Northwest NEWS

April 5, 1999

Front Page

Evergreen Hospital may face lawsuit over board actions

by Dorothy Brewster

   Financial and public notice issues regarding Evergreen Medical Center came under fire in a meeting held last Saturday by CLEAN (Citizens for Leaders with Ethics and Accountability Now!) at the Kirkland Library. With standing room only, between 60-70 people attended, including hospital employees and commissioners Bruce Buckles and Al DeYoung.

   Led by CLEAN members Shawn Newman, president, and Sherri Bockwinkel, director, the meeting covered Evergreen's CEO Andrew Fallat's salary and benefit package, the Open Meetings Act, a 1983 hospital levy issue, and a $2 million loan given to Snoqualmie Public Hospital. CLEAN announced that they would pursue a lawsuit against Evergreen this week to nullify Fallat's contract based on their belief that the Open Public Meetings and Record Act was violated.

   Last fall, the commissions approved Fallat's new contract. He receives a $360,000 base salary, up to $108,000 incentive pay, $115,000 retirement, $12,000 legal and financial help, and two years of compensation pay if fired for cause.

   An attorney Bockwinkel spoke with said "I have never seen such a biased contract in favor of an individual." Bockwinkel stated that the public had no opportunity to know about the new contract since it was not on any of the Board of Commissioner's agendas.

   "Our compensation package for Andrew Fallat, an 18-year veteran of Evergreen, was offered based on the desire to retain a proven leader and excellent CEO ... The majority of board members, three out of five, voted to approve the contract," stated the Evergreen handout.

   "Without the proper public notice, we are concerend about the legality of the pay raise," said Bockwinkel.

   According to CLEAN, a 1983 hospital district tax levy for an Evergreen trauma center passed with only 3,900 voters voting for it. Bockwinkel said that the levy stated it was only for one year, till 1984 , but is still in effect today.

   Another issue CLEAN covered was a loan of $2 million Evergreen Hospital made to the failed Snoqualmie Hospital that was not collected.

   "It was moral and right," Evergreen Commissioner Buckles, who added that it did not endanger hospital services or financial state.

   Both Buckles and Bockwinkel encouraged public involvement and attendance at the Evergreen board meeting on Monday, April 19, 7 p.m. in the main floor board room.