Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Singing River report: No theft or embezzlement. Um, what about fraud?

The Sun-Herald reported that the Jackson County Board of Supervisors stated the problems with the Singing River Health Systems was some bad investments made by the pension fund.  Nobody took any money. Case closed. Now leave us alone.  The newspaper reported:

Jackson County leaders say they haven't found theft or embezzlement in their investigation of the Singing River Health System's failing pension plan.

The board of supervisors issued a news release Tuesday night. Board attorney Billy Guice said in the release that county leaders are trying to find a solution to the hospital's pension failure without a tax increase.

He also says the cost of defending the lawsuits over the plan is currently being paid by the hospital system's liability insurance carrier and not being charged to the trust.

Guice also said supervisors were not advised and had no knowledge that health system officials had decided to stop contributing to the pension fund after 2009.

Guice said a year before that big decision was made, the Employers' Retirement Plan and Trust reportedly suffered a 25 percent investment loss. He said there is no evidence that any Health System senior officer withdrew his or her individual contributions in anticipation of the failure of the Pension Trust..... Rest of article.

How convenient. However, the statement says nothing about fraud or creating fraudulent financial statements. Is the use of the words "embezzlement" or "theft" a red herring of sorts?  The newspaper's editorial board was none too please about this possible whitewash:

Once again, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors is trickling out bits of information without addressing the core issue at Singing River Health System.

That issue is, of course: What happened to the pension fund?

Before any remedies are considered, either criminal or civil, or any tax increase is levied to pay for a pension shortfall for that matter, we need to know what caused the plan to fail and who is responsible.

The investigation ordered by the supervisors, the same group ultimately responsible for overseeing SRHS and those running its pension plan, deemed there was no theft or embezzlement from the plan.

But that just begs the question as to what happened.

We know SRHS stopped making its contributions to the plan, even though it was required to make them. We know pension documents indicated payments were being made even though payments weren't being made.

We'd like to know what to call that -- but Billy Guice, the attorney who put out the latest press release for the Board of Supervisors -- isn't taking questions.  Rest of editorial.
Guice is being very disingenuous.   He said " supervisors were not advised and had no knowledge that health system officials had decided to stop contributing to the pension fund after 2009."  They were given the annual audits of Singing River every year.  The information stating the pension plan was severely underfunded was clearly stated in the audits.  They simply chose not to read them.  Nice try, Mr. Guice.

Earlier posts
The Singing River picture gets worse. CEO left after shortfall discovered.  

 Singing River to public: Screw you.
Singing River losses shrink.
Gulflive: Singing River under criminal investigation.
Singing River saga: Where do they live?
Supes to Trustees: Get out.
Sun-Herald calls out Board of Supervisors
 Singing River Saga Dec. 15: Supes make deal to see own records.
Singing River Saga Dec. 12: The court fights begin.
Singing River Saga Dec. 8: "Who knew what when" is the question.
Cartoon on Singing River
Singing River Saga, December 5: Judge freezes pension liquidation.
Adding more pieces to the Singing River puzzle
Singing River on December 3: Liquidate Pension Plan
Singing River Pension Disaster: No excuses
Singing River audit
Singing River: 23 days cash on hand, Supes want to question MBMC CEO

What the hell was going on at Singing River?


Anonymous said...

Supes (I believe Guice specifically) originally said they weren't given access to the detailed financials because of the hospital exemption under public record laws. You're right, KF, they did receive the audits. Boards of all kinds should pay very close attention to this case. There are protections for making bad decisions, but not for willful ignorance.

Sun Herald has, over the last several years, demonstrated that it is by far the best newspaper in the state.

Anonymous said...

What has been released by the high priced attorney, William Guice, is just more useless but important information. The JCBOS members are all just trying to dangle the carrot past election day. The voters in Jackson County are going to kick their arses to the curb over the allowed mismanagement of the SRHS.

Anonymous said...

Just a slightly flavor of Jackustan in operation down there.

Queen's english and keeping up appearances while the club covers up.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time , there was a savings and loan scandal.

It was shocking. An institution that was supposed to wisely and safely invest the money of others did not make wise investments or even try. They made investments to make money for themselves.

Laws were tightened , the people who did it were embarrassed but the embarrassment passed.

Then, everyone forgot about savings and loans.

It was argued that greed and selfishness were not bad human traits but the most motivating human traits and therefore good.

Laws were changed to make it easier to profit from the investments of the monies of others. Those who stood in the way of any sort of profit were no longer useful people. They wasted money instead of make money.

It was argued if some profited ,everyone profited. People saw that those who profited from the S&L scandal got to keep most of their profits and made more profits.

So those who managed banks and corporations did whatever was necessary to profit for themselves and shareholders .

Greed was good. It created jobs.

Wall Street no longer needed to let investors know whether new businesses or old businesses were solid investments, since they could make money from bad investments as well. After all, they created jobs too. So laws were changed to make this easier as well.

Pensions of workers were supposed to be wisely invested, but since the profit of management created the jobs, it was alright to make bad investments that would profit themselves and so then raiding the pensions was seen as good as well.

Politicians saw profit for themselves as a good thing. They also should profit and create jobs. Whatever is best for them is the best thing for the country as those who work are lucky to be working and contribute nothing of importance.

If bad decisions are made or the product is bad, no matter , managers and politicians are still to create jobs and profit.

It is even ok to profit from the deaths of others. Jonas Salk and Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were fools, polio vaccines and electric light bulbs should have only been for those who could afford them. They were clearly communists. Lee Iacocca thought a profit formula for making a car that would only kill poor people and young people( the car was cheap) when hit from the rear was good, and he was lauded and wrote a book on how to get rich.

Being rich was good. It created jobs. So doctors , lawyers and Indian Chiefs and even ministers followed suit. It wasn't their job to look after others but to make money and create jobs. Even drugs to save lives were to get more expensive not less expensive for as long as possible. If those who could not afford drugs to save their lives, died, so what?

Greed and profit is good. Even communists saw this and thought is was good, so now we call those who think that profit isn't everything and jobs that are created should last and make good product to make society better , liberals.

Those who were in sports saw that this was good. Cheating did not bad if it made profit.

Charities saw that they good create jobs by profiting so they joined in.

It does not matter if we poison our children's air or water or the food they eat or damage their bodies so they can be the best at a sport, it is the cost of doing business and chance to profit.

Liberals do not have faith in greed and profit as the best of humankind. They are foolish. They expect honesty and honor and products of quality and good service in return for fair pay. What fools!

Winning and becoming rich isn't just everything, they are the only things that matter. Don't they know that?

We cannot allow those who profited from misusing the money others and risking the lives of others to be punished. They are our real heroes.

Anonymous said...

You know things are getting serious when, with the exCFO for the hospital system appearing before a grand jury on the first floor of the courthouse, Chris Anderson sends attorney Jeffrey Blackwood down from Jackson to make an appearance on his behalf on the second floor. Is Anderson now a target of the investigation? Also of note former legal counsel for the SRHS, Roy Williams, has hired high octane criminal defense lawyer Joe Sam Owen to defend him. He was one of the 30+ lawyers now involved in this case who spent the day at the Jackson County Courthouse, on Friday, in front of appointed Judge Breland Hilburn. This is going to be quite a show.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a statement to media by someone connected to the SRHS mess that they thought the grand jury proceedings DID NOT have to do with the pension plan? I can't find that now.

I also noticed yesterday that it was said that Charles Bordis is o longer with Dogan Wilkinson

Srhs Hopes
13 hrs ·

So while court was going on and Grand jury was being held Chuck Bordis, former Jackson County Chancery Judge, sent a friendly email stating he is resigning from Dogan & Wilkerson, the firm that represents SRHS. The reason stated is he is opening his own private practice.

Another internet posting from a few months ago at another blog. Without vouching for the contents I can say it makes for some interesting reading.

FooBar T. "Whizzer" Marshall March 11, 2015 at March 11, 2015

It’s not JUST the election of judges, it’s the voters and what it takes to get elected. A couple of examples are the Mike Randolph campaigns and the chancery mess entwined with the Singing River mess in Jackson County. For those that don’t know, Charles Bordis was one of three chancellors in the district. He began an affair with an attorney’s wife, who then ran against him. Bordis dropped out and is (or was – don’t know the status of the suit) the Defendant in an alienation of affection suit by his opponent, who won and is now a chancellor. Meanwhile, the hospital’s longtime law firm, Dogan and Wilkinson, makes Bordis a partner who winds up arguing part of the hospital mess. Mean-meanwhile, several of the partners at Dogan and Wilkinson attempted to get another chancellor replaced by their own candidate. The candidate, with D & W’s help, comes within a curly red one of winning. So, mean-mean-meanwhile, when the hospital gets sued for mismanagement of its pension and the mess winds up (after recusals by the third chancellor for “ex parte communications” and the new one for unspecified, but pretty obvious reasons) in front of the barely-re-elected chancellor, D & W is attempting to get HIM recused ...
Go to TBA for the rest https://thusbloggedanderson.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/as-the-weill-turns-more-on-the-public-defender-mess/#comment-14643

Anonymous said...

"Guice is being very disingenuous. He said " supervisors were not advised and had no knowledge that health system officials had decided to stop contributing to the pension fund after 2009." They were given the annual audits of Singing River every year. The information stating the pension plan was severely underfunded was clearly stated in the audits. They simply chose not to read them. Nice try, Mr. Guice."

Couldn't the supervisors claim that they were given the annual audits but that when they tried to read them they couldn't understand them? It's not like they are experts in finance.

Anonymous said...

1:27-The supervisors have already publically claimed "ignorance" as a defense but I suggest they also use can't delegate. Jackson County has a Comptroller who is CPA and once worked as an senior auditor at the Ms. Office of State Auditor for six years. Maybe he cannot read a financial statement either. Guice is being paid to help them get re-elected by prolonging the release of any negative info past the primary date.

Anonymous said...

TBA is correct about the two judges doing battle over a woman. Bordis had an affair with his court reporter, who just happened to be his fellow judge's wife. Bordis left his wife and kids.The other judge, Michael Fondren, received a divorced from his wife. The alienation of affection lawsuit was still active the last time I checked. I am sad to see Bordis leave the law firm of Dogan and Wilkinson because I thought he fit right in. I guess they can't stand any more negatives at the firm for people to be made aware of. Hell, they just shed themselves of Roy Williams.

Anonymous said...

I'd make some reference to trailer parks, but these folks all

Anonymous said...

Hey K.F. check out the allegations in this filing.

Video on WXXV apparently.

More at SRHS Watch.

Anonymous said...

Video clip aired on WXXV


Anonymous said...

Longer video here. Skip and watch at about -2:40.


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