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Scott Suspends Broward Hospital Board Members Amid Probe

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Broward Health
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday suspended two board members, including the chairman, of the North Broward Hospital District because of concerns about interference in an inspector general's investigation of possible wrongdoing at the district.

Scott suspended board Chairman David Di Pietro and board member Darryl Wright, who has been chairman of the board's Audit Committee. In issuing two executive orders, Scott pointed to a detailed letter from his chief inspector general, Melinda Miguel, and concerns about the board members overstepping their roles and improperly interfering with the investigation.

"The attached letter (from Miguel) reports past and ongoing conduct in violation of the non-interference clause, which constitutes malfeasance and threatens the integrity of the chief inspector general's investigation into allegations of fraud, waste and abuse within the North Broward Hospital District," the executive orders said.

Miguel wrote to Di Pietro on Jan. 29 informing him that she planned to conduct an investigation of every contract that the hospital district, commonly known as Broward Health, had entered into since July 1, 2012. She wrote that the purpose was to "determine any possible improprieties or inappropriate actions" associated with the contracts, according to a copy of the letter released Friday.

This announcement follows a letter demanding the Broward Health pay $5.3 million to settle Medicaid fraud claims. The Florida Bulldog reports that Attorney General Pam Bondi sent a letter to the hospital on March 10, and asks for money above the $69.5 million that the hospital system was ordered to the federal government last summer.