Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Two Former Cabinet Members Cleared Business Dealings of the Aides Had Embarrassed Administration

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Two Former Cabinet Members Cleared Business Dealings of the Aides Had Embarrassed Administration

Article excerpt

Gov. Jim Edgar's office has cleared two former Cabinet members after looking into possible legal and ethical problems surrounding their business dealings while they worked for the state.

Arnie Kanter, who resigned late last year as Edgar's chief legal counsel, got a $75,000 loan in February 1990 from Tim Rand, a Chicago businessman and associate of Kanter. Later, Rand tried to land a riverboat gambling license in the East St. Louis area.

Officials wanted to know if Kanter used his influence as the governor's counsel to help Rand get the license.

State police found no connection between the loan and the license, said Jim Montana, Edgar's new legal counsel.

Separately, an outside lawyer concluded that ex-Public Aid Director Phil Bradley, who resigned this spring to take a job with a Chicago-area health maintenance organization, didn't know his new firm was being taken over by another HMO that previously had gotten a multimillion-dollar contract with Public Aid.

The business dealings of Kanter and Bradley have embarrassed the administration.

Kanter initially did not report the $75,000 loan on his ethics-disclosure forms or on his economic-interest reports when he took his job with Edgar in early 1991. The loan was made about a year before he started work with the state.

State police discovered the loan during a routine background check on Rand, then an applicant to be a partner in the East St. Louis riverboat gambling casino operation.

It was only then that Kanter filed an amended economic disclosure form reflecting his dealings with Rand.

State police were asked to investigate whether Kanter tried to use his influence to help Rand win the riverboat license.

"We wanted to to make sure the loan was nothing but a loan - and not a quid pro quo," said Montana. …

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