Craig Richmond has resigned as MetroHealth’s executive vice president and chief financial and system services officer, effective immediately, the health system’s CEO Airica Steed announced in a memo to staff on Wednesday, March 1.
It’s the latest exit from MetroHealth’s leadership since the system’s board of trustees fired Dr. Akram Boutros, former president and CEO, citing more than $1.9 million in bonuses that the board says were unauthorized. Boutros maintains he had that authority and has filed multiple lawsuits against his former employer.
Related: MetroHealth issues response to ousted CEO’s 2nd lawsuit
It’s unclear whether Richmond’s resignation is related to the bonus controversy.
In one of its court filings, MetroHealth states Richmond and Boutros were the only two employees who knew Boutros was awarding himself bonuses through the disputed “Supplemental PBVC program” (Performance Based Variable Compensation). This was in response to Boutros’ claim that all senior leadership at MetroHealth attended meetings to discuss these awards, and were aware of and participated in the program.
“Defendants deny, based on the information now available to them, that any employee other than Dr. Boutros and the Chief Financial Officer was aware that Dr. Boutros himself was receiving compensation through the Supplemental PBVC program,” MetroHealth stated in its answer to Boutros’ lawsuit, which alleged defamation of character, wrongful termination and breach of contract.
Asked for comment, a MetroHealth spokesperson said the system stands by its filed response.
This lawsuit is still before the courts, as is another complaint in which Boutros alleges that his termination was retaliatory for raising concerns about board’s conduct in hiring his successor, including alleged open meetings law violations.
A third legal challenge, which he filed as an administrative appeal to his firing, was dismissed last month.
Richmond had served as CFO since 2014. In her memo, Steed thanked Richmond for his service to MetroHealth and the community.
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“During his tenure as CFO, MetroHealth doubled its revenue, secured financing for our ongoing campus transformation, and expanded services to patients across our community. In addition, Craig enhanced information technology and supply chain operations and played a central role in helping the System effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Steed wrote. “I also want to personally recognize his leadership and support over the last several months as I joined the MetroHealth team, which has not gone unrecognized. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Richmond’s departure follows that of Jane Platten, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, who left at the end of last year.
Trustee Terry Monnolly resigned from the board after Boutros was fired. In his resignation letter, Monnolly cited health concerns and wrote, “It is my belief that the board had authorized Dr. Boutros to take all actions that he took.”
Geoff Himes, MetroHealth’s former vice president of finance, will return from retirement to serve as interim CFO beginning Monday, March 6. His responsibilities will include all accounting and finance areas, including revenue cycle, analytics/reporting and supply chain.
“Geoff retired from his role as Vice President of Finance and #2 to the CFO at MetroHealth in 2022 and has decades of experience as a senior health care finance executive,” Steed wrote in the memo. “He has the organizational knowledge and the expertise to ensure a smooth transition that will help us maintain financial health and meet the needs of our patients and communities.”
MetroHealth will launch a national search for a permanent executive vice president/chief financial officer, according to the memo.
This story first appeared in Crain’s Cleveland Business.
Source : Modern Healthcare