimony to a state Senate committee and to the grand jury. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied that he tried to steer the contract to his former employer.

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         A trial date hasn't been set in the case.

         CNSI also has sued the state for wrongful termination in a civil lawsuit, saying it did nothing inappropriate to win the contract. Company officials said the communication between Greenstein and CNSI employees was largely of a personal nature because of friendships he maintained after he left the firm.

         The grand jury that looked into the contract award expired in November after 18 months of work. Caldwell said he hasn't decided if he'll shift the case to another existing grand jury or call up a second special grand jury to continue investigating the CNSI contract.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte


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