Former Broward Health executive says he was fired for reporting noncompliance

Broward Health's former compliance director claims he was fired for bringing attention to illegal activities at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based public health system, according to a Sun Sentinel report.

Mike Pelaez began his role as compliance director at Broward last October. He immediately became aware of various illegal activities at the health system, including its failure to comply with a $69.5 million settlement agreement with the federal government, according to a Feb. 12 letter from Mr. Pelaez's lawyer to Broward Health.

The agreement required the health system to put new policies and procedures in place to ensure physicians and other employees comply with the law, but Mr. Pelaez claims that didn't happen. "These flagrant and continuous violations pose a substantial danger to public health and are a direct result of the serious mismanagement and malfeasance by Broward Health's upper management and its employees," states the letter from Mr. Pelaez's lawyer. The letter did not provide any specific examples of illegal activity, according to the report.

Mr. Pelaez said he informed Broward Health's late president and CEO Nabil El Sanadi, MD, about the suspected illegal acts, and Dr. El-Sanadi was extremely supportive and agreed to protect Mr. Pelaez from those at Broward who were engaging in the conduct. However, the health system terminated Mr. Pelaez's employment without notice Dec. 18.

In his letter to Broward Health, Mr. Pelaez seeks reinstatement and at least $307,830.

David Di Pietro, chairman of Broward Health's board, told the Sun Sentinel that a special counsel would be appointed to investigate the allegations.

Mr. Pelaez's allegations against the health system come at a turbulent time for Broward. The system was thrown into the spotlight in January when Dr. El Sanadi was found dead in his condominium from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Subsequently, a private investigator came forward, claiming Dr. El Sanadi had hired him last spring for an investigation into Broward that led to FBI involvement.

More articles on Broward Health:

Broward Health CEO dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound
3 execs with Broward Health ties going after health district CEO position: 5 things to know
Broward Health board votes to keep meeting on FBI investigation private

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars