A close, long-standing friend of Gov. Mike DeWine registered early this year to lobby on behalf of a giant Medicaid provider — just before Attorney General Dave Yost accused the company of ripping off tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
The company, St. Louis-based Centene, later agreed to pay out $88 million to Ohio and $1 billion more to other states. But the Medicaid department and the governor’s office still won’t say whether DeWine friend and Centene lobbyist Michael Kiggin helped the company keep its massive contract with Ohio despite the fraud claims.
In response to an open-records request for written communications between Kiggin and the government, the Medicaid department last month said it was unable to search for them. Then it ignored questions attempting to clarify the matter — even though Ohio open records law requires it to help clarify requests.