The New York Times reported this week that the FBI may be looking at the University of Kansas as part of a broader investigation into the governor’s office. While the FBI hasn’t confirmed it, there have been reports that the agency is investigating alleged pay-to-play schemes involving the governor’s office and some of Governor Sam Brownback’s former staff members. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.
Tim Caboni is vice chancellor for public affairs at KU. He says neither the FBI, nor any other agency investigating the claims, have contacted the university. The New York Times article says the FBI is investigating if KU reassigned a lobbyist because the school was pressured to instead hire a former staffer of Governor Brownback.
“While I know it’s been reported otherwise, in reality, there was no switching out of lobbyists,” says Caboni.
Caboni says KU didn’t replace their lobbyist. Instead, he says they chose to add-on former Brownback staffer Riley Scott as a lobbyist in 2013 because of his experience.
“We needed to have in our arsenal someone who had good relationships with those freshmen representatives and senators that were elected. And Riley brought that to our efforts,” says Caboni.
The reported FBI investigation involves the governor’s office and former staffers of Brownback who now work as lobbyists. Brownback has called the claims a “smear campaign.”