Federal prosecutors have replaced the type of criminal charge against former state Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer, a legal maneuver that suggests he is cooperating with the government.
In documents filed Monday, the government withdrew its criminal bribery complaint against Longmeyer and indicated it would soon be filing a bill of information.
A bill of information, unlike a grand jury indictment, is usually a sign that a defendant is cooperating and intends to plead guilty. Prosecutors can choose to file an information when a defendant waives indictment by grand jury and agrees to cooperate.
The move was approved Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Wier, according to court records.
The order does not say when the new charge will be filed. Longmeyer is scheduled to make his first appearance in federal court in Lexington on Wednesday.
Longmeyer’s attorneys were not immediately available for comment. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey of Kentucky’s Eastern District declined to comment.
According to the March 25 complaint, Longmeyer accepted more than $200,000 in kickbacks from a Lexington company that, with his help, became a market researcher vendor to successive administrators of the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan, Humana and Anthem. The company conducted focus group sessions with state workers to determine their coverage interests and satisfaction. It received at least $2.1 million in revenue from two companies combined, the complaint says.
Longmeyer, a 48-year-old Louisville resident, was secretary of the state Personnel Cabinet under former Gov. Steven Beshear from January 2011 through September 2015. On Jan. 3, newly elected Attorney General Andy Beshear, the former governor’s son, appointed him as his chief deputy at an annual salary of $124,620. Longmeyer resigned on March 23, two days before he was charged with bribery.
The government did not name the consulting company in the complaint, but the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting learned that the FBI — on the same day that Longmeyer was charged — raided the offices of a Lexington market research firm called MC Squared Consulting. Witnesses said they saw FBI agents hauling computers and boxes out of MC Squared’s office in the Richmond Square complex. An MC Squared employee, who asked not to be identified, said the FBI was interviewing him and other employees. (Read “Inside The Kentucky Firm At The Center Of The FBI’s Corruption Probe“)
MC Squared has provided election campaign services for more than two decades. Its principal, Sam McIntosh, is a former Kentucky Democratic Party pollster and staffer who has planned campaigns, conducted polls and bought media time for people running for state and local offices.
The government has not accused MC Squared or McIntosh of any wrongdoing.
An attorney for Longmeyer said he would not discuss the government’s allegations. McIntosh could not be reached for comment.
Reporter James McNair can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (502) 814.6543.