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Archives: KHI News Service

On January 1, 2017, the KHI News Service became part of KCUR public radio’s new initiative, the Kansas News Service. The Kansas News Service will continue to cover health policy news and broaden its scope to include education and politics. All stories produced by the former KHI News Service are archived here. Stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to KHI.org.

No charges in loans to Brownback re-election campaign

By Andy Marso | June 17, 2015

No charges in loans to Brownback re-election campaign
Photo by KHI News Service Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, the architect of the Medicaid managed care switch known as KanCare, loaned the Brownback-Colyer 2014 re-election campaign $500,000 three times.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s office said Wednesday it had received word from the U.S. Attorney’s Office that no charges will be filed after an investigation into loans made to the governor’s re-election campaign.

The governor released a joint statement with Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a plastic surgeon who also was at the center of the probe.

“We have been advised by legal counsel that the United States Attorney’s Office has concluded an investigation regarding campaign finance matters, and no charges are to be filed,” the statement read. “As we have stated many times, our campaign finances were conducted in full compliance with applicable law and ethics regulations. We will have no further statements regarding this concluded matter.”

The Associated Press first reported in January that a grand jury had convened in Topeka and among the information requested under subpoena were all documents related to loans Brownback and Colyer had made to the campaign.

Colyer, the architect of the Medicaid managed care switch known as KanCare, loaned the campaign $500,000 three times — twice just before a deadline for candidates to report their fundraising.

Subsequent campaign finance reports showed that the first two times the loans were made, the campaign repaid Colyer within days.

When the most recent campaign reports came in at the end of 2014, however, the campaign had repaid only $400,000 of the final Colyer loan. The campaign had only about $45,000 in cash on hand at that point, so it could not fully repay Colyer or repay a loan Brownback and his wife, Mary, made to the campaign.

The most recent filing lists $100,000 to Colyer and $200,000 to the Brownbacks as “loan payable” on Schedule D, the section for “Other Transactions.”

Brownback and Colyer were asked repeatedly about the loans on the campaign trail but divulged little information about them, with Colyer only calling them “cash management.”

Grand jury proceedings are closed, and the evidence presented to grand juries is rarely made public if no charges are filed.