State Senator Pam Roach requested an audit of Public Hospital District 1, in Renton, over a year ago. That report was made public today.
State Auditor Brian Sonntag has released his findings in a report that was generated by Ernest and Young in Seattle. Senator Roach led the 2006 effort to defeat the hospital district’s attempt to annex the Enumclaw plateau, Maple Valley and large parts of rural King County into the hospital district. State history was made when 94.4% of the voters rejected the annexation measure.
In 2005, Valley Medical’s Board placed a property tax increase on the ballot. The measure passed with 52% of the vote and taxes were raised from 9 cent to 59 cents per valuation of both residential and commercial property.
“The hospital ran stealth campaigns. There were no voter’s pamphlets and they did not post the proposals on their website.” Roach said. “The most egregious violation of state campaign laws occurred and Valley Medical spent $500,000 of taxpayer money in these two campaigns. Rich Rudman, Valley’s CEO, was fined $200,000.”
“Following the public disclosure investigations, I asked State Auditor Brian Sonntag for a performance audit the results of which were released today.” Roach continued. “. It was discovered that Rich Rudman, in one of the most inexplicable actions on the part of a public agency, was awarded 1.7 million by Valley Medical in a retirement payout and he hasn’t even retired.” “This is a taxpayer funded public hospital. This is not AIG and this is not an Enron. This is a public jurisdiction just like a school district, a fire district, or other public entity.” Roach said. “To make matters worse, the hospital commission is now considering another 1% tax hike and a 30% bonus for the top 50 employees to be paid out immediately.”
Senator Pam Roach has monitored this hospital district for several years and is always available for comment. Please call her on her cell phone, (253) 797-2424, or her home office at (253) 735-4210.