A Feb. 9, 2015 Houston Chronicle story features Brewer & Pritchard's client Leah Rayne, who was fired in September from her job as a project manager with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. In her executive level position, she handled some of the State of Texas' most complex procurements and Information Technology implementations.
She now is among dozens of people who have become "collateral damage" in a scandal involving over $110 million in Medicaid fraud detection contracts, according to the Chronicle. Ms. Rayne and others are threatening or taking legal action against the health agency.
Houston attorney J. Mark Brewer alleges Ms. Rayne was made a scapegoat and wrongfully terminated as a means of diverting attention from the misconduct of management. Allegations of misconduct involve Jack Stick, the top attorney for the Health and Human Services Commission. He allegedly interfered with a contract for an organization tentatively picked to build an enterprise data warehouse on behalf of the Commission. In a private meeting with state contract managers, Stick allegedly suggested that another company called 21CT could complete the job.
The deal unraveled after this allegedly sensitive information was leaked to the company tentatively picked to complete the project. Ms. Rayne was blamed and fired in September. About three months after her termination, Stick resigned and now is the subject of a criminal investigation. Ms. Rayne, however, was not given her job back.
Termination Sparks Alarm Among State Contractors, Former Health Agency Officials
The Houston Chronicle article, titled "Former employees among collateral damage of contract scandal," sheds light on what happened to Ms. Rayne and other employees who were allegedly wrongfully terminated. She'd rather go back to work at the HHSC than sue the agency, but so far, the agency won't give her back the job she loved.
The Chronicle article states that Ms. Rayne's termination raised concerns among state contractors and former health agency officials. News reporters began questioning 21CT's contract, which led to its cancellation.
The Chronicle cited a letter sent by Brewer & Pritchard on Ms. Rayne's behalf. Attorney Brewer called for a compromise. The law firm would not file a lawsuit if Ms. Rayne could come back to work.
In the meantime, Ms. Rayne is struggling to pay her bills, as she has not been able to find another job.
The Chronicle article also features comments from former state employees who shared their stories about working at the agency. They discuss being uncomfortable with quotas imposed by Stick (the quotas were later abolished) and they describe why they believe they were wrongfully terminated.
Contact a Medicaid fraud attorney in Texas for help with your legal needs. Call Brewer & Pritchard P.C. today at 800-445-8710 or visit www.bplaw.com to schedule a consultation. Serving Houston, Montrose, Galveston Island and surrounding areas.