Gem County rejects hospital agreement

EMMETT, Idaho - A county in western Idaho was considering leasing out its hospital to a nonprofit organization, but has decided against it because of what county officials saw happening with the hospital in Bingham County.

The Gem County commissioners rejected a "lease and transfer agreement" drafted by the law firm Hawley Troxell of Boise. 

One of the attorneys, Tom Mortell, also drafted Bingham Memorial's agreement in 2007.  The firm was representing a group that wanted to manage Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett as a 501 C-3. 

After reviewing the proposal at the commissioners' request, Gem County Prosecutor Richard Linville said the agreement would give the new organization full control of the hospital.     

He asked why would Gem County commissioners want to give away one of its most valuable assets.

He also stated there would be no vote, no public input and no public oversight for 99 years. 

It's much like what happened in Bingham County in 2007 and still exists today.    .

Bingham Memorial's management is currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's Office.

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