The first public clue that a grand jury was investigating Marc Conklin came in a judges opinion issued on November 19, 2007. Conklin had appeared in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. OHara in an attempt to retain attorney-client privilege regarding a document leaked to The Pitch
and The Kansas City Star
. The document was a liability analysis weighing the pros and cons of admitting to the Environmental Protection Agency that upgrades at BPU power plants did not comply with the federal Clean Air Act (Pitch
Wins Court Battle, March 8, 2007).
OHaras ruling scathingly referred to Conklins testimony as lacking in credibility and largely self-serving, if not evasive. But the grand jury revelation came in this line: Presumably because of the pending grand jury investigation of BPU and indictments that potentially might ensue, Conklins personal attorney, Todd R. [sic] Graves, attended the hearing, but he took no active role. (Todd P. Graves was the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri from October 2001 until his resignation in March 2006.)
BPU ratepayers shelled out $3,160 to pay Graves to watch the November 2007 hearing. They also paid Graves firm $51,482 to represent Conklin in the months leading up to that hearing. But Kansas City, Kansas, electric and water customers stopped paying Conklins legal bills on October 3, 2008, the day the grand jurys indictments were unsealed.