MetroHealth CEO bonus controversy prompts increased scrutiny from county executive

Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne said he is increasingly monitoring Cleveland-based MetroHealth after the organization's board of trustees fired former President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, for allegedly authorizing more than $1.9 million in supplemental bonuses for himself without disclosure to the board, according to Dr. Boutros alleges board retaliation and denies wrongdoing. 

MetroHealth fired Dr. Boutros in November after law firm Tucker Ellis conducted an initial investigation. Tucker Ellis retained national accounting firm BDO to perform the recently released audit, which reviewed policies, practices and issues related to bonuses paid to Dr. Boutros. 

The audit commissioned by MetroHealth found, among other things, that Dr. Boutros concealed bonuses from the board. Jason Bristol, an attorney for Dr. Boutros, has disputed findings in the audit, saying that the MetroHealth board approved the bonus program and knew the CEO was included in the program. 

Now, Mr. Ronayne said he plans to sit down with hospital leadership to discuss the audit, according to

According to the publication, he said his other steps include asking a senior adviser to attend MetroHealth board meetings, as well as seeking people with finance and accounting expertise to fill three MetroHealth board seats that are or will be vacant soon.

The state auditor's office is also currently investigating the matter, at the request of Mr. Ronayne and other county officials. 

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