Update: Current hospital CEO comments on misuse of funds - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Update: Current hospital CEO comments on misuse of funds

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TALLULAH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Tuesday Madison Parish Hospital CEO Scott Barrilleaux issued a statement regarding the audit and the allegations against former CEO Wendell Alford.

"We at Madison Parish Hospital were disappointed to discover the financial misconduct of the former administration and others. With new management and Board of Trustees, we are committed to correcting all of the issues highlighted in the Investigative Audit Report and we are doing everything needed to comply with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, Board of Ethics and all authorities governing service district hospitals."

"Madison Parish Hospital, as this regions medical center, is committed to providing the highest quality health care services to the people of our region. We will do what is required to improve our hospital and make it even better for our patients and community.  We understand our role in providing access to high quality health care services and the economic importance of Madison Parish Hospital for all stakeholders. We will be successful by focusing our attention on quality health care services and aligning our efforts with the needs of our patients/customers."

Previous Report:

TALLULAH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - For much of 2012 Madison Parish Hospital's internal operations were under the microscope of state auditors.; And, today the results of their probe are revealed. Auditors attribute much of the fraud and fund misuse they have uncovered to former hospital CEO Wendell Alford.

Since April of 2012 auditors have set up shop at the hospital. Originally, the auditors were investigating allegations that the hospital misused public money to buy multiple life insurance policies for employees and commissioners. But, what they found, detailed in a thirty page audit report, was much more than initially thought.

Auditors made 13 findings, detailing money mis-management and mis-appropriation, most of which happened on the administration level. The probe found former hospital CEO Wendell Alford, who resigned amid the investigation, participated in schemes to put millions of public dollars in his pocket.

Over the course of six years, Alford allegedly arranged to have a contractor and insurance agents over bill the hospital and split the proceeds. On top of that the hospital administrator also received $60,000 more dollars in wages than his contracted rate.

Between 2008 and 2012, Alford allegedly charged more than $70,000 worth of personal expenses, including more than $13,000.00 his daughter's wedding and $6,000.00 dollars worth of plane tickets gifted to a former board chair and commissioner. He also received mileage reimbursements and travel advance payments worth up to $20,000.

Auditors also say;Alford received free landscaping services from the hospital landscaper, possibly violating a state ethics code.

Hospital service district board chairman Thomas Williams says the mess left by the former administration is in the clean up process. "We think we have a handle on things, we know that we're moving in the right direction and we are following the advice of the experts".

Williams says the board has hired an external auditor and compliance firm to help put stricter policies in place, but adds its also up to the board to make sure this type of situation doesn't happen again. "Had they been looking at the reports, the financial documents earlier, some of this would have been detected. this is a message to everyone, if you serve on a board be concerned, if your not, just don't serve," said Williams.

Five other findings deal with possible state ethic law violations and misuse of public funds. The last finding dealt with a possible open meetings law violation of the board of commissioners.

The report is now in the hands of the United States Attorney, the Madison Parish District Attorney, and the Louisiana Board of Ethics.

To read the full audit click here.

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