(WASHINGTON) — The health care think tank founded by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Center for Health Transformation, headed by chairman Nancy Desmond filed for bankruptcy in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Gingrich sold his share of the CHT and Gingrich Group to the CHT on May 10, 2011 and relinquished any legal connection with them.
CHT is described on the website as “a high-impact collaboration of private and public sector leaders committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for all Americans.” Gingrich founded Gingrich Holdings with other partners, the umbrella under which CHT operated.
One source familiar with the group told ABC News that the bankruptcy was “not surprising.” “In reality,” said this source, the group was “a personal service deal, companies paid for him, when there was no more him, no more company.”
Gingrich’s legal counsel Stefan Passantino told ABC News that the bankruptcy should show the public how vital Gingrich’s leadership was to the center.
“This shows how integral his leadership is to the organization, people were paying money to be in the room with Newt to think through policy solutions. When he could no longer be in the room because of campaign finance laws, it doesn’t say anything negative but rather something positive about his leadership and shows how integral his leadership really is,” Passantino said.
Passantino said bankruptcy will have no impact on Gingrich’s candidacy for president.
“This clearly has no negative impact on his ability to campaign on a process or technical stand point. It shouldn’t be viewed as weakening his candidacy, in no way does it show his inability to govern,” Passantino said.
Gingrich’s former communications director, Rick Tyler, now a part of the Super PAC supporting Gingrich, Winning Our Future, echoed Passantino’s sentiment to ABC News.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio