Racine calls for independent FAHC investigation

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(Host) Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine is calling for an independent state investigation into allegations that some executives at the Fletcher Allen Medical Center deliberately misled state officials about the cost of their new $50 million parking garage. A former financial officer at Fletcher Allen has testified under oath that hospital management urged him to find a way to keep the cost of the garage off of the hospital’s books.

Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Racine said it’s critical for Banking and Insurance Commissioner Elizabeth Costle to conduct her own investigation into these allegations:

(Racine) “The allegations are very serious. If those allegations are true, then somebody has to be held accountable. This is a very serious situation. The top executives at Fletcher Allen know what the rules are and from what I’ve read and from what I’ve heard and reading through and understanding the allegations made by the former financial officer in a sworn deposition, it seems pretty apparent that Fletcher Allen executives tried to end run the system ¿ both on the garage and on a $9 million computer contract.”

(Host) There are indications that some Fletcher Allen board members were aware of the efforts to deceive state regulators. Racine says anyone who participated in the deception should be held accountable, if the allegations are proven to be true:

(Racine) “I hope that that board will recognize the serious nature of this problem and will do whatever is necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and to make sure that anybody involved¿. And if there are members of the board who were involved, they too need to be held accountable. And that means that maybe some people will no longer have a position that they hold today.”

(Host) A special committee of Fletcher Allen board members is expected to meet later today to begin their own review of this issue.

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