While DiPietro should be concerned about the unfolding Zimmerman Advertising scandal which embroils his wife, recently appointed as Judge and currently running for election, his close friend – Broward County Commissioner Chip Lamarca, and himself in troubling conduct – based on what I know, DiPietro was certainly not obstructing any investigations at Broward Health of which I am aware.
It is, however, an overstatement in some public reports that DiPietro initiated the various investigations. More to the truth of the matter is that DiPietro facilitated and enabled Dr. El Sanadi’s unfounded paranoia by recommending the highly respected corruption investigator Mr. Wayne Black. We now know that Mr. Black’s first targets were none other than previous CEO Frank Nask, me (personally and as the author of this blog) as well as some of the information posted here. Given my earlier allegations have since been born out; I believe that there was a reasonable basis for an independent investigation. However, clearly Dr. El Sanadi’s personal paranoia had no basis in reality and should have been a warning signal to Mr. Chair DiPietro of things to come. In gumshoe parlance, “Frank Nask and I turned up clean!” and there was reason to be concerned about many if not all of the matters I had previously raised. Further, because investigation of this type generally expand over time – Mr. Black has also uncovered other concerns and matters. Matters, unknown to me.
Chair DiPietro is correct to be concerned about the performance and problems with the Board’s ill-conceived choice for corporate council Lynn Barrett, But DiPietro must accept responsibility in orchestrating the ouster of highly respected previous Board Counsel Sam Goren and replacing him with someone with very limited governmental experience.
As to the suggestion that David DiPietro that DiPietro was acting or about to act in a retaliatory manor with respect to either interim CEO Fusco or Counsel Barrett, well – that notion is absurd. Those are the two positions in which the Board, and by extension – the Board Chair have direct supervisory authority. Both are “at will” employees of the Board.
I have written in the past about the retaliatory culture at Broward Health that must change, and in particular – for example, the circumstances around the ouster of the previous Broward Health corporate marketing director – Sara Howley, in which I believe DiPietro was directly involved. See my article Board of Commissioners Rubber Stamp Shady Deals at Meeting – Very Tacky.. I know there are many, many examples of similar unfounded and retaliatory actions against Broward Health employees, physicians and vendors – but the allegations from the Florida Inspector General, in this case against David are just mistaken.
Finally, Chair DiPietro’s recent embrace of transparency and openness in the Board’s business with respect to his concerns relating to Counsel Lynn Barrett, Wayne Black and related matters was correct. Although I wish Chair DiPietro would carry his new found openness to public records and their the Board’s regular improper “strategic planning” shade meetings – those issues are for another day.
Readers of this blog know that I am no fan of Chair DiPietro’s tenure at Broward Health, but in my opinion – while there may be many other reasons to suspend and remove DiPietro from Broward Health’s Board, based on the Governor’s stated reasons, Governor Scott’s suspension of Chair David DiPietro was premature, improper and ill considered. Further, I believe DiPietro’s concerns about the conduct of the current General Counsel of the District are both well founded and correct. I applaud Chair DiPietro’s relatively new commitment to openness and transparency reflected with his proper instance on an open meeting to discuss the General Counsel issue. Unless there are some facts not publically known, Florida’s Inspector General should recommend that DiPietro’s suspension be rescinded and he should be forthwith restored as chair of Broward Health’s Board of Commissioners.
I cannot say the same for Commissioner Darrell Wright’s suspension.