Shake-up at embattled Broward Health

Taxpayer-assisted agency facing federal, state investigations

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE,, Fla. - Broward Health, the public health care system that runs five hospitals, including flagship Broward Health Medical Center, had a major shake-up Wednesday with a new CEO installed, a private investigator fired and its general counsel barely surviving a move to fire her but now facing an employment review.  

Facing FBI and state Office of Inspector General investigations along with the January suicide of its CEO, Nabil El Sanadi, the board of the health care system that receives about $150 million in tax dollars each year named Pauline Grant as its new interim CEO, replacing Kevin Fusco.

Terminated was private detective Wayne Black, whose work uncovered corruption at Broward Health and sparked those investigations,

Outside attorney Mitchell Berger, who was hired by Broward Health to coordinate the agency’s response to the investigations, characterized Black, who was hired by El Sanadi and board chair David DiPietro to look into allegations of corruption inside the district, as being uncontrollable.

Berger criticized Black, who is considered by many to be a whistleblower for turning over his findings of kickbacks and contractual irregularities over to FBI agents.

"That’s not what a private investigator is supposed to do," Berger said.  

Black told Local 10 News on Wednesday that he was only doing his job and that El Sanadi met with federal agents as well.

Black previously complained in an email to board members that Broward Health general counsel Lynn Barrett had obstructed federal agents from getting key information for their investigation, something Barrett has denied.

Barrett survived a 4-3 vote Wednesday to terminate her employment, but the board voted unanimously to put her employment on a 30-day performance review, which could also lead to her ouster.

Adding to Broward Health's problems, Moody's recently downgraded its credit rating and the OIG has requested additional records for its investigations, including personnel records for numerous high-level employees, including Barrett.

On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott suspended DiPietro from office and Committee Chairman Darryl Wright.

Click here to see Inspector General Melinda Miguel's interim report that was sent to the governor earlier in the day.

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