Ex-CFO of troubled Florida hospital files lawsuit over CEO's harassment, threats

The former CFO of Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Fla., has filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit against the hospital's board, claiming members did nothing to stop harassment and threats from the hospital's former administrator.

Haley Green began serving as Calhoun Liberty's CFO in October 2008. In her lawsuit filed Tuesday, she alleges Phillip Hill, the hospital's former CEO and administrator, stole funds from the hospital when he was Emergency Medical Services director and threatened her job if she didn't go along with his illegal scheme.

The hospital appointed Mr. Hill as director of EMS in 2009. In violation of the hospital's bylaws, the board granted Mr. Hill sole authority to write checks on behalf of the EMS program, according to Ms. Green's lawsuit. This created a conflict of interest because Mr. Hill was the person responsible for writing checks on behalf of the EMS department, and he was also responsible for the oversight of those expenditures. In essence, Mr. Hill was given "carte blanche to bless his own fraudulent behavior," according to the lawsuit.

With no oversight on his spending, Ms. Green claims Mr. Hill began to steal liberally from the EMS program's funding, and he even set up a medical supply company to double and triple charge the program for supplies.

On three different occasions, Mr. Hill allegedly brought checks in the amount of $20,000 to Ms. Green for her approval. The checks were made out to Mr. Hill and signed by Mr. Hill, and he claimed they were for equipment he had purchased for the EMS program on his personal credit card. When Ms. Green told Mr. Hill his actions violated hospital policy he threatened her employment.

Ms. Green subsequently took charge of reviewing the EMS program's financials, and she discovered a number of suspicious expenditures. When Mr. Hill lied to her about the purchases, Ms. Green began investigating him. At that point, Mr. Hill "increased the level of harassment" against Ms. Green, according to the lawsuit.

When the fraud and harassment was reported to the hospital board, the board took no action.

Ms. Green claims she subsequently resigned from her position at Calhoun Liberty when the harassment and threats from Mr. Hill did not subside.

However, the inquiry into Mr. Hill did not end when Ms. Green left the hospital. Mr. Hill resigned as Calhoun Liberty's CEO and administrator about six months ago, and the current administration is accusing him of defrauding the hospital of more than $1 million over a six-year period.

The allegations against the former CEO are the latest in a series of troubles at Calhoun Liberty. Last December, a 57-year-old woman died after being forcibly removed by police from the hospital. In February, the Agency for Health Care Administration uncovered 10 deficiencies at the hospital, including issues with its emergency services and risk management program.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

NJ physician allegedly took bribes in $100M fraud scheme
Emory hospital reports massive drug theft scheme
Missouri hospital to pay physician $751k in wrongful termination suit

 

 

 

 

 

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