The Board of Directors of the Jasper Hospital District on Tuesday evening held just short of terminating the Hospital District’s attorney, Robert Jackson, and they also brought into question some $51,000.00 in checks written to him since June of 2021 out of Hospital District funds.
With the implementation of newly elected board members in May, the board has started taking a closer look at finances, which included selecting new Board Member Jamie Gunter as Treasurer. Immediately, the board instructed Jackson to hand over all financial records to Gunter, and that is when Gunter said during Tuesday’s meeting that he discovered the outflow of money in the form of checks written to Jackson.
In the meeting, Gunter said the memo line on the checks indicated that the money was for services from Jackson, but so far neither he, nor any other board member has been able to produce any sort of contract or anything in writing that says exactly what Jackson is supposed to be paid.
Gunter also said that he has sent three emails to Jackson since May to enquire about his pay, as well as other Hospital District matters, but he said Jackson has yet to respond.
Board members Gunter and Sam Job are new to their positions. However, all indications were that none of the board members, new or prior had knowledge about Jackson's agreement or arrangements with prior members of the board.
Jackson was absent from the meeting on Tuesday.
The board did vote to hire Kate Leverett, who is an attorney from the Germer Law Firm in Beaumont. Board President Dr. Ron McMurry said Leverett specializes in governmental and tax payer entities such as the Jasper Hospital District.
In other action the board indicated that it might soon hire a firm to perform a complete audit of the finances of the agency.
There were also discussions concerning the hiring of an administrator for the Health District and, to that end, Board Members Linda Templeton, Rodney Norsworthy, and Sam Job were appointed to a committee to study the issue.