More bad news for Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA). Tonight, Tom Casey, former CEO of now-defunct software company Audre Inc., told NBC News that in 1993 Lewis asked for stock and favors for his friend, lobbyist Bill Lowery, in exchange for a multi-million-dollar earmark:
Casey tells NBC News that after he made campaign contributions to House members of both parties, Lewis informed him the Pentagon would get $14 million for the testing, and that Casey even could write the language.
Lisa Myers: You were allowed to write language for an appropriations bill yourself?
Casey: Yes, I did. That was Congressman Lewis’ suggestion.
Casey says Lewis repeatedly urged him to hire a lobbyist, former U.S. Rep. Bill Lowery, Lewis’ close friend, and when that didn’t happen, pressed for another favor.
Casey: Congressman Lewis asked me to set up stock options for Bill Lowery in our company.
Casey says Lewis suggested he issue the stock options in Canada â in someone else’s name.
Lewis and Lowery both deny wrongdoing.
A curious detail: Tom Casey hired Brent Wilkes (who is accused of bribing Duke Cunningham, throwing hooker parties at the Watergate, etc.) as a consultant in 1992. Wilkes reportedly pushed Casey to aggressively pursue earmarks. Wilkes is also known to have had close ties with Bill Lowery as far back as the early 1980s. It seems like Wilkes’ name should be a part of Casey’s story to NBC — but somehow he isn’t mentioned.