By Deb Murphy
The situation at the Toiyabe Indian Health Project is not one of waiting for the next shoe to drop. It’s more a matter of a hailstorm of shoes.
Former Toiyabe Indian Health Project board member John Glazier was booted off the board last week for speaking to the media. In effect, that action has gagged all but a few reliable sources who have requested anonymity.
Before he was ousted, Glazier contacted the California Rural Indian Health Board requesting staffers head to Bishop to oversee the clinic’s operations. Calls and e-mails to the CRIHB to confirm haven’t been returned as yet.
The Board has hired a firm to conduct an audit, part of the investigation promised almost three weeks ago when CEO David Lent, COO Rick Frey, CFO Mary Daniels and Human Resources Manager Cyndee Kiddoo were suspended for 60 days without pay. At the time, the four were told the suspension would probably be short-lived following an investigation into personnel issues brought to the board by Kiddoo’s assistant Geraldine Weaver.
Since then Kiddoo received a formal termination notice for “leaving her post.” Apparently, on the Friday the four were suspended, Kiddoo left the clinic without turning in her keys. Weaver was named interim HR manager.
The Board has begun the process of floating the Chief Financial Officer position, a step that goes against the organization’s policies and procedures, just one of many missteps, according to a reliable source.
“Tribal law is incredibly complicated,” stated Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy. In an e-mail. The transparency required of public entities by the Brown Act doesn’t apply here. The fact the clinic is funded by government grants doesn’t make much difference provided TIHP complies with the funding contracts.
At least two of the clinic’s medical staff have left. Those staff members who signed a letter to the directors protesting the suspensions received disciplinary action.
This story isn’t going away.