News, History, Writings, Observations & Various Ramblings Deep in the Heart of the Georgia Piedmont
08 July 2017
[TPC] - Hospital Authority "lawyering up?"; worst fears realized? The biggest scandal to hit Newton in a generation?
As this publication has mentioned multiple times over the last couple of years, and as many in the home county have been saying for decades, there may be nothing bigger, and possibly more corrupt, in Newton, as the Newton County Hospital Authority.
The Authority, a state-sanctioned body that was first officialized in 1952, has come into the news lately with the whole ambulance service story that has made headway the last several weeks here in town.
For years, per multiple sources, the hospital authority was always allegedly considered a "slush fund" of sorts. For over 30 years, it always received an earmarked millage in the county budget. For several years, it also received extra funds through the regular budget with no apparent oversight. Its legal counsel for decades, as we understand it, was always Wm Thomas Craig, Esq.
A couple of weeks ago, the Newton Co. Board of Commissioners filed Open Records Requests with the Newton Co. Hospital Authority. As this publication has reported a few times over the years - the Authority has a M.O. on this - they just simply never respond. And per three sources, we're seeing it again - the Newton Co. Hospital Authority is just simply not responding.
So now - the governing and legally-recognized authority of Newton Co., a political subdivision of the state of Georgia, the Newton Board of Commissioners, has filed the paperwork, but per multiple sources, it's the same old song - the authority is just simply not responding. Again, I repeat, the authority has violated state law once again, and is not responding to legally filed ORRs from the Newton County government.
Per three different anonymous sources, the conventional wisdom is this: the Newton Co. Hospital Authority, is now, in essence, "lawyering up."
Why would they do that?
Another question on the minds of many - where is the money? Like, the up-front proceeds from the deal with Piedmont. Where are those funds? Where is the accountability?
There, apparently, seems to be none.
That seems to be obvious.
But who serves on the hospital authority?
That was covered in this publication a few days ago.
Its secretary and CEO, and de facto agent, for many, many years, has always been Jim Weadick, who has been the chairman of the board of directors of the hospital for many years. So - know this - you've got the hospital and its board of directors, and then you've got the Hospital Authority of Newton Co. with its board. While there's oftentimes been overlap of membership of these two boards, they are separate & distinct.
Longtime board members of the Newton Co. Hospital Authority include Billy Fortson, as well as Timothy Park, MD, DL Knox, and others.
And when it comes to the ambulance service, just remember, we're not talking Piedmont Newton, we are talking about the Newton Co. Hospital Authority - they are the ones who actually hold the EMS license.
In this writer's estimation - there is something rotten in the county of Newton.
Many folks know it; a lot of folks have been talking about it for decades.
And always remember this, Dear Readers, while Weadick has been a centerpiece of the authority - the state-sanctioned governing authority - he's also been, for years, the CEO of the actual board of directors for the hospital, and has, based on our information, been making approx $500,000 per annum for the last several years. His longtime associate, Troy Brooks, has been, as we understand it, making close to the same amount every year as well.
- FIN -
It is our understanding that the Newton County Hospital Authority has, as they've done multiple times over the last several years, repeatedly violated state law multiple times regarding Open Records Requests.
The Piedmont Chronicles calls on Layla Zon, the District Attorney of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit, to fully and totally investigate the Newton County Hospital Authority, it's CEO & Secretary, Jim Weadick, as well as any other board members, presently on the board, or any who have maybe been on the board over the last 20 to 30 years, post haste. There needs to be an accounting and reconciliation of any and all monies that have flowed through this authority.
Yours in Liberty,
P.S. In this writer's estimation, somebody, preferably the actual governing authority of Newton Co. - the Newton Co. BOC - should sue the Newton Co. Hospital Authority for breach of fiduciary duties of a state-sanctioned authority. That way, you'd have subpoena power. That's probably the only way you'll ever get them to do anything. Layla Zon has shown time and time again she has no interest or ability to go after things like this. The time has come, friends. The time has come...