Iberia Medical Center Board of Commissioners votes to hire investigator

Iberia Medical Center board member Frederick ‘Bozo’ Metz listens at Thursday’s special meeting as the board of commissioners voted to hire an attorney with a strong background in health care law to perform an investigation into two board members — Metz and David Benson — seeking cause to have them removed from the IMC board.

The Iberia Medical Center Board of Commissioners voted Thursday night to hire a New Orleans attorney with a strong background in health care law to perform an investigation into two board members, seeking cause to have them removed from the IMC board.

In a 5-1 vote, the board approved hiring Matthew K. Brown, a lawyer with Sullivan Stolier and Schulze LLC. Previously, Brown had served as a partner in the Healthcare Practice Group of Locke, Liddell, & Sapp, L.L.P.

As special counsel, Brown will be tasked with determining if any actions Frederick “Bozo” Metz or David C. Benson have engaged in either amount to cause for their removal or disqualify them from serving on the board.

At its last meeting on Aug. 13, the board passed a resolution calling for Benson and Metz to tender their resignations by Aug. 21 or face an investigation into allegations of misconduct or actions that “impair the orderly process, operations or efficiency of Iberia Hospital Service District No. 1 or Iberia Medical Center.”

Neither board member has made a move to resign as the board requested. Benson was said to be out of town for Thursday’s meeting, but Metz attended.

The hospital’s Medical Executive Committee brought the issue of removing the two board members to the board in the form of its own resolution during a special meeting on Aug. 7. Dr. Michelle Menard, the hospital’s chief of medical staff, read a resolution demanding the resignation of Metz and Benson. Of the more than 130 physicians who serve IMC, 32 voted — 30 in favor of the resolution, one opposed and one abstained.

The move came less than two weeks after IMC Chief Executive Officer Parker Templeton tendered his resignation, effective Oct. 25.

At its regular meeting last week, the Iberia Parish Council passed a resolution supporting the investigation of Metz and Benson, but stopped short of calling for the two board members to resign.

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