None of the testimony given by Bruce Greenstein to a legislative committee in 2011 and a grand jury last year was false, attorneys for the former state Department of Health and Hospitals secretary claim in seeking the dismissal of his nine-count perjury indictment.
It marks the second time this year that Greenstein’s lawyers, John McLindon and Brent Stockstill, have asked state District Judge Lou Daniel to throw out the indictment handed down in September. Greenstein has pleaded not guilty.
The indictment relates to events surrounding the award of a nearly $200 million Medicaid claims processing contract to Client Network Services Inc. Greenstein, 45, once worked at CNSI. The company sued the state after the Jindal administration later canceled the contract.
Daniel rejected an initial request to ditch the indictment in March, ruling state prosecutors did not violate Louisiana grand jury secrecy laws when they filed Greenstein’s grand jury testimony into the public case file in December.
Now, Greenstein’s attorneys contend the judge should toss the entire indictment because Greenstein’s testimony in June 2011 in front of a state Senate panel and in June 2014 before an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury was truthful.
In a July 14 motion to throw out the indictment, the lawyers argue there is “no practical justification for going to trial” because Greenstein did not commit perjury.
Daniel is scheduled to hear motions in Greenstein’s case Aug. 25.
“We are not concerned about the motion as it has no merit,” state Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell said Tuesday.
In the motion, Greenstein’s attorneys note that the former DHH secretary is accused of testifying falsely before the grand jury about the applicability of a Sept. 27, 2010, that forbade certain DHH employees from contact with bidders for the Medicaid contract.
Greenstein, who resigned in 2013, testified the letter did not apply to him.
“It was for people that were either on or will be potentially on the evaluation teams,” he told the grand jury. “I didn’t have anything to do with the awarding of the contract.”
McLindon and Stockstill maintain Greenstein did not perjure himself with that response.
“Clearly, Mr. Greenstein was and continues to be of the opinion that this memo did not apply to him. His opinion on whether or not a document applied to him cannot be the basis for perjury,” his attorneys argue.
Greenstein also is accused of giving false testimony to the grand jury about the creation of and his intent in issuing an addendum that allowed CNSI to compete for the contract as a prime contractor.
Greenstein’s lawyers say he testified truthfully that there was no favoritism shown by Greenstein and that his intent was to expand competition.
“It did not give them the contract,” Greenstein said of CNSI in his grand jury testimony.
Greenstein’s attorneys contend further that prosecutors made the “incredible allegation” that Greenstein committed perjury when he told the grand jury he did not remember a 4-year-old conversation with DHH executive counsel Steve Russo about legal advice he supposedly received from Russo.
“Mr. Greenstein did not say it definitely did not happen or it definitely did happen. He said he does not remember. That cannot be perjury,” McLindon and Stockstill argue, noting that a memory lapse cannot be the basis for perjury.
The grand jury also alleged Greenstein gave false testimony about the nature of his voluminous contacts with CNSI official Creighton Carroll. Greenstein’s attorneys contend Greenstein acknowledged that he and Carroll were “prolific texters,” but Greenstein testified most of the contacts were social in nature. Greenstein did not deny that some of the texts could have been about the addendum, his lawyers add.