Commissioners seek removal of three hospital trustees

By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD —In a special 9 a.m. meeting on Labor Day, three members of the Appointing Authority of the Morrow County Hospital met to approve the removal of three hospital trustees from the Morrow County Board of Trustees.

The Appointing Authority consists of the three Morrow County Commissioners and the Senior Probate Judge and Senior Judge for the Court of Common Pleas. Only the three commissioners were present along with three other citizens.

Judge Robert C. Hickson was absent.

The commissioners proceeded to approve resolutions for a hearing to consider the removal of hospital Board members Bradley Wood, Olen Jackson and Dr. Vincent Trago.

The motion included an announcement that a hearing of the Appointing Authority will be held concerning their removal on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the commissioners meeting room.

The resolution for removal from the hospital board of trustees consists of two charges for all three trustees with an additional charge for Dr. Trago.

Charge one consists of violations of the Open Meeting Act and conducting public business in several closed and unannounced meetings. These meetings were held as “Steering Committee Meetings.”

Commissioners allege that they are in clear violation of the Open Meetings Act or Ohio Sunshine Law because they related to the future of a publicly funded hospital. “The timing and sequencing of closing the hospital” was discussed at those meetings.

Charge two consists of approval of unlawful contracts. Commissioners said that despite millions of dollars of losses caused by Ohio Health’s management, the three trustees voted to approve multiple contracts with OhioHealth, including a management agreement and an asset purchase agreement that sold the Morrow County Hospital’s doctor practices and its physical assets.

Commissioners state that the trustees were putting the interests of their competitor before the Morrow County Hospital.

Dr. Trago was given a third charge for violations of Ohio Ethics Law by voting on contracts in which he has a direct and financial interest.

Commissioners said more complete information documenting and describing the charges will be posted on their website this week:

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel