“We thoroughly vetted her,” State health care exchange officials claimed after their Connect for Health Colorado director was indicted for stealing from her last employer.
51 year old Christa Ann McClure was indicted on January 16, on 8 counts of theft and fraud from a nonprofit housing agency in Billings, and she didn’t let her current employer know about it until after the story broke in Montana media.
Connect for Health spokesman Ben Davis said in a telephone interview that they had “performed a criminal background check and checked references before hiring McClure in March.”
Via The Denver Post:
“She was completely clean,” he said. Her position as executive director of Housing Montana of Billings, he said, made her well-qualified for her post as Connect for Health’s director of partner engagement — she was liaison with state and federal partners, such as Medicaid officials. The job pays $130,000 a year.
The charges against her are “very serious, and we are taking this very seriously,” Davis said.
The allegations are now part of a scandal-riddled narrative for federal and state health insurance exchanges — under the microscope of political opponents looking for missteps, local political and communications consultants said.
“This simply contributes to the fact that the overall implementation of health-insurance reform has been troubled by an endless series of embarrassments,” said political analyst Floyd Ciruli. “This can’t help.”
McClure has been released pending trial, and is facing potential penalties of five, 10 or 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the counts in the indictment against her.
The 12-page indictment alleges that, while serving as executive director of the federally funded Housing Montana, McClure, between 2008 and 2010, paid herself “significant sums” for consulting services, although she was already on the payroll as a full-time employee.
She also made payments to her family and used federal money for personal travel, to pay family bills and to buy consulting services, the indictment alleges.
She also is accused of charging homeowners for a $750 warranty that did not exist, converting a laptop for personal use, inflating the hours she was to be compensated and writing herself a $21,000 check to which she was not entitled.
The indictment did not specify the total amount she allegedly embezzled.
McClure had oversight of a $514,000 federal rural development grant to Housing Montana to build 22 homes for low-income residents.
Anyone surprised that a system that is run by left-wing agitators is already fraught with corruption and fraud? Get ready for many more stories like this one.
Hat tip: NRO