"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Last week, several Texas newspapers posted a hit piece on Ken Paxton related to some Medicaid investigation about which we hadn't previously heard. We were in the process of speaking to legal sources for our own response to this story. Thankfully, the reporter in question belatedly published the full story in a Friday afternoon document dump late last week:
AUSTIN — Attorney General Ken Paxton took a $100,000 gift from a Texas CEO who was being investigated for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, but he had no knowledge of the probe and his agency had little to do with it, multiple agencies have told The Dallas Morning News."General Paxton had no knowledge or involvement in this matter," Paxton spokesman Marc Rylander told The News. Other officials also said Paxton's office played a small role in the probe and a later settlement, lending credence to the attorney general's insistence there was no conflict of interest in his taking the money.
No surprise; read the whole thing here.[T]he office of the attorney general was never directly involved in the probe, he said, and Paxton was unaware of the investigation.The agency's Medicaid fraud unit "never received a referral" and therefore didn't investigate. The agency's Civil Medicaid Fraud Division was told about the whistleblower's lawsuit and helped negotiate the settlement terms, Rylander said.These details were corroborated by the U.S. attorney's office and Steve Sumner, the whistleblower's attorney."The vast majority of damages [losses] in this case were federal in nature, and typically, when that is the case, federal agencies take the lead in the investigation," said Kathy Colvin, Parker's spokeswoman. "In this case, the role of the Texas state attorney general's office, in the investigation and settlement, was very minimal. It was primarily in support of establishing the state's loss."Texas will receive $68,000 of the $3.5 million settlement, according to HHSC spokesman Bryan Black, who said his agency's involvement was also "minimal."