ADDITIONAL INFO ON POWERFUL LAWMAKER’S “RESIDENCY ISSUE”
By FITSNEWS || Earlier this week FITS reported on new developments in an ongoing federal-state investigation of corruption at the S.C. State House. Specifically, we related information from our sources regarding powerful S.C. ways and means chairman Brian White – who in addition to other things is reportedly being investigated for some sort of “residency” issue.
Details are hazy, but in reviewing past residences listed by White (he quit providing taxpayers with residency information in 2012), one of the properties we uncovered was owned not by him but by Brad Moorhouse – director of an Anderson County, S.C. nursing home that’s operated by the National HealthCare Corporation (NHC).
According to our sources, the questions being raised about White’s residency – including “one of the listed properties in Anderson” – were being viewed through the lens of his proximity to James Randall Lee, a registered lobbyist and executive with the S.C. HealthCare Association.
According to its website, Lee’s organization exists to “promote the general welfare through development and maintenance of high standards of professional care and administration in nursing homes and related long-term care facilities.”
Lee, incidentally, was one of the central figures in the Operation Lost Trust scandal – a federal sting that snared seventeen lawmakers in bribery-related corruption charges a quarter century ago.
Where are we going with this?
Well, it turns out Lee’s lobby – the nursing home industry – is responsible for appointing a member to the South Carolina Health Planning Committee, which is the entity responsible for administering the state’s health plan. In fact this is the infamous committee that was “tasked” by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley in 2011 with deciding whether to pursue a statewide health care exchange.
They didn’t (the right move) … but taxpayers were unnecessarily deprived of $1 million in the process.
More relevant to our immediate purposes, this planning committee is the entity responsible for administering the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) program – which decides where and how health care services are administered in this state.
Guess who is on the committee?
Pretty cozy, huh?
Again, we’re not suggesting at this point that White has done anything illegal. Or Lee. Or Moorhouse. We believe White’s yet-to-be-investigated 2011 campaign finance scandal (and his recent campaign payments to his wife’s charity) need to be addressed – but at this point no one has accused him of criminal wrongdoing in relation to the ongoing corruption probe.
We’re simply following the advice of a federal prosecutor who told us to “follow the nursing home money.”