JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Andrew Lear, formerly of Learfield Communications, stepped down from the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee (MHFRC) before their Certificate of Need (CON) meeting on November 6. He resigned from the committee before the background review process could be completed because he did not feel comfortable with the investigation going into his family’s life. He replaced Marsha Campbell in September.
“I was [appointed to the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee] and I’ve taken myself off of that committee,” Lear said. “[The investigation] wanted my kid’s information and my wife’s information and, being that it’s a voluntary committee, I’m not being paid for anything. I don’t believe that they need that. That was why.”
In September, he was one of four appointments to the MHFRC after members had reached the end of their terms. Among the appointments were Cynthia Circo, Michael Burbank, Brandon Garber, who are still on the committee. At the time, he said he was ready to be a part of the committee saying, “I thought it was a good thing.”
He said he resigned before the background review process could be completed because he did not feel comfortable with the investigation going into his family’s life. According to him, when the investigation looked into his family’s life, he did not ask any questions, he promptly left the committee.
“I didn’t ask. I just thought that it was information that they do not need. If they want it, then I’m not going to serve on the committee,” he said. “I don’t know [why they would want that information.] I’m not a politician. I don’t know anything about that stuff. I have no idea.”
Appointees to a board or commission are by the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee and then a final check by the Governor’s Office Board and Commissions Task Force.
In reviewing a candidate, Sen. Jamiliah Nasheed, a prominent member of the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee, said that the committee typically reviews “credit, criminal background, past employers and things of that sort.” When asked if the committee typically investigates into the lives of family members, she said, “No.”
According to Nasheed’s office, he was scheduled to be formally reviewed by the Senate Committee in 2018 but has been compiling information ahead of his appointment during the legislative session. The investigation from the Governor’s office was expected to go at the same time.
Lear’s father, Clyde Lear, was the former Chairman and CEO of Learfield Communications, a sizable sports marketing company that has offices in 75 cities around the country, including one in Jefferson City. The younger Lear confirmed that he had not worked for his company in years and is currently self-employed.
Because of his departure, it leaves the even-numbered committee with the opportunity to have a split vote. A vote in such cases could be resolved by a chairperson’s vote, however, the MHFRC has yet to appoint a chairperson ahead of their scheduled meeting on November 6.
Michael Layer is a reporter for the Missouri Times and the Missouri Times Magazine. He joined the Missouri Times in August 2017 after graduating from Goucher College the previous May. To contact Michael, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @_MichaelLayer