By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
Former chief executive of Broward Health has reached an uncertain authorized payment after being hastily fired for alleged indictments involving kickbacks.
Pauline Grant, a longtime executive who was as it appears to have been wrongly terminated, will find out if she will receive payment of more than $900,000. Grant was exiled by the district’s general counsel of whom she had conflict with even before the kickbacks investigation.
The kickbacks charges, which were never substantiated in court, were tangled with distributing work illegally to orthopedic surgeons, a part of Grant’s former job when she over saw the operations of one of the system’s hospitals. Surgeons were alleged to be preferred should they make conditions suitable for the system to get referrals. Grant vehemently denied any involvement in such an illegal arrangement.
Broward Health executives said Friday that the amount of the settlement was less than $1 million and more than $500,000, saying they didn’t want to be more specific until the board meeting. But Grant’s lawyer, Eugene Pettis, said the proposed payment totaled more proposed payment totaled more than $900,000.
“Pauline is very pleased that she has been treated equitably in the litigation,” Pettis said. “It brings closure to a dark chapter in the district’s history in the way Pauline was treated. We’re glad new leadership stepped in and did the right thing.”
Andrew Klein, chairman of Broward Health’s board, said “I am very pleased that a settlement has been reached with former Broward Health CEO Pauline Grant, which settlement will come to the Board for approval July 31st. I support this settlement, which brings appropriate, long-overdue and mutually beneficial closure for Ms. Grant and Broward Health. I appreciate Ms. Grant’s decades of service to Broward Health and the community we serve.”
At the time of Grant’s firing the hospital district went through concentrated confusion and chaos.
The reputation of the system hit bottom as several board members and general counsel Lynn Barrett were involve in a grand jury indicted over alleged violations, while a series of interim chief executives can and went as confidence in the health the system waivered.
This was not the first time that the district has faced lawsuits. A previous federal investigation, completed while the district was under different leadership, led to a $69.5 million fine.
Community supporters feel that Ms. Grant was wrongly mistreated and that the leadership of the new chairman Andrew Klein and his executive communitive might see that she was wrongfully accused.
There are those who question what appeared to be that Ms. Grant was a purposeful target in a system that was racist towards honorable African-American females.
Now, because of the forthcoming actions of the new board this may show that the healthcare system and its current leadership are moving in the right direction by strengthening some major issues.
Former interim general counsel for Broward Health and now an outside lawyer for the system Gabriel Imperato, stated, “we certainly don’t want to be in a situation where we’re cross-examining her and trying to establish that she created a kickback violation,” “That’s like shooting yourself in the foot.”