New Petition Calls For Audit Of Pauls Valley Hospital


Monday, June 22nd 2020, 5:09 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois


PAULS VALLEY, Oklahoma -

A Lindsay man wants more information on the former Pauls Valley hospital.

The hospital closed its doors back in 2018.

Since then, Skip Mitchell, of Lindsay, said he’s had major concerns on behalf of former employees who have not yet been paid.

“We have been, for 22 months, gathering data looking into the closure of the Pauls Valley Hospital and what really happened,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he’ll begin circulating a petition this weekend to compel the state to conduct an audit on Paul’s Valley government and the different companies who have operated the facility.

The petition will be available Saturday at the Hampton Inn of Pauls Valley, Mitchell said.

The former hospital building is currently being leased by Southern Plains Medical Group, which has been running an urgent care out of part of the building all year.

Southern Plains CEO Len Lacefield said he still plans to buy the building and expand services into a full hospital by fall.

Plans to expand the facility’s services were slowed by COVID-19, according to Lacefield.

In response to Mitchell’s petition, the City released the following statement:

"The City of Pauls Valley has not received a copy of any petition for any audit. The City of Pauls Valley complies with all laws, including the Open Meeting Act, the Open Records Act, and the laws relating to accounting for governmental entities. Our records are audited annually by a certified public accounting firm.
"Anyone who desires information or documentation about city affairs can request that at City Hall or find it on our website, www.paulsvalley.com. On our home page, there is a link to an article that addresses what’s going on with city finances and with our closed hospital.
"The person who is behind the petition for an audit is Skip Mitchell, who has no connection to Pauls Valley. He does not live or work in Pauls Valley. He is also a relative (we believe a brother) to KWTV analyst Scott Mitchell, which is why we believe that he is able to obtain publicity for his baseless claims.
"While the City is not concerned about the result of any audit, the citizens should be aware that such an audit will cost the city considerable expense (since the city is required to pay for the audit). Like other cities, the City of Pauls Valley has been hard-hit by decreased sales tax revenues resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Increased expenses from an unnecessary audit may cause further furloughs or layoffs of city employees."