As outgoing House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) prepares to retire from the state legislature, a report of his partnership with Alabama-based medical testing company QBR LLC has raised questions.
On Thursday, 1819 News reported that from 2013 to 2016, McCutcheon had been paid as a "consultant" for QBR, which has recently been a target of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Many people associated with the company, including the president and CEO John Hornbuckle, have been convicted or pleaded guilty to healthcare-related charges in 2022. All of them are currently awaiting sentencing.
Former Alabama Ethics Commission member Dr. Stewart Tankersley said he was "amazed" when he read the details of McCutcheon's involvement with QBR.
"We, unfortunately, have a very sad reputation — Alabama does — for decades of corruption running throughout the system here. If this is true, I hope that whoever is guilty repents and then they have to suffer the consequences legally," he said during Thursday's broadcast of Montgomery radio NewsTalk 93.1's "News & Views."
Tankersley said the McCutcheon revelations reminded him of a case from 2015 when then-State Rep. Patricia Todd asked if she could lobby for a gay rights organization, where she served as executive director.
"I thought it was kind of a weird request because it's clear that she cannot," Tankersley said. "I don't even know where the request came from, honestly… Her job description was clear that she was to write laws and advocate for laws to benefit their group. So that just reminds me of this type of thing here."
He said McCutcheon's relationship with QBR would be inappropriate for any legislator, "much less the Speaker of the House," and that the whole thing "smells odd."
(Click the player above to listen to Tankersley discuss the Mac McCutcheon-QBR saga on News & Views with Joey Clark.)
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