School board candidate Phil Haming filed a complaint last week with the Office of Education
Apathy Accountability about David Jones, Jr.’s eligibility to run for school board.
Here’s the fast-talking from Jones, who receives compensation from Humana which is the healthcare provider for Jefferson County Public Schools:
“Neither JCPS management nor the Board of Education has any role in negotiating this contract,” Jones said in the statement. “I fully vetted this matter with all relevant parties, including legal counsel, months ago and no one raised any objections. As such, I have no reason to believe there is any conflict of interest with my candidacy under any statute.”
“Fully vetted!” ” Legal counsel!” “No conflict of interest!” ” I’m David Jones, Jr., and I always get my way.”
It doesn’t really matter how anyone tries to spin the financial relationship between Humana and JCPS. It doesn’t really matter how many Jones goons at the Crapola-Journal or BusinessFirst refuse to generate one paragraph of investigative reporting on this topic. It doesn’t matter that the teachers’ union endorsed a candidate who shouldn’t even be in the school board race. Again.
Jones can’t run in this race and the Kentucky Revised Statutes says so.
KRS 160.180 “No person shall be eligible to membership on a board of education (g) Who, at the time of his election, is directly or indirectly interested in the sale to the board of books, stationary, or any other property, materials, supplies, equipment, or services for which school funds are expended.”
Your state legislators crafted this statute. So, don’t get all crabby with me because it says something that you don’t like.
So, here’s what will happen:
You’ll get some convoluted story about the money trail. You’ll hear that the school board doesn’t negotiate the contract. (The state does.) And you’ll hear that Jones will recuse himself from any vote where he has a conflict of interest. (It doesn’t matter.) The bottom line is that the insurance is NOT free and JCPS has to pay for it.
You’re going to hear a whole lot of things to pacify you people and give him a free pass to our school board. He wants this board position so badly he can’t stand it.
Millions of dollars in sales of Chrysalis-related investments hang in the balance, folks. There are hundreds of networking opportunities just begging for Jones to interject a well-timed mention to an educrat of a tech product that may help a school district with (pick one!) childhood obesity or online educational instruction. Do you have a business card? He’ll have someone get back to you shortly. Cha-ching!
Let’s take a quick look at the wording of that statute. Pay attention to the bolded words.
“No person shall be eligible to membership on a board of education (g) Who, at the time of his election, is directly or indirectly interested in the sale to the board of books, stationary, or any other property, materials, supplies, equipment, or services for which school funds are expended.”
Guess what’s going on right now?
Here’s a story from Business First reporter Ed Green describing how much Humana stock Jones cashed in last year. Humana provided insurance to JCPS last year, in case you’re wondering. And you can click on the pic to read the whole story.
And we have this scorching 2009 piece from Peter Dreier on the Huffington Post describing Jones $369,000 compensation from Humana – just click on the pic to read the entire skin-crawling story:
Dreier also points out the following feel-good bits about Humana but I’m sure this is old news to most of you:
In at least ten cases, Humana has been cited for violations of federal contracting laws,according to the Project on Government Oversight. These include the wrongful death of a Texas woman with chronic kidney disease, anti-trust violations, participating in a conspiracy to improperly deny, delay and/or reduce payments to physicians, and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act for failing to compensate its customer service and claim employees at its call centers in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Green Bay. In May 2007, the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner ordered Humana to take corrective action (a $500,000 settlement) against the use of improper sales practices to enroll Medicare beneficiaries. Dozens of Humana agents lacked the proper licenses to sell insurance in Oklahoma and some agents enrolled Medicare beneficiaries in plans they did not understand or want.
Last year, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation ordered Humana to pay a $500,000 fine to resolve complaints that Humana enrolled Illinois citizens into more expensive and/or duplicative health plans. In 2005, Kansas City area physicians sued Humana and other health insurance companies for allegedly conspiring to suppress payments to physicians Under the settlement, Humana agreed to pay $2.8 million in cash, to be distributed among more than 2,200 physicians.
Will Jones be allowed to break the law and continue his candidacy? Like I said, JCPS pays for the insurance from Humana; it’s not free. And Jones receives compensation from Humana. I know. I said that already, too. Will the board of education, the superintendent and the folks in Frankfort stay quiet to keep the peace? Probably.
According to the Dreier peice, Humana broke a LOT of laws. But they didn’t get away with it.
And Jones won’t get away with this either.
Big hugs for all of you who share this on Facebook! Make sure you tell all of your friends and family members the truth about this school board race.