After years of financial mismanagement Pauls Valley Hospital has closed, leaving about 130 people out of jobs. Many of those people say they haven’t been paid for weeks. And now, they’re finding out the situation is worse than they had thought.
Money taken out of their paychecks for taxes and benefits were never applied.
Maddy Williams has worked as a nurse at the hospital for 38 years. Now that she’s fighting cancer, she is finding out the benefits she paid for don’t exist.
“I just had my double mastectomy two weeks ago today. And about ten days before my mastectomy I found out that I no longer have any insurance,” said Williams.
The hospital has been managed by several management companies over the years, but is city owned and all five members of city council serve as trustees. They wouldn’t face the angry crowd, so city manager James Frizell was sent as the sacrificial lamb; unable to answer many questions.
Frizell says city council just recently was told about the problems with payroll taxes and benefits. “We are given financial reports. The hospital authority is given hospital reports, the insurance reports, all those to look for. To be honest with you I can’t say that we would see that those were or were not being paid.”
The management firm, Alliance Health, says don’t blame them.
CEO Frank Avignone said, “This has been going on for years folks. And we’ve uncovered stuff since we’ve been here which is egregious at best.”
When asked what other “stuff” was uncovered, Avignone replied, “I can’t talk too much about them because there are probably things that are going to lead to litigation.”
Williams doesn’t care who’s to blame. She’s just trying to stay alive.
“I’m not in any physical shape to go to work. So, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,” said Williams.