Artvoice Was Right—Lomeo Can’t Lead Two Different Hospitals
by Buck Quigley - posted 1:45 pm, April 24, 2014
It’s amazing what you can learn by reading your free weekly alternative newspaper. If you read this article back on February 6, then you knew we suspected that Jody Lomeo couldn’t legally serve as CEO of both ECMC, a Public Benefit Corporation, and Kaleida Health, a not-for-profit.
We were the only media outlet asking the question then, and this morning our suspicion was confirmed when we received word that Lomeo is now the new CEO of Kaleida on a permanent basis. Here’s the catch, however, according to the press release:
In addition to being named president and CEO of Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health, Lomeo has stepped down as CEO of ECMCC. That move is intended to accelerate progress toward integration in the most compliant and efficient manner in accordance with New York Public Authority Law. (emphasis added)
This morning, an ECMC spokesperson clarified things this way:
“From the very beginning of this process, the lawyers were looking at what could and could not be done. It became clear, through the process, and in consulting with the State that—because we’re a public organization—he couldn’t hold both positions.”
Think of the time they’d have saved—not to mention all the billable lawyer hours— if they’d simply taken our word for it on February 6, when we wrote:
A lawyer from the New York State Joint Commission of Public Ethics (JCOPE) told Artvoice that Lomeo—as a public employee making $700,000 per year—would need to have such an appointment approved by JCOPE. He pointed to part 932 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, which states, in part: “No covered individual shall engage in any outside activity which interferes or is conflict with the proper and effective discharge of such individual’s official duties or responsibilities.”
Meanwhile, over the past three months while this “process” has been playing itself out, Lomeo has, in fact, been the CEO of two distinctly separate hospitals. One public, one private.
As of today, ECMC’s COO Richard C. Cleland is at the helm of the public hospital.
The question still remains: What is this Great Lakes Health System of Western New York? Under what authority does it exist? The entity never bothered to register as a 501(c)(3)—the type of not-for-profit it claims to be. It has never filed a tax return, as such charities are required to do.
As evidence of its authenticity, we are offered this Restated Binding Agreement, dated September 14, 2012—but the document is only signed by Great Lakes Board Chair Robert Gioia, former Kaleida CEO James Kaskie, former ECMC CEO Lomeo, and ECMC Counsel Anthony Colucci—who approved it as to form. No sign of any approval from the State, or any level of government, for that matter. Just what sorts of “collaborations” can a Public Benefit Corporation enter into without public approval? So many questions.
Like, how much of a raise did Lomeo receive when he resigned from ECMC—where he was making $700,000/year according to State records—in order to take the gig at the private Kaleida? We’re waiting to hear back on that question. Since tax forms for private 501(c)(3) charitable organizations generally don’t become public for 2-3 years, we may as well sit back and make ourselves comfortable. Former Kaleida CEO Kaskie had been paid $2.3 million in 2009, $2.4 million in 2010, and $1.5 million in 2011, and a measly $1.3 million in 2012—as the hospital system’s fortunes were falling.
Click here to open a PDF of Kaleida’s 2012 990 tax form, and scroll to pages 13 & 14 to see just how much money administrators can continue to earn while presiding over a financially troubled not-for-profit health care institution. Four former employees split over $1.4 million!
Isn’t it amazing?