Florida governor suspends Broward Health chairman

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Friday suspended Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based North Broward Hospital District Board Chairman David Di Pietro and board member Darryl Wright, who served as chairman of the board's audit committee, according to Health News Florida.

In issuing two executive orders, Gov. Scott cited a detailed letter from Melinda Miguel, chief inspector general, as well as concerns Mr. Di Pietro and Mr. Wright have been interfering with Ms. Miguel's investigation of possible wrongdoing at the district.

"The attached letter [from Miguel] reports past and ongoing conduct in violation of the non-interference clause, which constitutes malfeasance and threatens the integrity of the chief inspector general's investigation into allegations of fraud, waste and abuse within the North Broward Hospital District," the executive orders said, Health News Florida reported.

In a Jan. 29 letter to Mr. Di Pietro, Ms. Miguel stated she planned to conduct an investigation of every contract Broward Health had entered into since July 1, 2012 to "determine any possible improprieties or inappropriate actions" associated with the contracts, according to the report.

Gov. Scott's decision to suspend Mr. Di Pietro and Mr. Wright comes after the Florida Attorney General's office demanded Broward Health pay more than $5.3 million to settle alleged violations of Stark Law and Florida's Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.

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