Sept. 22, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Menendez's Chief of Staff Provides Talking Points to Rebut Scandal

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Menendez, left, is defending himself against allegations of an ethics and travel scandal.

The memo did not address recent news reports that Menendez intervened on behalf of companies in which Melgen held an ownership stake. The New York Times last week reported that Melgen was a part-owner of ICSSI, a Caribbean port-security firm, and that Menendez intervened on the company’s behalf regarding a contract worth as much as $500 million. It also reported that Melgen’s company had donated $700,000 to a super PAC that provided $582,500 to Mendendez’s 2012 re-election effort. Menendez won a second full term in November.

Pushing back on other reports that said Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf regarding Medicare contracts, Menendez told Hispanic media outlets at the Capitol, according to a report on abcnews.com , that he raised concerns “over policy and over ambiguities that are difficult for medical providers to understand and to seek a clarification of that.”

He told The Associated Press Wednesday that he didn’t act improperly in the matter.

“The bottom line is, we raised concerns with CMS over policy and over ambiguities that are difficult for medical providers to understand and to seek a clarification,” Menendez told the news agency, referring to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

O’Brien did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this story.

An earlier version of this article misspelled Salomon Melgen's name.

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