Saturday, April 14, 2007

Todd Graves--US Attorney Target Number 10?

Pressrelease 365 reports the following:

Kansas City, MO 04/09/07 - Medical Supply Chain founder Samuel Lipari unearthed a US Department of Justice memo revealing the Office of the Attorney General had targeted not eight but ten US Attorneys including the former attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Todd P. Graves. The documents were obtained during Medical Supply Chain's discovery related to the civil antitrust action Medical Supply Chain, Inc. v. Novation LLC, et al, Western District of Missouri case #05-210-CV-W-ODS filed on March 9, 2005.

The e-mail dated January 9th, 2006 from Kyle Sampson, chief of staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to Harriet Miers and William Kelley at the White House, shows the ten U.S. Attorneys that were first selected to voluntarily resign or face termination. Attorneys that resigned were redacted. Todd P. Graves of Missouri resigned March 24, 2006.
Why would Samuel Lipari be in a position to unearth this tidbit. Well, it seems that his company Medical Supply Chain, has been actively engaged in a civil anti-trust suit against Novation, LLC, Volunteer Hospital Association (VHA), University Health System Consortium (UHC) and Neoforma, Inc. Lipari claims the companies "were involved in a scheme to monopolize hospital supplies to defraud Medicare through payments to administrators and kickbacks. The scheme resulted in almost all of Kansas City, Missouri St. Luke's hospital's one hundred million dollar supply budget being purchased through Novation LLC. St. Luke's merged with University of Kansas Hospital after Irene Cumming, CEO of the University of Kansas Hospital was given a job by University Health System Consortium (UHC) on March 19, 2007."

It appears that Todd Graves had been investigating and prosecuting Medicare fraud cases. Lipari claims that "Bradley Schlozman failed to prosecute public corruption related to the Medical Supply Chain litigation."

I have long suspected Todd Graves was one of the targeted, but redacted, prosecutors, but that is because a Graves family member was implicated in a separate scandal involving Matt Blunt and state fee offices. A scandal later investigated by Bud Cummins. ePluribusMedia's mit2174 published an article making the connection entitled Heffelfinger, Graves, and the U.S. Attorney "purge" on Thursday, March 15, 2007. Thomas Heffelfinger "resigned February 28, 2006 to return to the private sector. At the time, he cited "personal" and "financial" reasons for his resignation. (sources: Pioneer Press, 2/15/06; Star Tribune, 2/15/06)." He was replaced by Rachel Paulose.

What is new is the implication that Schlozman was not brought in to engage in voter suppression or to clean up after Grave's problems with the Fee License Scandal, but to squelch a particular medicare fraud investigation. I don't know whether to believe Lipari's assertion, but it bears watching. Lipari might simply be trying to stir the pot to help his civil suit.

On a possibly "related" note Minnesota Campaign Report's mswsm has written an interesting report entitled Why the Deception about Paulose's Work History and Residency? that seems to imply Paulose, who had been active in health care litigation, was sent from Washington to protect one of her former clients, a Minneapolis base health care company. Again a stretch, but given the way the Department of Justice has been politicized one that doesn't seem as far fetched as it would have a few years ago.