Politics & Government

Beshear fires investigator for misconduct after false testimony

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear stated he has filed suit against Governor Matt Bevin for his University cuts on Monday April 11, 2016 in Frankfort, Ky.
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear stated he has filed suit against Governor Matt Bevin for his University cuts on Monday April 11, 2016 in Frankfort, Ky. mcornelison@herald-leader.com

An investigator in Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office whose alleged false testimony to a grand jury led Gov. Matt Bevin to call Beshear’s office an embarrassment was fired for misconduct effective Tuesday.

Actions by David Reed Wilburs, an investigator with the office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control, have caused the dismissal of at least two criminal cases he helped investigate and he was accused of misconduct in another case, according to records from an internal investigation by Beshear’s office.

“As you may be required to testify before grand juries and courts, your demonstrated failures to be truthful show that you cannot perform the minimum requirement of your job duties,” wrote Holly McCoy-Johnson, the head of administrative services for Beshear, in Wilburs’ termination letter. “An investigator who has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of attention to detail and misrepresentation of information cannot be effective or entrusted to represent the Office of the Attorney General …”

Wilburs allegedly made false or misleading statements to a Boyle County grand jury in February 2016, which resulted in the case being dismissed in September.

Shortly after the case was tossed, Bevin caused a stir in Frankfort by sending a text message to Beshear telling him that his office was a “disgrace.” Bevin has since reaffirmed the comment in a news conference, saying Beshear needs to get his office in order because it is an “embarrassment to the commonwealth.”

Beshear’s former top deputy, Tim Longmeyer, was sentenced last year to 70 months in federal prison for taking kickbacks from a contractor when he was secretary of the Personnel Cabinet under Beshear’s father, former Gov. Steve Beshear.

Wilburs was hired to be an investigator under former Attorney General Jack Conway in December of 2007 after serving in the Georgetown Police Department for about 20 years.

He received a promotion in 2011 and was called an “asset to this office” by his supervisor. Less than a year before that promotion, a case had been dismissed as a direct result of Wilburs’ alleged misconduct. He delivered the name and phone number of the plaintiff’s attorney to the daughter of the alleged victim, which caused the judge to find that the investigator was biased.

A year later, Wilburs was in trouble again. Commonwealth of Kentucky vs. Royse was dismissed because Wilburs made “false and/or misleading statements to the grand jury in order to obtain the indictment,” according to a judge quoted in the investigative file.

Wilburs, who continued to receive salary increases in 2014 and 2015, was placed on administrative leave without pay on December 28th. His annual salary was $43,376.

A spokesman for Beshear declined to comment on Wilburs dismissal.

Wilburs attorney, Stephen Wolnitzek, could not be reached for comment early Monday evening.

Daniel Desrochers: 502-875-3793, @drdesrochers, @BGPolitics