Following the announcement late on Monday, November 21, that MetroHealth’s board of directors had fired Dr Akram Boutros, the hospital system’s president and chief executive officer, Boutros responded that he believed the decision is provable and he plans to “act action.”‘
In a statement released by his attorney, Jason R. Bristol, Boutros said the hospital board’s statement was “full of misinformation and outright lies.”
“Yesterday’s actions by the MetroHealth Board of Directors are the latest in a series of retaliatory actions against Dr Boutros after he raised the issue of the unauthorized hiring of a new CEO,” the statement said. announced Tuesday, November 22, said.
The statement went on to say that Boutros “discovered that board members engaged in mass discussion outside of public meetings and that the chairman signed agreements and authorized payments without approved by the board. She targeted him for a bonus that all eligible employees also received.”
Boutros has been terminatedAccording to a statement from MetroHealth board chair Vanessa Whiting, as a result of additional compensation of more than $1.9 million Boutros self-approved from 2018 to 2022. The additional compensation has been advised. external note to the board in preparation for Boutros’ departure as CEO.
Boutros planning to retire at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Airica Steed, currently executive director of Sinai Health System Chicago.
In a statement Monday night, the MetroHealth board said Boutros “has established specific metrics, conducted a self-assessment of his performance against those metrics, and authorized payment to him over $1,900,000 in additional bonus based on mid-score reviews.”
“We are aware of no organization that allows its CEO to self-assess and determine their right to additional bonuses and in the same amount as Dr Boutros did,” the statement read.
Boutros reimbursed the hospital system more than $2.1 million as of October 31, including interest on the bonus amount. He reported the violation to the Ohio Ethics Commission on November 1.
The “claim” for reimbursement, according to a statement from Boutros’ attorney, “is evidence of discriminatory treatment by the board because he is the only employee forced to pay the bonus. administration took this action to divert attention from their gross negligence.”
Budget MetroHealth is scheduled to have a hearing before the Cuyahoga County Council on Tuesday, according to the board’s agenda.
A spokesman for County Executive Armond Budish said that following Boutros’ statement threatening legal action, Budish had no comment on the matter.
Dr. Nabil Chehade will be the interim CEO of MetroHealth until Steed takes over on December 5.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain’s Cleveland Enterprise.