MNsure interim CEO faces DWI charge

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 29, 2014 - 7:37 AM

Gov. Dayton and MNsure board members voiced sup­port for Scott Leitz, who was arrested in Au­gust.

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Gov. Mark Dayton and MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz spoke atthe State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Photo: RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER ,

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Scott Leitz, the in­ter­im CEO for MNsure, acknowledged Friday that he is facing a charge of drunk­en driv­ing stemming from an arrest in Minneapolis in August.

Leitz, 47, of St. Paul, was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. on Aug. 17 near S. Sixth Street and Portland Avenue S. on suspicion of speeding and careless driving, according to Lt. Eric Roeske, a State Patrol spokesman. Leitz’s breath test indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.18 percent — more than double the legal intoxication limit in Minnesota.

The rev­ela­tion came on a day when Leitz had earlier stood by Mark Dayton’s side as the governor ex­hort­ed Min­ne­so­tans to sign up for in­sur­ance on the MNsure ex­change.

Leitz, in an e-mailed state­ment re­leased Fri­day eve­ning, said of the in­ci­dent: “I con­sider this one of the big­gest mis­takes I’ve ever made. It is hu­mili­at­ing and, as with any mis­take, I will learn from it and will not re­peat it.”

Gov. Mark Dayton and MNsure board mem­bers ex­press­ed sup­port for the work Leitz has done to help Min­ne­so­tans find health in­sur­ance un­der the new ex­change program.

MNsure Chairman Brian Beutner and Vice Chairman Peter Ben­ner said in a state­ment that they strong­ly sup­port­ed Leitz.

“Since we ap­point­ed him in mid-De­cem­ber, MNsure has turned a cor­ner,” Beutner and Benner said in the statement. “Un­der his lead­er­ship the MNsure website has sta­bi­lized, the con­sum­er ex­peri­ence has im­proved and his com­mu­ni­ca­tion has been open and trans­par­ent. We value his lead­er­ship as we con­tin­ue to make prog­ress for Min­ne­so­tans.”

MNsure board spokes­man Joe Campbell confirmed Fri­day that board mem­bers knew of Leitz’s ar­rest when they hired him in De­cem­ber.

It was the se­cond time a head of the new MNsure program has had troub­les pub­li­cized.

In De­cem­ber, MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov stepped down as head of the ex­change during a roll­out marred by a se­ries of glitch­es that its of­fi­cials con­tin­ue to work on.

Todd-Malmlov and a Hu­man Services of­fi­cial had va­ca­tioned to­gether in Costa Rica around Thanks­giv­ing, when the exchange was beset with problems. Dayton later said he found the those prob­lems to be “un­ac­cept­able.”

Fri­day night, Dayton lauded Leitz’s im­prove­ments in MNsure.

“My as­so­ci­a­tion with Mr. Leitz be­gan, af­ter the MNsure Board hired him as the act­ing CEO last De­cem­ber,” the governor said in a writ­ten state­ment. “From ev­er­y­thing I know, Mr. Leitz has pro­vid­ed MNsure with ex­cel­lent lead­er­ship and has great­ly im­proved its ser­vices to the peo­ple of Minnesota.”

Leitz was an as­sist­ant com­mis­sion­er of health care at the state Department of Hu­man Services when the MNsure board hired him. He pleaded not guil­ty to the drunk­en-driv­ing charge and alleged traf­fic vio­la­tions.

If con­victed, Leitz could be subject to a $1,000 fine, 90 days in jail or both.

 

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750

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