Thursday, May 31, 2018, 11:00 am
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office has issued an official opinion that the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board of Trustees has not been appointed according to state law.
The opinion, dated April 20, 2018, was issued in response to a request by Greenwood City Attorney Don Brock Jr.
According to Mississippi Code Section 41-13-29, the trustees of the Board governing a community hospital "shall be appointed by the respective owners on a pro rata basis comparable to the ownership interests in the community hospital."
Greenwood Leflore Hospital is owned equally by Leflore County and the City of Greenwood. Thus, according to state law, the city and county must each appoint an equal number of trustees.
But for decades, the county has appointed three trustees, and the city has appointed two. The AG opinion states that this is contrary to state law.
The opinion may be seen here: A.G. Opinion re: Hospital Board Appointments.
City officials have grown increasingly worried about the Leflore County Board of Supervisors' ability to appoint a majority of the Board of Trustees, effectively controlling the future and direction of the hospital.
The issue came up because of the management failures that have become evident in the operation of the hospital. City and county officials have clashed over the hospital's leadership, as well as public criticism of the Hospital Board members' refusal to consult with or listen to the concerns of the hospital staff physicians.
Last year, GLH lost $22 million dollars, and is on track to lose another $8 to $10 million dollars this year. Meanwhile, over $1 million has been spent bringing in outside consultants to try to save the hospital.
And in a move that bitterly split the Hospital Trustees and shocked the community, on March 20, 2018, the Hospital Board fired CEO Jim Jackson on a three to two vote. The Taxpayers Channel's story and video may be seen here: NEWS FLASH: Hospital Board fires CEO Jim Jackson.
The Attorney General's Opinion states that, according to state law, the city and county shall each appoint two trustees, with the fifth trustee "agreed to and appointed by both governing authorities."
At its meeting last Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the Board of Supervisors discussed the AG Opinion with Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams, and City Council members David Jordan, Lisa Cookston, and Johnny Jennings. The discussion took place in executive session, excluding the press and members of the public who were attending the meeting. No action was announced by the Board at that meeting.
Presently, the Hospital Board of Trustees is operating with only four members, two appointed by the city and two by the county, because the third county appointee, Larry Griggs, declined to serve another term.
John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel