SVMH hires lobbyist to attack audit request

May 10th, 2011

The Salinas Californian:

SVMH board chairman Jim Gattis says health care district welcomes scrutiny

Written by Jeff Mitchell

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System officials have hired a veteran Sacramento lobbyist in reaction to a proposal to conduct a financial audit of the hospital.

Sparked by state Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s call for the health care system to undergo a comprehensive financial examination by state auditors, SVMH officials confirmed that they have hired veteran lobbyist Paul Gladfelty of Gladfelty Government Relations for a fee $25,000, according to a letter of engagement, a copy of which was obtained from SVMH by The Californian late Monday.

On April 25, Alejo, a Salinas Democrat, called for the audit in the wake of disclosures by SVMH that retired chief executive Sam Downing received a whopping $3.9 million in special retirement payments.

Alejo’s request is scheduled to be considered Wednesday during a hearing before the state Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

Read the full article at The Salinas Californian.