HARTFORD, CT — In September 2017 the former CEO of Access Health CT inked a state contract worth more than $2 million with the company that hired him earlier this month.
Jim Wadleigh, the former CEO of the state’s health insurance exchange, signed a contract with Softheon a year ago after leaving state service in April.
It’s unclear what part of Connecticut’s ethics code may apply to Wadleigh. Would the one year revolving door law start from the date he signed the contract, or the date on which he left state service?
The contract obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows the Softheon contract includes a one-time activation fee of $1 million for the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) and $2.25 million for individuals and families in the state-based marketplace. The original contract was signed Aug. 22, 2017, and the addendum was signed on Sept. 20, 2017.
Access Health CT says so far it has paid Softheon more than $131,000.
Wadleigh officially resigned as CEO of Access Health CT in April and was hired by Softheon as its chief operating officer earlier this month, according to an Oct. 2 press release.
State law prohibits public officials or state employees from working for a company if they negotiated an award valued at $50,000 or more with the company while they were working for the state. However, under another provision of the ethics code, it says “no member or director of a quasi-public agency who participates substantially in, or supervises, the negotiation or award of a contract valued at $50,000 or more shall seek, accept, or hold employment with a party to the contract for a period of one year after the signing of the contract.”
Access Health CT is considered a quasi-public agency.
Wadleigh called the Office of State Ethics on Feb. 5, 2018, to inquire about revolving door laws before announcing his decision to step down. Wadleigh made his announcement to step down as CEO on Feb. 15, 2018.
A spokeswoman for the Office of State Ethics said “confidentiality provisions prohibit disclosure of any enforcement matters, therefore the Office of State Ethics cannot confirm or deny if this matter is being investigated.”
When he was CEO of Access Health CT, the quasi-public agency hired Softheon to facilitate its Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
“Through a new digital consumer experience, members will receive the same convenience, personalization, and transparency they have grown accustomed to in the banking, airline, and travel industries,” a Softheon press release from Oct. 25, 2017 reads.
In his new role, Wadleigh reports directly to Eugene Sayan, the CEO of Softheon, with whom Wadleigh inked the contract in September 2017.
“We are privileged to welcome Jim into the Softheon family,” Sayan said. “He brings a proven track record of operational leadership and excellence to our executive team. Jim will play a key role in expanding our product offerings and broadening our customer base with a focus on Softheon’s operational execution.”
When Wadleigh announced his decision to step down effective this past April, his base salary as CEO was $225,000.
Calls to Softheon have not been returned and Wadleigh has yet to respond to requests for comment.
Wadleigh had worked at Access Health CT since 2012. He initially served as chief information officer and became the organization’s chief executive in 2015.