TAHOE FOREST HEALTH SYSTEM BOARD OF DIRECTORS ISSUES STATEMENT, FINDS NO CEO CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Tahoe Forest Health System (TFHS) board of directors met today in closed session to review details of the district’s conflict of interest policy. Board members in attendance were Karen Sessler, MD, Roger Kahn, Larry Long and Dale Chamblin. Board chair John Mohun participated via phone.

The Board of Directors issued the following statement:

“Based on a thorough investigation of the facts by an independent investigator, the Procopio law firm, there is insufficient evidence to determine that the CEO violated government code 1090, and therefore the board has determined to take no further action with respect to the alleged conflict of interest.”

The investigation was conducted by attorney Greg Moser of the Procopio Cory Hargreavs & Savitch LLP. Mr. Moser has 33 years of experience advising California local public agencies, including a number of health care districts, on ethics and conflict of interest issues. The investigation was supported by expert opinion provided by attorney Randy Riddle of Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai, LLP. Mr. Riddle has been advising and representing public agency clients for nearly 30 years, including having served as Chief Counsel to the Office of the California Secretary of State, and City Attorney for the City of Richmond, and conducting ethics and conflict of interest training for public officials.

The meeting began with public comment at 10:00 am before breaking into closed session until 4:00 pm. Board member Karen Sessler thanked the open session audience for their patience during the investigation process. “It was very important for the board of directors to take the time to work through this very important issue, and obtain expert opinion outside the process in order for us to be impartial as board members.” Sessler commented about the board’s commitment to transparency to the community as the Health System faces other issues, including those related to Health Care Reform.

The 1090 investigation was centered on the employment of Marsha Schapper, the wife of CEO Bob Schapper. District legal counsel Steve Gross stated “the District had a ten year relationship with Marsha Schapper, and for the most part, that relationship was as an independent contractor, whose contract was approved by the District board of directors. The CEO had no role in contracting with Marsha, or the board decision to renew the contract on an annual basis. Bob Schapper had absolutely no role in determining anything related to her employment, the facts determined her employment was constantly under the direction and provision of the Chief Operating Officer or Chief Financial Officer,” said Gross.

Board member Roger Kahn commented after the meeting that he was “greatly dismayed how the CEO has been treated by the press” through the investigation.“ Mr. Schapper has been visionary in guiding the Health System as progressive, innovative organization that serves the community.”

Tahoe Forest Hospital District, 10121 Pine Avenue, PO Box 759, Truckee, CA 96160, (530) 587-6011, information@tfhd.com

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