Former BMH Employee Questions Business Practices
Updated On: May 18 2012 08:39:01 AM CDT
Since we reported on the outside business dealings of administrators at Bingham Memorial Hospital, our newsroom has been flooded with concern from the community, as well as past and present employees.
Many are raising questions about hospital practices.
We've been hearing stories for weeks, from more than a dozen people making all kinds of allegations. But on Friday, we learned more about former Information Systems Director Jack York and the scheme sources said he ran to profit off of the hospital.
Dan Keele said he worked under York for six months. He left in January 2012, he said, by his own choice.
"The ethics at the place, it just didn't jive well with me," said Keele.
Keele said questionable practices started to surface at the Bingham Memorial help desk in September.
"The first time I heard about Cyberdine, one of my fellow co-workers came in and notified us that all orders had to come through Cyberdine," said Keele.
Cyberdine Systems, LLC, is a limited liability company registered to York. But, Keele and his co-workers didn't know that at the time.
Keele said it was strange from the beginning. The company's website was oddly similar to BMH's, he said. It even had the same slogan: "Helping you succeed."
"We were told they were like a middle-man vendor. We just said what we needed. They'd get it, then we'd be billed," said Keele.
Keele said a co-worker told him that York sent him on an outside job to set up systems at a Pocatello law firm.
"(The co-worker) was kind of disgusted he was being used for work outside the hospital," said Keele.
Keele said it was easy for York to cover the fact that BMH workers were installing equipment outside the hospital, because the hospital contracted with a clinic in Pocatello, he said, that required an IT person to spend time there. Keele said that's why no one questioned where they were.
"(The co-worker) hated what he was doing, but what do you do?" said Keele. "You either do what your boss says or you're fired. And Jack's fired a lot of people."
Keele said the co-worker was being paid by BMH for the time spent on outside projects for York.
Sources who wished to remain anonymous said administrators didn't take action right away. They said York reportedly left the hospital in April.
We found York at his home in Pocatello on Thursday afternoon, where he denied the allegations.
"They're not true," said York. "I worked there a long time, never saw corruption."
But community concerns have grabbed the attention of county commissioners. Commissioner Ladd Carter said the hospital is a great asset, and he'd like to keep it that way.
Carter said commissioners plan to take accusations to the hospital board to let those members respond appropriately.
"I don't know what their policy is, so I really don't know, if it was approved by management or if it wasn't," said Carter.
Bingham Memorial released a statement on Friday, saying "Concerns and allegations were brought to our attention. They were investigated. Everything was addressed. And everything was resolved in a fair manner."
As for Keele, he said he's much happier working at a different hospital with better employee morale.
"I'd watch people get fired and I just (think), 'Why?'" said Keele. "They were good workers. Maybe that was it. Maybe they were too smart? Who knows."
Our station is filing a public records request for the past year's worth of billing at BMH. However, a hospital representative said the hospital doesn't have to respond because that's not part of the lease agreement with the county.
That prompts the question: Is Bingham Memorial actually a private entity-type hospital, or a county hospital in which taxpayers have access to its records? We are working to get answers.
At least three other sources have corroborated Keele's story of Jack York and his Cyberdine company. They said they won't talk to us on the record for fear of retaliation.
Bingham County Prosecutor Scott Andrew said information about the situation was on his desk and he'll be looking into it.
An executive session between BMH's board of directors and county commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m.
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