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Government

Brownback’s Office Says No Criminal Charges To Be Filed Over Campaign Loans

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Kansas News Service
Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a plastic surgeon, will not face charges stemming from a grand jury probe of loans he made to the Brownback re-election campaign.

Kansas 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 along with Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a plastic surgeon who was also 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 requested information under subpoena of 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 — each time 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 paid Colyer back within days.

When the most recent campaign reports were filed 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 left 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.

Andy Marso is a reporter for KHI News Service in Topeka, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

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