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Former Lawmaker: FBI Investigating KanCare Contracts

There have been reports around the Kansas Statehouse that there is an FBI investigation into how contracts were awarded for KanCare, the state's privately managed Medicaid program. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, someone has now come forward to say the investigation exists.

Former Republican Kansas state Senator Dick Kelsey says the FBI contacted him and interviewed him several times. He says a focus of the investigation is David Kensinger, a former chief of staff to Governor Brownback.

"The investigation is very real, it's ongoing. I don't believe personally, this is my own opinion, I don't think anything will happen until after the election because they're not trying to do it politically. It's not a political thing with them at all. They do not want government that's corrupt," says Kelsey.

Reportedly, at issue is if there was a pay-to-play scheme involving the contracts or other backroom deals.

Kensinger is currently a lobbyist and an informal adviser to Brownback. Kelsey and Democratic state Senator Anthony Hensley are calling for Brownback to cut all ties with Kensinger.

In a statement, Brownback campaign spokesperson John Milburn called the event a "political sideshow." He calls these "unsupported, wild accusations." He says the claims are politically motivated.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.