Lawyers for former Louisiana health chief Bruce Greenstein sought Wednesday to have his indictment on nine perjury charges thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct.
The motion, filed in Baton Rouge’s 19th Judicial District Court, claims the Attorney General’s Office violated state grand jury secrecy when it publicly released testimony Greenstein gave before the panel that indicted him. The 201-page transcript of Greenstein’s state grand jury testimony was added to the public case file in December.
Greenstein’s indictment related to events surrounding the award of a nearly $200 million Medicaid claims processing contract to Client Network Services Inc. He had once worked for CNSI.
“There is no statutory or jurisprudential authority for publishing the grand jury transcript into the public record months before trial and without good cause to do so,” Greenstein’s attorneys wrote.
Attorneys John McLindon and Brent Stockstill also wrote: “Mr. Greenstein was prejudiced by the release of his grand jury testimony, although Louisiana law does not require that any prejudicial injury be shown.”
“The Advocate ... did a story on the grand jury testimony, quoting directly from the transcript. Now, numerous newspapers and online blogs have done stories nationwide on the grand jury testimony of Mr. Greenstein,” the motion’s supporting memo stated.
The Attorney General’s Office failed to follow proper legal procedures for unsealing a transcript, according to the motion. The attorney general “set forth no particularized need or compelling necessity to put Mr. Greenstein’s transcript into the public record.”
Greenstein’s attorneys are asking the court for a March 19 hearing to consider the motion. Nineteenth Judicial District Judge Louis Daniel, of Baton Rouge, has not ruled on the request.
The grand jury indicted Greenstein in September, accusing him of lying about his contact with CNSI executives before, during and after the contract award as he appeared before the grand jury as well as a legislative committee. Greenstein, who lives in Seattle and works as a consultant there, has pleaded not guilty.
The Jindal administration canceled CNSI’s contract. CNSI filed a wrongful contract termination lawsuit against the state and denied any wrongdoing.
Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell said the release of Greenstein’s transcript was “perfectly above-board.”
Caldwell said McLindon did not object.
“It’s one of the many motions we will see as they represent their client,” said Caldwell. “We don’t believe it has any merit because we did what we were supposed to do.”
In response, McLindon said making Greenstein’s grand jury testimony public “is wrong. ... While it is routine to give the grand jury transcript to the defense attorney, it’s completely inappropriate to file it into the public record and I had no idea that Mr. Caldwell was going to do that.”
Greenstein’s testimony represented his first public comment about the events surrounding the contract and his involvement since he issued a written statement after he was forced to resign in April 2013. Greenstein’s resignation came after news broke of a federal grand jury investigation into the contract’s award to his former employer, CNSI. The federal probe went nowhere but a state grand jury was soon impaneled.
According to the document, Greenstein told the grand jury that he would have done some things differently but, in the end, he did nothing wrong and took no money in exchange for CNSI getting the nearly $200 million contract.
Greenstein also said if he had to do it all over again, he would have taken greater care to avoid any appearances of impropriety in the review, by the state agency he headed, and the 2011 contract award.
Greenstein had been a vice president with the suburban Washington, D.C., CNSI for just over a year before leaving to take a job with Microsoft. He left Microsoft to become the Jindal administration’s health secretary.
“The whole goal was to have a better system, better health care system, better competition. All, everything that we did was in the right direction for the right reason,” Greenstein told grand jurors. “I wish that today sitting here in front of all of you, I wish I had never heard of them, worked for them or dealt with them.”