In the wake of former Kentucky official Tim Longmeyer’s admission of accepting bribes while running a state agency, one central question remains unanswered:
Who paid the bribes?
His guilty plea in federal court Tuesday in Lexington, before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, was perfunctory and did not shed light on other possible targets of the federal investigation. Afterward, U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey didn’t rule out charges against others, but he would not say if Longmeyer is cooperating with authorities.
Still, the nine-page guilty plea offers a deeper glimpse into the bribery scheme and offers some new details.
The plea notes that the bribes — about $212,500 — were paid by a “private consultant” not named in court papers but referred to as “S.M.” The initials happen to match those of Sam McIntosh, whose MC Squared Consulting offices in Lexington were raided by the FBI on the same day that Longmeyer was charged. McIntosh has not been accused of any wrongdoing in connection with Longmeyer. MC Squared has not reopened since the raid.
In several passages, the plea states that Longmeyer “solicited and agreed to accept” the payoffs, most of which were in cash and took place in the parking lots of a McDonald’s in Midway and a Kroger in Versailles.
The plea makes clear that Longmeyer sought out the kickbacks. In return for the bribes, Longmeyer helped the consulting firm get more than $2 million worth of business as a vendor to the administrators of the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan, Humana and Anthem.
Patrick Hanley, a Covington attorney and former federal prosecutor in Kentucky and Ohio, said Longmeyer’s guilty plea was a big catch for the government.
“He’s the big kahuna,” Hanley said. “Now, I don’t know what the investigation is, but it may be that the FBI is looking at who paid him the bribes. If they’ve got evidence against this guy taking these bribes, then they certainly have evidence against the people who paid them.”
Hanley said that a quick guilty plea and a delayed sentencing hearing suggest cooperation with prosecutors. Cooperation, he said, would include not only telling prosecutors who else is involved, but testifying against others at potential trials.
“The government would attempt to delay his sentencing until after those trials — if there are any trials — so that they can tell the extent of his cooperation and, of course, at the same time they want to keep that hammer over the guy’s head,” he said.
Neither Longmeyer nor his attorney, Brian Butler, offered any public comment Tuesday. Harvey said the federal investigation is continuing, but wouldn’t elaborate. About $6,000 of the bribes was routed into the campaign chests of political candidates that the government hasn’t named. Harvey said the recipients of those contributions are not suspected of crimes.
An employee of MC Squared Consulting, who asked not to be named, told the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting last week that the FBI is interviewing company employees. KyCIR has not been able to reach McIntosh for comment.
Longmeyer headed the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet for more than four years before stepping down last Sept. 30. He re-entered public service Jan. 3 as chief deputy to newly elected Attorney General Andy Beshear, only to resign in March on the eve of being charged.
Reporter James McNair can be reached at email@example.com and (502) 814.6543.
This story was reported by WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.