In a notice filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Judge Gary A. Fenner wrote:
This Court’s decision to stay discovery was based largely on the Government’s belief that the breadth of discovery in the present case could interfere with the criminal investigation. Any interference with an important criminal investigation would in turn harm the public's interest in effective law enforcement. However, the Government no longer maintains that a stay is necessary to protect its investigation. In fact, the Government does not oppose lifting the stay and supports permitting Plaintiffs to move forward with their civil case to prevent additional
prejudice. While the concerns the Government initially raised in support of a stay are not entirely extinguished at this point, the Court is satisfied that resuming discovery in this case will not unduly impair the criminal investigation or the public’s interests.
The stay on the discovery process will be lifted as of July 11, according to the ruling. Roger Cochran and Dennis Morris claim they were fired from their positions at Cox because they had uncovered fraud in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. The government asked for the stay in the civil suit while the case was being investigated by a federal grand jury.
The lawsuit and the grand jury investigation were first revealed in the June 8, 2005, Turner Report.