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The state Department of Health is investigating the boards of MediSys and Flushing, Jamaica and Brookdale hospitals in connection with their decision last week to fire former President and Chief Executive Officer David Rosen, who was indicted on bribery conspiracy charges earlier this month involving three state legislators.
Claudia Hutton, a DOH spokeswoman, said the agency sent letters to the boards of trustees of the four organizations and wants to meet “face to face” with them. One of the questions being asked is why did they wait until last week to fire Rosen when it came out three years ago that Jamaica Hospital paid $390,000 in bribes to then-Richmond Hill state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, she said.
A Jamaica Hospital spokesman said Tuesday the hospital had not received any information from the state about an investigation and had no immediate comment.
But in speaking about Rosen last week, a hospital spokesman said the board was advised in 2009 by the DOH about what was only an investigation at that time and were awaiting a resolution to the case before taking action on Rosen.
When Rosen was indicted March 11, the board removed Rosen four days later.
Seminerio died in a North Carolina prison, where he was incarcerated after pleading guilty to corruption charges earlier this year.
According to charges unveiled by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara two weeks ago, Rosen bribed Seminerio and state Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) to sway the legislators to lobby for Jamaica Hospital’s bid to acquire two Caritas hospitals: Mary Immaculate in Jamaica and St. John’s in Elmhurst.
Rosen also allegedly gave Assemblyman Thomas Boyland Jr. (D-Brooklyn) — a former MediSys employee — a no-show consulting job worth $3,000 a month when he left the company for Albany in 2003, according to the criminal complaint.
Rosen’s attorney, Robert Morvillo, declined to speak about the allegations.
“I can’t get into the facts of the case because it’s a litigated matter,” he said.
The former Jamaica Hospital executive was terminated last week and replaced by Bruce Flanz, who previously served as the hospital’s chief operating officer.
Since 1999 to 2008, Flanz donated $6,500 to Seminerio’s campaigns, according to campaign finance records, which also showed Rosen gave $10,000 to the late lawmaker during that span.
The state Office of the Medicaid Inspector General said it would not confirm or deny whether the office is also investigating the boards, which was reported Monday by Crain’s New York Business.
OMIG spokeswoman Wanda Fischer said questions about the boards’ firing of Rosen may be done under a compliance review, but she could not say whether such a review, which determines if boards are following state regulations, have compliance plans in place and stress the roles of boards in a hospital’s day-to-day operations, is taking place.
Fischer did say that the office is “currently looking at the [U.S. attorney’s] complaint against David Rosen to see if it would warrant exclusion” from his participating in Medicaid programs across the country, should he land a job.
The exclusion would mean Rosen would not be able to be paid from any Medicaid funding sources, Fischer said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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