Lawyer bills NY hospital for representing fired board chair

The Massena, N.Y., town supervisor and Massena Memorial Hospital officials disagree over who should pay the legal bills for former board chair Susan Bellor, who was dismissed after just three days on the job, according to Watertown Daily Times, a local newspaper.

Ms. Bellor told the newspaper she was "removed without due process," so the hospital's CEO and board hired a lawyer, Bob Germain, to represent her. Mr. Germain's firm billed the hospital board a total of $5,000 for the legal work he performed for Ms. Bellor.

Massena's town supervisor, Steven O'Shaughnessy, said the town board noticed the charge when reviewing hospital accounts payable. He said Ms. Bellor is financially responsible for the invoice.

"As I'm sure you're aware, it would be totally inappropriate for the Town to pay for legal services to sue the Town," Mr. O'Shaughnessy wrote in a letter to Ms. Bellor obtained by the Watertown Daily times. "Please take care of this bill promptly."

Ms. Bellor was dismissed in January from the hospital board for failing to improve the hospital's finances and hire a capable management team, according to the report.

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