Nashville General accused of concealing federal bailout funds during budget talks

The Metro Nashville finance director is accusing Nashville (Tenn.) General Hospital of concealing $9.4 million in federal grants so the funds wouldn't be considered during budget talks, according to the Nashville Tennessean.

The hospital received the funds, which were allocated by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, to help offset losses and higher expenses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Metro Nashville Finance Director Kevin Crumbo alleges the hospital intentionally didn't disclose the funds. 

"It is well-known that the Metro Council's deliberations addressed significant controversies pertaining to revenues and spending due to Metro's long standing financial challenges and the recent impact of the spring storms and ongoing pandemic," Mr. Crumbo wrote in an email to the hospital's oversight board, according to the report. "I don't know if knowledge of this receipt would have influenced the outcome of those deliberations, but NGH's actions denied Metro Finance and elected officials the opportunity to consider it."

Nashville General CFO Bruce Naremore called the allegations "inflammatory" and denied any wrongdoing. 

"I've been doing this too long, not just at this hospital but at others, to do something as unsavory as the finance director suggested," Mr. Naremore wrote in a response to board members. "There is no way in heck I would do what he is suggesting in this letter."

Mr. Naremore said the funds were received June 15, the day before the budget vote. He said the funds were placed in an investment account and "clearly presented" to city officials during a meeting this week. 

Read the full report here

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