The Head of the Department of Corrections says since the 1980s, no members of its execution team have been given forms to file taxes on what they’re paid.
Contractors and those who pay them are supposed to file a 1099 with the IRS, so that it can make sure they’re paying taxes on their earnings. The Department pays members of its execution team with cash to hide their identities. Director George Lombardi told a House budget committee the department hasn’t issued 1099s to execution team members since the admistration of Governor John Ashcroft.
“Because of the issue of anonymity, to give 1099s to these individuals would in fact reveal who they were, and that would end the death penalty, essentially, because they wouldn’t do it,” Lombardi said.
Lombardi said the execution team members are counseled to report that income, but said that is not part of the Department’s policies and procedures.
Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D-Kansas City) criticized that the Department’s budget doesn’t identify where the money comes from that goes to pay execution team members, and for the pentobarbital used in lethal injections. That money comes from a fund that pays for equipment and expenses, but its description makes no mention of those payments coming from it.
“Executing somebody is a big deal and if we’re going to spend money to do that, I think it should be included in the description – that this is the area of the budget where money goes, in envelopes, in cash, to kill people,” said LaFaver, referring to reports that the money might be taken to execution team members and the drug’s maker in envelopes.
Sources told a BuzzFeed reporter there could be penalties for the state, the execution team members, and the drug’s maker for not having those 1099s.
Lombardi testified to a House committee nearly two years ago about the state’s execution procedures, in which some information about how executions are paid for was revealed.