Saipan AG Says 'No' To Deal With Bingham Administrators

Buckingham: Negotiations Will Not Resume

BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho - Negotiations between two administrators at Bingham Memorial Hospital and a struggling hospital in Saipan have ended without a contract.

Bingham Memorial CEO Louis Kraml and COO Dan Cochran founded a new company back in February called International Consulting Services, LLC, to help manage the only hospital on the island of Saipan.

Saipan is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a U.S. territory.

CNMI Attorney General Edward Buckingham said the initial contract was illegal and issued a cease-and-desist notice on April 17.

Buckingham has been handling negotiations between the two sides ever since and said last week that a deal was only days away.

But on Wednesday, Buckingham said he will not approve a contract with Kraml and Cochran's company, ICS.

Reports out of Saipan described a hospital in rough shape and concern over medical supplies.

In an interview on May 1, Kraml said his only motive was to help.

Since then, doctors at the Saipan hospital have threatened to resign if no deal was made.

That's exactly what's happened. But, Buckingham said the failed deal is because Kraml and Cochran didn't provide the documents they had promised.

"The only item I received was a drawing, which was, as we learned later, was something you could get off the Internet, in terms of a flow chart," said Buckingham by phone Wednesday afternoon. "We did not receive information regarding startup costs alleged to have occurred. We did not receive other information we requested in terms of how work would be divided between ICS and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp."

Kraml and Cochran did not return our calls.

Buckingham said during a May 2 meeting, he asked Cochran what ICS had been paid so far for the project, and Cochran said $10,000.

But documents surfaced over the past week, showing other payments to Kraml and Cochran's company, totaling about $37,000.

Buckingham said negotiations will not resume, and the CNMI is moving forward. He said he plans to review what money was paid to ICS without a contract, to see what, if any, legal action might be appropriate.

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