There’s a senior official that is seen in Mayor Bowser’s administration who is unfortunately under fire once she’s been fired. This is followed by the aftermath of ethics investigation. All because there was a lack of recusing himself from matters involving to a large city contract. All with the involvement of health insurance company with an acceptance of a job.
Bryan Hum served as the interim director of Bowser’s Office Of Policy and Legislative Affairs. And in the case of the past week, he had told his supervisors how there was a job he had accepted with Elevance Health. However, at the same time, he was not removing himself from the current task at hand, being that he was working on investigation of Amerigroup which is a subsidiary of Elevance. This company in specific had won a part of a $1.6 billion-contract that would be sent for Medicaid in response low-income DC residents.
Hum had his firing justly received as it is well understood in DC’s Ethics Laws And Regulations that city officials and employees with interest in non-government jobs have to “recuse themselves” from any work tasks at the job, on behalf of the government’s trustworthiness. Once they’re hired by a job outside of the government, it’s actually forbidden for those ex-government employees to engage with the DC government in ways that are similar to their former responsibilities. Violations that turn into financial sanctions can even happen after the official parts from the DC government.
This is why Mayor Bowser found it necessary to get involved.
She asked the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability to look into Hum’s own failure to recuse himself while looking for possible violations of the law or regulations. And sure enough, they found something.
It’s not yet known if Hum’s misconduct found in the investigation actually impacted the five-year $8.8 billion Medicaid contract that was approved by the council. Right beyond the vote for the contract, CareFirst had been wagering a strong lobbying campaign to show lawmakers how to reject the contract through concerns with Amerigroup’s own conduct in the city.
Elevance themselves had to make a public statement regarding how Hum had been hired separately from the decision on the Medicaid contract award. “Mr. Hum did not work for OCP and did not have any role in the procurement of the managed care contracts. Mr. Hum responded to a public job posting from Amerigroup DC in August, two months after the contracts had been awarded by OCP.”
Mayor Bowser wasn’t too concerned with the entirety of the Medicaid contract, specific in part to how the three winners – MedStar, AmeriHealth and Amerigroup – came independently through a specific procurement process.
Yet, she was very frustrated about his conduct, stating that there’s no tolerance for individuals who can’t follow ethics, even upon exit. And that there are specific rules to put structure on life in post-employment with the government. There’s no real point in working on a matter while also holding an employment offer, or simply taking an offer, let alone accepting an employment offer related to a contract that has been tediously worked on.