Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Whidbey hospital won't share information

To the editor:

During May’s Whidbey General Hospital Board meeting Commissioner Wallin proposed re-evaluating a bond for new hospital construction. He spoke about sharing information with the public because the public wants facts and figures. But can we trust him? A recent U.S. Department of Labor report detailed their investigation of WGH’s long-term employee overtime underpayments. Their findings:

Initial violations occurred 2006 to January 2011.

Violations continued with the new ADP system from 2/13/11 to 8/27/11.

Violations were classified as willful because the underpayments continued 18 months after the hospital (human resource officer) was notified of the problem in July and September 2009.

The human resource and chief financial officers explained that they knew the overtime had not been calculated correctly. Both resigned.

When the Department of Labor investigation started in January 2012 the overtime underpayments had still not been calculated.

This May the state auditor released their investigation: $257,981 in overtime back-payments were paid to employees. Hospital records document almost $95,000 paid to a law firm to handle the overtime issues. These unbudgeted payments contributed to the hospital’s $2.2 million loss in 2012, a trend spanning CEO Tomasino’s tenure.

So where was Commissioner Wallin’s information sharing during this debacle? Again we have an example of deceptive and incompetent WGH leadership. I want health care facilities to remain on Whidbey Island but will not vote for a bond until there is competent and honest hospital leadership.

Tom Leahy



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