A Vermont state auditor is blowing the whistle on Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s suspect “billing practices.”
In a memo sent to Administration Secretary Justin Johnson Monday, Auditor Doug Hoffer presents evidence that suggests Gruber “overstated” the hours worked on his economic modeling contract for the state, as reports the Burlington Free Press.
Hoffer is therefore referring the issue to Attorney General William Sorrell, who himself expressed concern about the “serious questions” raised by the auditor.
The $400,000 contract began in July 2014, and thus Gruber was working on it when his comments about Obamacare’s “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” went viral last November.
The contract was renegotiated in November following the media reports of the MIT professor’s comments and Gruber’s billing was kept under watch.
“The evidence suggests that Dr. Gruber overstated the hours worked by the RA and that the Agency of Administration ignored the obvious signs that something was amiss,” the state auditor writes in the memo.
The invoices for the contract work submitted in both September and October curiously claimed the same amounts were owed: $500 per hour to Gruber for 100 hours of work and $100 per hour to his research assistant for 500 hours of work.
“Even if the State was not overly concerned about the first invoice, Ms. Lunge and Mr. Costa should certainly have been alarmed by the second,” the memo continues. “But except for one brief e-mail exchange, there is no evidence that they were troubled, nor did they communicate any concern to Dr. Gruber.”
Administration Secretary Johnson admitted that Gruber’s contract “could have been more specific” but insisted that he doesn’t believe the work to have been “overstated.”
Vermont is currently withholding payment from Gruber as officials investigate the matter further.
In December, Gruber was scrutinized at a House committee hearing in Washington, D.C., where he deemed himself “sorry” for and “embarrassed” by his past comments. Multiple states also fired Gruber from consulting gigs following the release of the comments.