The Herald Bulletin

March 1, 2014

Ken de la Bastide: Health Center board discussed removing Malone as director


The Herald Bulletin

---- — The board of directors of the Madison County Community Health Center discussed late last year whether to replace its president and CEO, Anthony J. Malone.

At the time, the Indiana Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating the health center for possible Medicaid fraud.

Several former board members indicated this past week there was a special meeting of the board to discuss options for the future of the health center. The former board members requested their names not be used.

Herald Bulletin Editor Scott Underwood, who recently resigned from the health center board, declined to be interviewed for this column and did not provide any information about the board's business or the health center and its employees.

That special board meeting took place after the Indiana State Department of Health’s decision to forego an annual $226,625 grant to the health center for vaccines and also suspending the center from future grants.

The ISDH set seven conditions before a reconsideration of the decision to provide grant funding to the health center. Those conditions included the removal of Malone, former chief medical officer Dr. Frank Campbell and Ariel Sue-Perkins, director of internal operations. Other stipulations: a replacement CEO or interim CEO would need to be approved by the ISDH, no pain medications could be offered, a remediation plan needed to be developed and a consultant would have oversight.

The former board members said although no vote was taken at the meeting, there were discussions about Malone stepping down either through resignation or retirement.

Those board members indicated some members were concerned about the timing in replacing Malone. They said board members that were “friends” of Malone’s wanted him to retain the position.

Last month Dr. Campbell’s medical license was indefinitely suspended by the Indiana State Medical Licensing Board for allowing physician assistants to write prescriptions for controlled drugs using pre-signed prescription pads.

Mallard Lake landfill back in the spotlight

With the ongoing debate between the administration of Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith and the Democrats on the Anderson City Council about raising the water rates, the potential Mallard Lake landfill was brought up.

Tom Brewer, superintendent of the Anderson Water Department, said the city needed a $14.3 million bond issue to replace the Lafayette water treatment plant and to tap into the well field to increase the city’s water supply.

Brewer said if the Mallard Lake landfill is ever put in operation, on the east side of Killbuck Creek, it could threaten the Rainey well fields.

Smith said Wednesday during a conversation that he proposed a northeast annexation in 2013 because it enabled the city to have a “seat at the table” by bringing Mallard Lake into the city limits and under city zoning and land use laws.

The Killbuck Concerned Citizens Association, fighting the proposed landfill for the past 35 years, begs to differ with Smith. Their contention is the proposed annexation didn’t include the landfill site and city zoning and land use laws would not impact the state permit granted for a landfill operation.

Senior Reporter Ken de la Bastide’s column publishes Sundays. Contact him at Ken.DeLaBastide@heraldbulletin.com or (765) 640-4863.