Informal Investigation Under Way At Bingham Memorial

BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho - The outside business dealings of administrators at Bingham Memorial Hospital are raising questions this week about how the county-owned facility is being run.

Past and present hospital employees have been sharing their stories and information with county commissioners, who have asked local business consultant, Lee Hammett, to look into the various allegations.

In full disclosure, Hammett is the husband of a current BMH employee. But, he said, his involvement in this case is strictly as a professional consultant.

Hammett gave a couple of examples of the issues he's investigating.

The first, he said, that computer systems bought by the hospital were being sold to outside entities, and the profit, he said, was being taken by a now-former employee.

Another story Hammett said he's looking into involves an employee apparently hiding drugs in their car during an audit by the Joint Commission because storage cabinets couldn't be properly locked.

"They were told, actually, to move them out by management, apparently. We're in the process of trying to make sure we find documentation for that," said Hammett. "So, they're frightened, frightened to death. They don't want to go on the record or talk specifically about those because they're likely to lose their jobs."

Hammett said in his consulting experience, people who are frightened to talk generally hold the truth card, but not the power card.

Next, Hammett said, he's expecting an executive session between the board of directors and county commissioners.

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