Minnesota hospital board member removed by city council

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City council members in Appleton, Minn., have removed a member of the city-owned healthcare system's board of directors, the West Central Tribune reported.

Warren Rau was removed from the Appleton Area Health board of directors June 10. 

The council's decision was based on Mayor Dan Tosel's allegations that Mr. Rau created a hostile environment with city administrator Willie Morales; rejected legal advice from city attorney Danielle Olson; published a letter to the editor that did not represent the board; and misrepresented what the hospital board wanted to  city officials, according to the report.

Mr. Rau and his attorney, Brian Wojtalewicz, denied the mayor's allegations before a council vote to remove Mr. Rau June 10. The accusations against Mr. Rau were from the city administrator, Mr.  Wojtalewicz told council members, according to the Tribune.

"The hidden, overarching motive is simply this: Warren Rau refused to lay down to the attempts by Mr. Morales to wrongfully micromanage and exert power in an area where Mr. Morales was not competent: healthcare finance and administration of a healthcare institution," he said, according to the newspaper.

Council member Gary Borstad told the Tribune he voted in good conscience. 

Mr. Morales told Becker's June 14 that he had no comment about the removal of Mr. Rau. Appleton Area Health also had no comment.

According to the Tribune, problems between the city and Appleton Area Health came to light more than a year ago after a city council decision to transfer financial responsibility for the ambulance system to the hospital. 

Appleton Area Health includes a 15-bed critical access hospital, 50-bed skilled nursing facility, medical clinic, and 31 independent senior apartments.

Read the full Tribune article here

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