IRS investigates former MetroHealth executive

The Internal Revenue Service is participating in a criminal investigation into a former executive of Cleveland-based MetroHealth System for what the health system describes as "possible irregularities in the department of oral health and dentistry," according to a report.

An IRS spokesman confirmed IRS and FBI agents searched the home of Edward Hills, DDS, and three businesses affiliated with him, according to the report. The spokesman declined to discuss the case further.

MetroHealth confirmed Dr. Hills, who served as MetroHealth System's COO from 2010 to 2014, was the subject of a probe after the hospital informed federal investigators of potential wrongdoing.

The hospital said in a statement Sept. 29 that Dr. Hills left his post in December 2014 as part of an "organizational restructuring" but declined to give additional details.

Dr. Hills also served as the hospital's interim CEO for six months before current President and CEO Akram Boutros was appointed. Dr. Hills previously served on the Ohio State Dental Board for nine years. The state dental board said Dr. Hills has no disciplinary history, according to the report.

The current investigation is the latest case involving MetroHealth executives. In 2011, Thomas Greco, MetroHealth Medical Center's former construction manager, was sentenced to more than nine years in prison after being found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for helping East-West Construction win business with the county-funded hospital, according to the report. That same year, John Carroll, MetroHealth's top building official, pleaded guilty to bribery and other crimes for his involvement in the same deal. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and was ordered to pay $728,000 in restitution.

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