Ex-board member: Nashville General hid $150K contract with former councilman

Nashville (Tenn.) General Hospital Authority had a $150,000 contract with a consultant, who was a former Nashville councilman, that was "kept hidden" during the peak of the hospital's financial troubles, according to a letter from former Nashville General board member Michele Williams, MD, obtained by The Tennessean through an open records request.

Here are five things to know:

1. In the June 3 letter, Dr. Williams criticized Nashville General's contract with Jerry Maynard, a former Nashville councilman who was responsible for improving hospital relations with key community leaders, according to the report.

2. Dr. Williams questioned why the hospital needed a contract with Mr. Maynard when Nashville General was struggling financially and already had a contract with a public relations firm.  

"To have outside marketing when we can't give raises, or even afford payroll, is not to the best thing to do," Dr. Williams told The Tennessean.

3. Dr. Williams, who is one of five Nashville General board members who have resigned in recent months, told The Tennessean June 12 that board members were told about the contract with Mr. Maynard earlier this year, but she had never seen the contract and did not know what services Mr. Maynard performed to earn his pay from Nashville General, according to the report.

4. Mr. Maynard and Nashville General defended the agreement. They said Mr. Maynard's company provided several services to the hospital, including community outreach and public relations.

5. Although Mr. Maynard claims he did not lobby on behalf of the hospital, contracts and documents obtained by The Tennessean show a company owned by Mr. Maynard was paid to discuss the hospital with elected city officials and leaders in 2016 and 2017.

Access the full story from The Tennessean here.

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