State health Secretary Kathy Kliebert’s brother-in-law is facing ethics charges for failure to disclose his employment by state Medicaid contractor Magellan Health Services Inc.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics said Galen Schum failed to file financial disclosure statements required of public servants and members of their immediate family who derive anything of economic value, directly, through any transaction involving the agency of the public servant.
The board said Schum should have reported his relationship with Kliebert as well as the $140,000-plus in income he made as a Magellan employee.
Magellan got a lucrative state contract to coordinate services for poor residents with mental health and addictive disorder problems in late 2011. Magellan received $544.8 million through the multiyear contract that began March 1, 2012.
The Schum charges mark the second time in as many months a Department of Health and Hospitals family relationship has figured into ethics charges involving Magellan.
In January, the Ethics Board filed conflict-of-interest charges against a state health agency employee overseeing Magellan Health Services’ state contract.
The board alleged that Michelle Barnett violated state ethics law by receiving a “thing of economic value” by virtue of her husband receiving income from employment by Magellan. The board also charged her husband, Tom, with failure to file required reports disclosing his salary from Magellan.
Kliebert did not respond to a request for comment.
But DHH, through spokeswoman Olivia Watkins, issued the following statement: “This is an important reminder that Louisiana’s ethics laws apply not only to current state employees, but to our family members as well. The department recently issued additional guidance to our employees and reminded our staff that their families should be aware of these requirements too.”
Kliebert announced late last year that the Magellan contract would not be renewed. Instead, private insurance companies providing Medicaid health coverage would take over gradually this year.
Schum submitted a job application to Magellan on Feb. 13, 2012, and was hired two weeks later as a “QI/ReportingManager,” according to the Ethics Board. He resigned Jan. 31, 2014.
The board said Schum should have filed disclosure statements by May 1 deadlines in 2012 and 2013 revealing his relationship with Kliebert, his employment by the firm and income received from it. The board said Schum made $61,818 in 2012; $78,388 in 2013; and $6,078 in January 2014 before he left the firm.
The Ethics Board posted the Schum charges on its website Thursday. The board asked the Ethics Adjudicatory Board to conduct a hearing and “assess an appropriate penalty.”
Magellan has been the subject to two scathing legislative audit reports for its failure to meet certain contract requirements.
Legislators grilled Kliebert and other health agency executives on what was being done to fix problems that led to reduced services and budget problems at five state entities serving behavioral health clients.
Kliebert defended Magellan’s work but said it was time to move on and treat physical and mental issues as one because one impacts the other.