Former state representative Patrick Sheehan confirmed that he was recently contacted by the FBI about allegations he made in 2012 about Cover Oregon’s development. In December 2012, Sheehan sent an email to Governor John Kitzhaber’s office, accusing Cover Oregon leaders of lying about the costs to build the web site. In the email, Sheehan asked Kitzhaber to take “swift and dramatic action” on the project.
Oregon had received $300 million in federal funds to build the health care site, but announced in April the state would ditch Cover Oregon and join the federal health insurance exchange.
The FBI office in Portland would not confirm whether an investigation is taking place. A representative from Kitzhaber’s office said the governor would not make any comment. A Cover Oregon communications contact said they had not been contacted by the FBI.
The web site’s developer, Oracle, has also been involved in another stalled project. The Oregon Department of Human Services paid Oracle $50 million over three years to develop a new web site for better online access to benefits, but all work was put on hold in September.
DHS released a statement saying: “DHS is still evaluating its options and its potential next steps. at this time, there is no estimated date for completion of that evaluation.”