Jepsen no longer recused from role in Anthem-Cigna merger

Attorney General George Jepsen and his deputy, Perry Zinn-Rowthorn.

file photo / ctmirror.org

Attorney General George Jepsen and his deputy, Perry Zinn Rowthorn.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen will no longer recuse himself from the review of a proposed $54 billion merger between Anthem and Cigna, his office disclosed on Tuesday.

Throughout his tenure as attorney general, Jepsen has recused himself from all matters regarding Cigna because his wife, Diana Sousa, worked there. On June 23 he recused himself from matters regarding Anthem because of the merger talks between Anthem and Cigna.

But Sousa has left the company, so Jepsen has decided his recusal from matters concerning the Bloomfield-based health insurer is no longer necessary, said Jaclyn Falkowski, the attorney general’s spokeswoman.

“He had recused himself from all matters relating to Cigna since he took office,” Falkowski said

But now Jepsen will have a hand in the antitrust review of the merger.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Perry Zinn Rowthorn, Jepsen said his wife will not longer receive compensation from Cigna and does not have any financial interests in the company.

Jepsen had also recused himself from an investigation of an Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield data breach that occurred in March. The data breach affected members who were insured by Anthem as far back as 2004. It is estimated that in Connecticut, about 1.7 million people are affected.

Sousa was vice president of global business communications at Cigna, according to the company, and left for an executive job at Mass Mutual.

The U.S. Justice Department also is reviewing the planned Anthem-Cigna merger, as is the Connecticut Insurance Department.

Unlike Jepsen, Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade, who was once a Cigna in-house lobbyist and whose husband Michael Wade still works for the insurer, has decided not to recuse herself form a role in the massive merger.

Wade said says she has divested herself of all Cigna stock, and that her husband, a top company attorney, would not benefit financially from the proposed merger.

The Connecticut Office of Ethics says it’s still discussing the situation with Wade.

 

 

 

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