George Atkins, once Humana's public-affairs chief, is pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud. Atkins' indictment alleged that he bought a Kentucky state legislator's favorable vote on a 1990 bill aimed at cutting hospital regulation. Atkins is also cooperating with authorities, who are continuing their probe.
Others have already been tainted in the matter: On Aug. 30, another Kentucky legislator resigned after admitting that he accepted $3,000 from a different Humana lobbyist not long after the bill passed. A third legislator has also admitted receiving cash from the lobbyist. Only Atkins, however, has been indicted.
Humana fired Atkins last September for "conduct that was in violation of company policy" and said it "regrets" what occurred. Humana is cooperating with investigators but won't comment further.