- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Former Louisiana health secretary Bruce Greenstein asked a judge Wednesday to throw out his perjury indictment because the attorney general’s office released his grand jury testimony to the public.

In a motion filed in state district court, lawyers for Greenstein say the release of the testimony violated Louisiana’s grand jury secrecy laws. They say the attorney general’s office didn’t follow the proper process for unsealing the transcript and called its release “prejudicial” to Greenstein’s case.

Lawyers Brent Stockstill and John McLindon wrote that if “the obligation of secrecy no longer applies, then the proffered protection of secrecy is nothing more than a sham.”

Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell said he gave the more than 200-page transcript to McLindon in an open hearing in which he also filed the document into the court record. Caldwell said he did nothing wrong.

“I don’t really understand what the big deal is. It’s a fairly routine thing,” Caldwell said. “We discussed it with the court on the record and obtained court approval and the defense didn’t object.”

McLindon said he didn’t object because he didn’t realize the attorney general’s office was releasing the transcript to anyone other than Greenstein’s lawyers.

“It’s routine to turn over grand jury testimony to the defense. It’s an egregious violation to file it into the public record. We were not aware he was filing it into the public record,” he said.

Greenstein was indicted in September on nine perjury charges stemming from an investigation into a canceled $200 million state Medicaid contract awarded to Maryland-based Client Network Services Inc., known as CNSI. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A trial date hasn’t been set in the case. Judge Louis Daniel is expected to consider Greenstein’s motion to have the charges dismissed at a March 19 hearing.

CNSI was chosen for the 10-year Medicaid claims processing contract in 2011. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration voided the deal in 2013 and has accused Greenstein, a former CNSI vice president, of inappropriate contact with the company throughout the bid process.

Greenstein resigned after the contract was canceled, a move he said was forced by Jindal’s chief of staff.

The transcript of Greenstein’s grand jury testimony was released in November. Since Greenstein hasn’t spoken publicly since he left office, the transcript offered the first detailed look at Greenstein’s defense against accusations he meddled with the selection process to help his friend’s company.

Greenstein told the grand jury in June that the evaluation process that chose CNSI was “squeaky clean” and said he didn’t do anything to steer the contract to his former employer, according to the transcript.

CNSI has sued the state for wrongful termination in a civil lawsuit, saying it did nothing inappropriate to win the contract. Company officials said the communication between Greenstein and CNSI employees was largely of a personal nature because of friendships he maintained after he left the firm.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide