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Grand jury witness fired by Broward Health sues claiming whistleblower retaliation

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org 

Broward Health President/CEO Beverly Capasso, left, and her former executive secretary Pam Hatfield

A former Broward Health executive secretary has filed a whistleblower suit against the hospital district, alleging she was fired after testifying before the grand jury that indicted her boss, President/Chief Executive Officer Beverly Capasso.

Pam Hatfield was among a string of current and former officials at the taxpayer-supported district  who testified before the grand jury last September. Three months later, Capasso, then-Broward Health Commission Chairman Rocky Rodriguez, Commissioner Christopher Ure, ex-Commissioner Linda Robison and General Counsel Lynn Barrett were indicted for conspiring to violate Florida’s public meetings law, also known as the Government-in-the-Sunshine Law.

Capasso, Rodriguez, Ure and Robison were also charged with two counts of violating the public meetings law. Barrett was also charged alone with one count of solicitation to violate the Sunshine Law. The five await trial.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott’s newest appointee to Broward Heath’s board of commissioners, Ray Berry, turns out to have an undisclosed connection to the governor.

From June 2011 through June 2014, Commissioner Berry’s Cooper City company, Health Business Solutions, employed the Fort Lauderdale-based lobbying firm of Scott’s longtime pal and confidant William Rubin to lobby the executive branch in Tallahassee. Florida lobbyist compensation records show Health Business Solutions paid The Rubin Group between $120,000 and $240,000 during those four years.

Scott appointed Berry to the board on May 11 despite Berry’s strong financial support for Democrats, including Scott’s 2014 opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist. State records show that less than a month before Election Day, Health Business Solutions contributed $25,000 to Charlie Crist for Governor. Berry also personally gave $2,500 to the Florida Democratic Party during Republican Scott’s first campaign in October 2010. Berry and his company gave $1,000 to Alex Sink, Scott’s opponent in the same election cycle. His company gave Scott $250.

In 2012, Berry even gave $1,000 to re-elect Sen. Bill Nelson, who Scott hopes to unseat this November.

Gov. Scott and Broward Health

Scott has a long and tangled relationship with Broward Health. In addition to having the exclusive power to appoint its board members, he was an investor in a private-equity firm that owned 21st Century Oncology, the Fort Myers-based company given a 25-year, no-bid contract by the commission in 2012 to supply radiation oncology services to the district’s patients.

Despite last December’s indictment, Scott chose not to suspend any of the indicted Broward Health officials. Two months before, however, he’d suspended Madison County’s clerk of courts after he was charged with petty theft.

Lobbyist William “Billy” Rubin, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

Capasso was serving as interim CEO when the indictment came down. But instead of a suspension, Broward Health’s board voted 4-1 on Jan. 31 to give her the $750,000-a-year job full time. Capasso also stands to collect incentive bonuses that could bring her total take-home pay to $1,125,000.

Capasso’s deal, however, didn’t sit well with Gov. Scott. On April 20, he sent a letter to Broward Health’s board questioning the “appropriateness” of her “significant increase in base pay and bonuses.”

“It is my expectation that any bonus be performance-based and in this case, the measures should include a reduction in the dependence of the district on taxpayer dollars, quality care and patient satisfaction, hospital profitability and patient access to care,” Scott wrote. “As a board member of a hospital district that receives more than $140 million in taxpayer dollars, I urge you to take action to ensure the appropriateness of total compensation and accountability through performance measures.”

At the May 30 regular board meeting, commissioners discussed plans to address the governor’s concerns at a special meeting following the June 27 meeting. (You can view the May meeting at the Dan Lewis Report here.)

Whistleblower complaint

Hatfield’s whistleblower complaint was filed in April. Her complaint against the North Broward Hospital District, Broward Health’s legal name, says that when she was wrongfully dismissed on March 16 she was the “longest-tenured of five senior executive secretaries” at the district.

The lawsuit says Hatfield was sought out as a witness by Assistant State Attorney Tim Donnelly, chief of his office’s Public Corruption/Special Investigations Unit.

“Donnelly initially subpoenaed Hatfield to give a sworn statement in December 2016 and later to appear before the Broward County Grand Jury in September 2017,” the lawsuit says.

Florida Bulldog and later the Sun-Sentinel reported in late September that Hatfield had testified before the grand jury. At one point, Capasso “commented to Hatfield about her having testified,” the lawsuit says.

“She said to Pam something along the lines of, ‘Well, we will all find out what you said sooner or later,’ ” said Hatfield’s Fort Lauderdale attorney William Amlong.

Five weeks after the Dec. 12, 2017 indictment, Hatfield was told that she was being transferred away from Capasso to work for Sandra Todd-Atkinson, chief executive of the district’s Fort Lauderdale hospital, Broward Health Medical Center, at the same title and pay, the complaint says.

On March 16, Hatfield was told that her new position was being eliminated.

According to the complaint, Broward Health “retaliated” against Hatfield because of her testimony.  Hatfield is seeking permanent reinstatement, money damages, lost wages and attorney’s fees and costs.

Broward Health has not yet filed a response. The case is assigned to Judge John Bowman.

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Latest comments

  • The Board will not fire Capasso or Barrett (who are the root cause of Broward Healths demise) unless the Employees DEMAND that these indicted, unethical, fake degree people are run out.

    Broward Health Employees need to get a back bone and fight for what is right. Scott is running for election he won’t do anything unless he thinks he will lose votes.

  • Are y’all shittin me, how is this evil, lying feckless cunt still the CEO. What in the name of fuck is wrong with the employees and tax payers. Run this corrupt bitch out of town on a pole, tarred and freathered. Just SMFH at this blatant criminality. This whore and her minions have to go. NOW

  • Why isn’t the State’s Attorney Satz prosecuting Capasso for witness tampering and putting her in jail like Paul Manafort?

  • when will their trial take place?
    Sometime never???

  • The hearing is tomorrow June 20, 2018. But don’t worry nothing will happen until after Senate race, Florida justice is rigged in favor of white crime, and Broward Health’s corruption goes all the way to Gov. Slick Rick The Dick.
    What is hysterical is that the clerk of courts http://www.browardclerk.org case search “Beverly Capasso” filed another person’s 6/16 arrest paperwork. I jumped for joy thinking Capasso was held to account until I learned it is a misfiled mistake.

    Anyway, you can follow the case progress via this website.

  • But the average citizen doesn’t read the Bulldog. How about sharing info with letters to editors all over the state?

  • Broward County Case Number: 17010884MM10A

    Check out here:
    https://www.browardclerk.org/Web2/CaseSearch/


    6/16/2018 1 MJ18000815 Arrest
    Name At Arrest: Capasso, Beverly
    Offense: Violation Of Sunshine Law
    Degree: (M2)
    Statute: 286.01(1)
    OBTS Number: 0801800812

    06/16/2018 2 MJ18000815 Arrest
    Name At Arrest: Capasso, Beverly
    Offense: Violation Of Sunshine Law
    Degree: (M2)
    Statute: 286.01(1)
    OBTS Number: 0801800812

    06/16/2018 3 MJ18000815 Arrest
    Name At Arrest: Capasso, Beverly
    Offense: Conspiracy to Violate Sunshine Law
    Degree: (M2)
    Statute: 286.011(1)(2)(3)(b)
    OBTS Number: 0801800812

  • We have people criminally indicted running the system.
    We have a governor who has turned his head and will not intervene
    We have blatant punitive action taken against employees who give evidence under subpoena
    We have difficulty with contracts and fellow physicians leaving because of poor care
    We have staff who posed and smiled with the president while young children suffered and died at a terrible tragedy. (Only one sub standards foreign doctor stood with him)
    We have all new C staff in all hospitals
    We have a publicly funded health system with criminals making millions and effecting health care of all
    Just saying

  • Why is nothing being done about all of this. Great leaders are dismissed but these leaders are still employed making lots money. This month all will get a huge bonus. Nothing for staff or the leaders that did all the work all year. Close the doors

  • I knew she was going to get fired because of her testimony. I knew she had pissed off the wrong people by telling the truth. Pam was a loyal and dedicated employee and happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. She should not have been fired but BH has fired better employees for much less than that. Hopefully she will be vindicated soon enough.

  • BHDOC, I bow to you Sir, I am not worthy. Truth, the sheer Chutzpah of these assholes to effect a profit sharing bonus plan for Admin and Management is beyond the pale. There was NO PROFIT without the taxpayers contribution. You fucks have NO idea what sacrifices the staff have made to keep this disaster afloat. But, unfortunately this Bitch is going down, hit the Berg and on the way down. Time to gather on the deck, listen ton the band,and sing “Nearer to Thee my God”. Sell it or give it up. People get out while you can. They don’t care, Do you? Oh yeah, Admin,… Eat a bag of Dicks, you fucking shitbags.

  • When is the Governor going to realize he is losing more votes by not getting rid of Bev, Lynn, Alan, Gino and most of all the over his head HR Peter. All Peter is good for is hiring 3 vps/mgrs. for every employee he fires. Check out his budget. Talk about increasing taxpayer reliance. Governor Scott wont win Broward county but he might actually pick up some votes if he got rid of this overpaid, under experienced, nasty executive group.

  • Grifters gotta Grif, Prick Scott’s a grifter, he recognizes Grifters, gives them the ballroom to do so, looks the other way bc its expeditious politically cause he wanna be da Senator from Flo re da. Nothing done till after mid terms. Make plans to bail.🌊🚢this bitch is going down.

  • Broward Health Medical Center is the flagship of Broward Health, Level I trauma center Level I pediatric trauma center, NICU, Transplant center, Cardiac Surgery center, really all we do not care for is burns, so why have we had our best CEO fired by Capasso, her friend make a complete mess of our hospital and had to leave and now we have a disliked VP from corporate desperately trying to keep us together. Our visit from the joint commission sucked, loosing many of our managers sucked We are treated and paid poorly and yet the indicted remain in position’s of power causing carnage to our hospital

  • It is so sad to hear all of these comments especially when I have experienced the great care dedication and enthusiasm at Broward Health North . My father was injured a “trauma”, the ED nurses, ICU nurses, 6th floor were all amazing a very humbling experience. Hearing these comments I am saddened that talented dedicated staff are let down by administrators and our governor. I celebrated the 4th of July with new meaning …..LIFE .A life saved by Broward Health North ….. Thank you…. from the bottom of my heart …..Thank you I am so humbled by you all

  • Am I reading this correct ? Capasso taking revenge ? and firing people, Gino not liked? Disruption, Chaos mistrust and corruption ? Trying to make Broward Health like Jackson or Cleveland Clinic?
    Staff fearing for their jobs ? where have I been?……………… its nothing like this its worse! I can tell you it is worse

  • Any reasonable person would find the conduct of “these” people to be intimidating hostile and abusive it is definitely more than disruption mistrust and corruption
    False promises of pay increases, and bonuses, decreased staffing, communications and behavior that makes doing the job impossible.There is rife discrimination, that is severe and pervasive enough to violate the law.
    Where is the governor ? where are our elected officials to assist and protect us? no where to be seen!

  • Broward Health Medical Center is crumbling. Everyone is so fearful for their job they stopped writing here and speaking out. Our Level I Trauma center have speciality coverage issues with ENT and Ophthalmology and has to “rent a doc.”
    Now, there is yet another IRO report about the President/CEO, last time Grant, this time Capasso it is posted on DanLewisreport.com When will all this end and we get back leaders who care about what we are here to do?

  • BHMC here checking in
    It is a free country and there is freedom of speech There is cynical disregard for this basic and fundamental right our country is based on
    Speak up and you are at risk and fearful ….threatened and fired?
    What kind of behavior is this?
    Gino, Capasso Alan…… are you kidding me?
    There is truly mistrust and corruption and the quicker this goes the better for the patient

    As for BHMC having “rent a docs”….why, …because doctors are leaving, they do not want to work under these conditions

    I have a suggestion let HCA open trauma centers they have 2 of our best leaders at one of their Broward Hospitals, and they have many trauma centers well run

    Its time for the truth to surface and to bring in new people who care

  • BHMC, Thank You, these are truly exceptionally bad days at Broward Health the current upper administration treat people so badly, with such disrespect AND they are criminally indicted,. There is no trust and who knows what “they” will do next. When Mr Alan toured my floor he was fearfully aggressive with his comments and behaved like a dictator, staff were disgusted and discouraged I was humiliated Mr. Gino is no better I prayer every night this will behavior will stop. Miss Beverly is a person who will have many sins to ask for forgiveness to her maker, on judgement day.
    Rent a doc??? this is a disgrace, I heard the ophthalmic surgeon was not a surgeon, little more than an optician. I can not comment on BHN, at BHMC THESE ARE DARK DAYS I mean DARK DAYS. I am seriously thinking of reaching out to the EEOC. Go ahead fire me l, track me down and fire me. , Gd forgive you all and save you all
    I urge people reading DO NOT allow such behavior to go unpunished, be pro active contact your elected officials, contact the governor and contact regulatory authorities we and more important patients are suffering at the hands of these people

  • I have worked at broward since 1998 I share the thoughts and comments on our current leadership team The recent antics of HR promising pay raises and bonus schemes was fraud and disseminated false hope among many who have worked without even a cost of living increases for 4 years. There really is a special place for theses people
    As for having rent a docs this has never happened as far as I remember in any speciality and the cost is phenomenal about 5 k per day perhaps where the wage increase and bonus is going (oh I forgot the 3 at the top they make over 2 million combined ) Broward Health is crumbling it could be HCA takes over more than the trauma centers

  • @”Vintage” the recent actions of HR leadership was solely for the better of employees and the organization.
    I assume you don’t have the whole story. You honestly believe they would purposely mis lead the employees? I think not. For the first time in a long time there was a hr leadership team that actually cared and wanted to make a difference. Sadly, due to politics and personal vendetttas we’ve lost that.

  • KTT the head of HR was fired, The head of benefits was fired, I rest my case

  • I don’t believe that the two HR leaders lied. I think they were the scapegoats when the board questioned the 4.9 m pto payout. We didn’t ask for that. The HR leaders simply rolled out a plan that was approved by bev and alan. I’ll we want is our cost of living raise that we haven’t received in 4 years. A bonus would be nice since our raise has only been 1.5%. BH has paid out millions of dollars (taxpayer’s?) For lawyers for the indicted leaders. What is wrong with that picture? BH is crumbling and I say get out while you can.

  • When Mark Sprada as the CEO BHMC made money without tax funds and had physician coverage. Contracts were done compliantly and delivered on-time.

    They got rid of Mark because he wouldn’t put up with their bullshit.

  • WE THE PEOPLE AT BROWARD HEALTH did not want a PTO pay out, rolled out as stated by HR and approved by Bev and Alan, !! For 4 years now
    NO cost of living raise,
    NO BONUS,
    NO ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY,
    the “bonus” promised by HR for JULY then OCTOBER NONE EXISTING it would have helped
    My salary is 30% less than similar position at Jackson and Memorial, It is becoming harder and harder to live
    Instead we have criminally indicted leaders, Criminally indicted board members, angry new board members, and the poor workers providing care to the most important people THE PATIENT, are again screwed.
    I now check my wages each two weeks to make sure they have paid me,
    I do not make over a million dollars with a 50% bonus, I do not make the high 5,6or7 hundred thousand K a year, plus millions paid, of tax payers money, for attorney fees? because they would not follow the law of the land . “I did nothing wrong” ! B shit
    We have no coverage of physicians in several specialities Broward Health Should be closed we are not safe Get out folks Get out

  • HR. Corrupt at all levels. Almost all of the HR team was wiped out and replaced last year.
    Now is the time to organize and get a union. The idiot running employee relations does not have the brain capital to fight one. Start resisting these greedy mothers.

  • Yea we need a UNION

  • The worst and most prejudice HR director or Chief as he calls himself is at North
    No names just know we need a Union because of people like you
    One of Alice’s possy from imperial

  • If you want a Union reach out to SEIU:

    Martha Baker, RN
    President/Executive Director
    marthabakerrn@seiu1991.org
    305-620-6555

  • Martha is amazing contact her
    remember with a union we are represented as one we can build strength, SEIU will help all workers, we will earn better wages, protection and more over Workers united will never be defeated
    This scum can be defeated but only if we organize now
    .poor wages no wage increases, lie and deceit false promises from criminals! together we can make a change for the positive

    UNION NOW

  • This would NEVER have happened with Pauline Grant in charge

    Shame on the people at the top for allowing this to happen

  • We must do this now. We have been meeting after work. I am calling Martha to get the ball rolling. We have rights and HR is not there for us. This MUST STOP NOW.
    WE CAN DO THIS.
    Put HUMAN back in Human Resources.

  • Wake up Broward Health Employees. Why are you still there. Many other health care organizations would love to have you all. LEAVE !!!! Do a walk out. Get a Union. Do something. The suite there are all a joke stating with Heather that does nit care about anyone, just herself. Then the puppet named Tom. Are you kidding me. He is worthless. Come on people roll up your sleeves and fight for your hospital. The staff need to rally. Talking and complaining is not going to do anything unless it’s to the right person. They fired great leaders and have brought in others that don’t care. Several bomb threats is crazy and dangerous. Very sad my fellow peers. FIGHT!!!!

  • Folks, “enough is enough” is 100% on target.
    We need BETTER PAY AND WAGES
    JOB SECURITY
    BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS
    FAIR TREATMENT FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
    BETTER PROCESS FOR ADDRESSING GRIEVANCES
    BUT why are we not do ing this? administration is actively looking for anyone joining or actively trying to form a union.I heard a new CEO was coming our way I am sure they will compliments our new suite with Heather and Tom very well It is is sad the culture at Broward health is one of fraud greed and corruption with the hospital top management. The board is part of this and there has been no cleaning of house,

  • So yesterday I was told by management “I was a nothing and a no one”
    So may answer to those who think they are “a something and a someone”,
    It takes a good eye to find the imperfections you are trying to hide>

  • Attention current board of commissioners:

    Are you aware of the current severance policies and plan for executives?
    The taxpayers are literally paying MILLIONS each year in salaries and benefits for terminated executives and managers.

    Case in point, in 2017 the SRVP CHRO was terminated at an extimated salary of 300,000. The same day, the CEO of BHMC was terminated at a similar salary. Both received one years severance with benefits. The CEO and the SRVP of HR hired to replace these two executives were also terminated and we are now paying
    their severance. Add to this list the CEOs of BHCS, BHN, other corporate VPS, Directors, CMO’s, we must be shelling out in the millions for these executives to receive salary and benefits for a year or more. One VP in HR was only employed six months amd received a hefty package.

    Am I the only one outraged by this? Look at the policy and you will see a staff member with over ten years experience barely gets three weeks.

    As board members, you are tasked with the stewardship of public funds. Each and every one of you should be ASHAMED of this policy and the pillaging of tax dollars by the continuation of this policy in its current form. This policy should be revisited. We are not a Fortune 500 company, golden parachutes should not be given to these executives at the expense se of the tax payers. Some of these people were terminated due to not abiding to the CIA…seriously, they are essentially committing fraud and receive a severance package.

    No wonder the employees want a union, I don’t blame them one bit.

  • OK, so, as a taxpayer and homeowner in this healthcare district, I thought I would find out for myself just exactly “how bad” things are at Broward Health. I had to go no further to learn how unprofessional and unstable this (dis)organization is than to review the agendas and minutes for the current and past couple of years on the browardhealth.org website. Cancellation after cancellation of meetings, the most pathetic excuse for minutes (is ANYONE reviewing these documents before they are posted???), and the long running spans of months with NO minutes at all! What is the administrative staff doing all day? The clinical staff has nothing whatsoever to do with this less than poor performance. Taxpayers take a look and be as shocked as I was.

  • It is worse than bad! AND WE HAVE SOME OF THE WORST ADMINISTRATORS OUT THERE Come on it is unprofessionally managed and by people let go from some of our hospitals in South Florida, yet we the tax payer and employees are funding this fiasco. Give the clinical staff bonuses and pay rises they deserve and make it immediate. My manager told me “Miss Capasso” is coming around in scrubs TO TALK TO YOU ALL fortunately I missed her at BHMC but she would have had a real MOUTHFUL. In scrubs, give me a break. “Hello I am Beverly I make over 1 million, I have stopped your pay rise and I have stopped your manager having a pay increase for 4 years,I KNOW YOU ARE SOME OF THE WORST PAID STAFF, HOWEVER FAMILY AND SELF FIRST I WILL make a large bonus and my friend “Lynn the attorney” had a 90K pay out recently, I am here today to make sure you you are a member of the Broward Family” YES WE NEED A UNION because of people like this, NOW THE PUBLIC IS DISCOVERING WHAT IT IS LIKE PERHAPS SOMETHING WILL BE DONE

  • We all know if you speak out you are out! so this is no surprise, the current board is spineless,also in the years I have worked for Broward Health I have never experienced stress in the work place like we have currently. An indicted management, wondering if your job is safe, poor work conditions inclusive of poor wages, no wage increase for 4 years, lies and depict from HR. poor morale all round a take over would be better than this

  • We can all hope for a new governor who will sort this mess out

  • Well, the CEO is thankfully gone. Now can we do something about the awful HR leadership. I have been a manager for almost 20 years and was forced to terminate an employee by corporate HR. Now, the employee is suing. Can we please get competent HR people BEFORE we have another union campaign. Such incompetence!

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