Last night NBC News reported that the CEO of Audre, Inc. was told by Rep. [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-CA) that he needed to pony up campaign contributions to members and that he hire Lewis’ friend Bill Lowery as a lobbyist and provide Lowery with stock options before he could get federally earmarked money for his business.
In an exclusive interview, Casey tells NBC News that after he made campaign contributions to House members of both parties, Lewis informed him the Pentagon would get $14 million for the testing, and that Casey even could write the language.
Lisa Myers: You were allowed to write language for an appropriations bill yourself?
Casey: Yes, I did. That was Congressman Lewis’ suggestion.
Casey says Lewis repeatedly urged him to hire a lobbyist, former U.S. Rep. Bill Lowery, Lewis’ close friend, and when that didn’t happen, pressed for another favor.
Casey: Congressman Lewis asked me to set up stock options for Bill Lowery in our company.
Casey says Lewis suggested he issue the stock options in Canada — in someone else’s name.
Myers: Did you view it as an effort to hide what was really going on?
Casey: It was intended to conceal his participation, yes.
As Justin Rood notes, Casey started the contracting career of Brent Wilkes at Audre, Inc. Wilkes is said to have aggressively urged Casey to spend more money on lobbying and campaign contributions as a means to gain the support of members. Wilkes eventually became fed up with Casey and jumped ship to start his own contracting business, ADCS, Inc.