Former staffers of Gov. Brownback under federal investigation

Parker Robb | The Collegian The FBI is investigating the lobbying firm created by three former employees of Kansas governor Sam Brownback for supposedly using their influence for financial gain.

Three former employees of Gov. Sam Brownback are under federal investigation to determine if they used their influence in Topeka for financial gain, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The FBI is looking at Parallel Strategies, a lobbying firm created by Brownback’s former chief of staff and campaign manager David Kensinger, fundraiser and employee George Stafford and senior staff member Riley Scott.

The investigation is focused on whether or not the former staffers compelled companies to hire specific people or lobbying firms in order to receive a political advantage in their bidding for work as part of KanCare.

KanCare, launched in Jan. 2013, is the state’s privatized $3 billion Medicaid program. The program was given to insurance companies AmeriGroup Kansas, United Healthcare of the Midwest and Sunflower State Health Plan as a result of a bidding process.

Kensinger quit his post as chief of staff two months before the deal was complete. All three insurance companies now employ one of Kensinger’s partners, a former lobbying partner of Kensinger and a former Brownback cabinet member, according to the Capital-Journal.

The FBI has also investigated legislators and other lobbyists not tied to Kensinger’s firm. Eileen Hawley, Brownback’s spokesperson, she she did not know of any investigation targeting the former employees.

There is no information about how far the FBI’s investigation has advanced or if there’s any evidence to warrant a possible trial, according to the Capital-Journal. Joel Sealer, special agent with the FBI, said the agency would not comment on the matter.