Attorney General Andy Beshear said Wednesday he will file state criminal charges against his former top deputy, who pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge last month.
Beshear did not disclose the specific charges he plans to pursue against Timothy Longmeyer, who was deputy attorney general until abruptly resigning a few days before being charged in March.
Longmeyer, a Kentucky Democratic Party insider who was former Gov. Steve Beshear’s personnel secretary, pleaded guilty to soliciting more than $200,000 in bribes from state business deals while working for Steve Beshear, who is Andy Beshear’s father.
Andy Beshear said his office started gathering information last week to file state charges against Longmeyer, probably before Longmeyer is sentenced in federal court on Aug. 18.
Beshear said Longmeyer betrayed him and that he will not recuse himself from prosecuting Longmeyer.
“It’s my job to hold people accountable,” he said. “The Office of Attorney General does not tolerate corruption, and we will charge anyone who engages in it — even if they used to sit down the hall.”
Longmeyer, whose attorney did not return a phone call and email seeking reaction, arranged for illegal campaign donations to be made in 2015 to Andy Beshear, who won election and hired Longmeyer, and Jack Conway, who failed in his gubernatorial bid, according to federal court records released Tuesday.
Beshear said Wednesday that his campaign was a “victim” of criminal activity and noted that federal authorities have said there is no reason to believe that he or Conway knew about the illegal contributions.
The money came from a kickback scheme Longmeyer established with Lexington-based MC Squared Consulting and its co-founder, Samuel C. McIntosh, according to court records. In exchange for $197,500 in cash and $6,000 in illegal campaign donations, Longmeyer helped the firm get work organizing focus groups and conducting telephone surveys for Humana and Anthem, companies that provided insurance to state workers through the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan.
Some “straw” campaign donations were made by MC Squared employees, later reimbursed by their employer, and others were made by Longmeyer in other people’s names using part of the bribe money he collected, according to court records. The records do not identify the listed names of the donors or the totals given, although they do mention at least three $1,000 donations going to Beshear on May 29 and two $1,000 donations going to Conway on March 12.
Longmeyer also helped MC Squared get “voter outreach” work from Andy Beshear’s election campaign, with the billing disguised to conceal its true beneficiary.
Beshear said Wednesday that his campaign paid a Louisville company to do get-out-the-vote work and “it now appears that the work may not have been done.”
“If so — that’s what you call stealing,” he said.
Campaign finance reports show Beshear’s campaign paid $15,000 to a Louisville company called Innovative Strategies last November for “voter outreach.” Attempts to reach the company Wednesday were not successful.
Longmeyer also promised to continue helping McIntosh after Longmeyer became deputy attorney general this year, according to court records.
“I have a friend who is going into the attorney general’s office,” McIntosh told an undercover special agent for the FBI in a secretly recorded conversation on Jan. 5. In the same recording, McIntosh read aloud a text message he received days earlier from Longmeyer: “‘Sam, we need to talk about doing focus groups and polling (inaudible) the AG’s office.’”
Beshear said the Lexington Herald-Leader’s reporting about federal court records in the Longmeyer case showed him that the state and he “owe a great deal of gratitude to the FBI and U.S Attorney.”
“Without them, a person who had a reputation for honesty would not have been exposed as a criminal, and he could have done real damage in the Attorney General’s Office,” Beshear said.
Beshear said his office would follow the same procedures used when it helped investigate former state agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer “so there is no question as to fairness.”
Farmer, a Republican, served a federal prison term after agreeing to a plea deal in which he accepted responsibility for misusing state government personnel and resources.
State Republican Party spokesman Tres Watson questioned Beshear’s motives for remaining involved in the case even though it involves his father’s administration and his own campaign.
“How can Kentuckians be expected to trust Andy Beshear to conduct an unbiased and impartial investigation into accusations so intimately linked to close political allies, his father’s administration and his own campaign and official office?” Watson asked. “His insistence on personally handling this case should raise more than a few eyebrows.”