A group of Wrangell residents are petitioning for the recall of eight hospital board members, who sit on Wrangell Medical Center’s Board of Directors.
On March 29th a group of 14 Wrangell residents filed petition applications for the recall of eight out of the nine board members who sit on the city-owned hospital board. The recall petitions were approved March 30th by Wrangell’s city clerk.
According to the borough’s municipal code, grounds for a recall are misconduct in office, incompetence, or failure to perform prescribed duties. Specific petition charges supporting the recall state:
1. Wrangell Medical Center board members violated Wrangell Municipal code 3.32.030 Hospital Board liaison on August 17th, 2011 when the WMC board of directors prohibited the Borough Assembly Liaison from participating in the executive session.
2. Wrangell Medical Center board members violated Wrangell Municipal Code 3.32.20 Property Management- Purchasing powers when the WMC board of directors authorized the hospital administrator to enter into contracts with Innovative Capital for financing and American Health facilities development for construction of a Borough-owned building.
3. Wrangell Medical Center board members violated Wrangell Municipal Code 3.04.112 Conflict of interest when the WMC board of directors knowingly allowed a member of the board, whose “Immediate family member” has a substantial financial interest in the outcome of legal action this immediate family member is taking against a particular physician, to participate in discussions and actions pertaining to approving the privileging of said physician at Wrangell Medical Center.
The petitioned board members are Jim Nelson, Linda Bjorge, Lurine McGee, Sylvia Ettefaugh , Jake Harris, Dee Norman, LeAnn Rinehart, and Hospital Board Chairman Mark Robinson. Three of the members’ terms expire in October and according to city code, this gives sponsors of the petitions until Thursday April 5th to gather signatures for those board members, which include Rinehart, Norman, and McGee.
For the remaining five recall petitions, petitioners have 60 days to gather 94 signatures per board member. Hospital Board Chairman Mark Robinson did not return phone calls in time for this report’s deadline. At this time sponsors of the recall petitions are working to collect signatures.