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Massachusetts AG reaches $100,000 agreement with lobbying firm

By Bryan Cohen | Aug 18, 2014

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BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a $100,000 joint disposition agreement on Friday with a lobbying firm that allegedly profited from an inappropriate contingency fee agreement with a hospital in Brighton.

The Brennan Group Inc. allegedly arranged a contingency fee agreement with Franciscan Hospital for Children (FHC), a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, in violation of state lobbying laws. Lobbyists are prohibited from entering into payment agreements that are contingent upon the passage of legislation.

“Lobbying firms are prohibited from entering into contingency fee agreements because they create an appearance of impropriety,” Coakley said. “Our office will continue to ensure that the relationships between lobbyists and their clients conform with the law.”

The Brennan Group allegedly signed a payment contract with FHC in 2006 in which it agreed to lobby the legislature on FHC's behalf related to funds from the New Essential Community Provider Trust Fund (ECPTF) and Pediatric Disproportionate Share Hospital (P-DiSH) Medicaid payments.

FHC allegedly agreed to pay the Brennan Group a fee for any P-DiSH or ECPTF payments received by FHC following legislative appropriation and disbursement of funds. FHC allegedly made fee payments of more than $370,000 to the Brennan Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Brennan Group will return $100,000 to FHC.

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