Former Ky. secretary pleads guilty to bribery

Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 16:27:46-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A former Kentucky cabinet member admitted in federal court that he took kickbacks during his tenure at the capitol, according to federal officials.

Former secretary of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet, Timothy Longmeyer, pleaded guilty to bribery of a public official Tuesday, said Kerry Harvey, U.S. attorney for Kentucky’s eastern district.

While overseeing the state employee health plan, Harvey said, Longmeyer agreed to accept $212,500 between November 2014 and June 2015, in exchange for assuring a consulting contract with Humana and Anthem to an unnamed firm.

Longmeyer accepted the kickbacks in the form of recurring cash payments and straw campaign contributions, Harvey said.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court last month, the scheme worked like this:

> The LLC got a consulting contract with Humana in August 2009, when Longmeyer was deputy secretary of the Personnel Cabinet. The LLC was supposed to hold focus groups of state employees, to determine their "likes and dislikes of the current health plan" and provide Humana a full report and recommendations.

> Longmeyer gave specific, written directions to the LLC on how much it should charge Humana, how much the LLC should kick back to him and how much it could keep.

> Humana paid $2,008,663 to the LLC between October 2011 and December 2014.

> After it was paid by Humana, LLC representatives converted some of the payments to cash and repaid third parties who'd written campaign contribution checks to candidates Longmeyer selected.

> Longmeyer directed the company to pay him $90,000 from a $118,800 payment by Humana; he got the money in 17 payments of various amounts between Nov. 21, 2014 and Feb. 27, 2015.

> He directed the company pay him $100,000 from a $218,000 payment by Humana; he got $85,000 in 17 cash payments of $5,000 between Feb. 27 and June 19, 2015, along with $6,000 to candidates he'd selected. The company's ledger showed a $9,000 balance.

> Shortly before he stepped down as secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, Longmeyer told the LLC it would get a consulting project from Anthem to do a phone survey about the state employee health plan.

> The LLC was to be paid $48,000 from Anthem, and Longmeyer said he wanted $22,500 of that.

> Anthem paid the LLC $48,000 on Sept. 25, 2015.

> LLC representatives laundered the money to cash, which Huggins saw being delivered to Longmeyer on two occasions: One of the payments, on Oct. 2, 2015, was $5,000, and the other, on Oct. 9, 2015, was $17,5000.

Longmeyer’s prosecution was part of a wider FBI probe into fraud and money laundering, officials said, and more indictments are possible in the case.

Longmeyer will be sentenced in August 2016, Harvey said. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

WCPO's Joe Rosemeyer and Evan Millward contributed to this report.