A former supervisor of Rep. Bill Cassidy came to the congressman's defense Friday night over criticism about Cassidy's part-time work at in the LSU health system.
Sen. Mary Landrieu demanded that Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, bring all of his time sheets to Monday night's debate on FOX 8, documenting the work he claimed to do as a doctor at LSU.
Landrieu spoke briefly with reporters during a conference call before leaving campaign aides to answer questions.
"I am calling on Congressman Cassidy to bring with him all 63 months of records to our debate on Monday night to explain the situation to put this to rest," she said.
In more than a dozen instances, Landrieu aides insist Cassidy was taking votes in Congress or sitting on committee while records show he was seeing patients at LSU.
"Now we know he's basically a fraud," said Ryan Bernie, Landrieu's campaign manager. "And he's potentially defrauding the taxpayers of this state who go to work every day to accept their paychecks of tens of thousands of dollars a year."
Cassidy, who was not available Friday, told FOX 8 on Wednesday that he would frequently work in the LSU clinic in the morning before flying to Washington in time for an early evening vote. Dr. George Karam, a colleague and Cassidy's former supervisor, came to his defense in an interview Friday night.
"Time sheets reflect only clinic work, not other work that doctors do," Karam said.
While LSU paid Cassidy $20,000 for a "20 percent effort," Karam estimates that probably put the congressman in the bottom five percent of compensation for gastroenterologists nationwide. Karam said time sheets reflect only work done in the clinic with no way to document the time doctors spend after hours, for instance, mentoring students.
"When you work with them during the day and you meet with them in the evenings beyond hours, there's no place for that to go," Karam said. "There's no way to reflect that on a time sheet."
The Landrieu campaign insists that upon his election to Congress, Cassidy agreed to document his LSU work. Landrieu aides say there is no evidence that was ever done.
The topic is certain to come up in the final debate on FOX 8 Monday night at 7 p.m.