Compensation Issues

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Former Wyckoff Heights Medical Center CFO Sues for Severance Pay

Wah-chung Hsu, former CFO of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, is suing the hospital for severance pay, according to a Queens Campaigner report.

Mr. Hsu, who currently works for Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., argued that he had nothing to do with the bribery scandal surrounding the late state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio and former Wyckoff CEO Dominick Gio, and the hospital was in breach of contract when it did not pay him severance after his firing, according to the report.

In June 2009, Mr. Seminerio admitted to accepting more than $300,000 in bribes from several state agencies, hospitals and organizations to work on behalf of their interests. He died in January 2011, serving the first year of a six-year prison sentence.

Federal prosecutors said Mr. Seminerio also took bribes from an account called "397 Himrod," which was owned by Wyckoff. Court documents found Mr. Gio had used funds from that account to pay Mr. Seminerio, according to the report.

Mr. Hsu was fired after news of the scandal broke, but he has contended he was not a part of the 397 Himrod account, nor did he know about it. At the time of his firing, Mr. Hsu had a $350,000 salary, and his contract guaranteed him 18 months severance unless he was terminated for "legal wrongdoing." County Judge Elaine Slobod granted partial summary judgment for Mr. Hsu, saying although "legal wrongdoing" was ambiguous, Mr. Hsu had no knowledge of the account nor its use for bribery.

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