State Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) Thursday was arrested and charged in an alleged kickback scheme. Federal prosecutors say Henry, the owner of a chronic care company, paid kickbacks to a doctor who owned the Atlanta Highway Family Practice clinic, which is suspected of being a pill mill. Prosecutors say the doctor, in return, steered Medicare clients to Henry's company, MyPractice24. Henry, 47, is charged with conspiring to pay kickbacks and to defraud the U.S., conspiring to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, health care fraud, and paying unlawful kickbacks. Henry pleaded not guilty, and was released on bond.
Henry, who is not seeking reelection, gained notoriety by leading the effort to impeach disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley. The impeachment was short-circuited when Bentley took a plea deal, and resigned. Henry also made headlines by serving as a state co-chairman for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. He later made an abortive bid for the U.S. Senate in the 2017 special election, then strongly defended Republican nominee Roy Moore against charges of sexual misconduct. Henry issued a statement in response to the indictment, which reads, in part:
"My goal was to help patients, and I did. Using a program established and promoted by Medicare, I helped chronically ill patients, and saved the taxpayers' money. For that, I have been charged with multiple felonies. I am not guilty of any crimes."