May 5, 2009 — Judge Leon H. Kendall Tuesday sentenced Rodney E. Miller Sr., convicted by a jury of falsifying his criminal history to snag the top job at Schneider Regional Medical Center, to a year's probation, community service, and fined him $500.
In his pre-sentencing statement, Miller, who pulled down $265,000 a year as president and chief executive officer of SRMC and is charged with embezzling more, said that God brought him here to serve the people of the Virgin Islands.
"It was my God-given mission — that is why I was given the job over others," Miller said.
Prosecuting attorney Denise George-Counts had recommended that Miller face the maximum two years of jail time, citing a lack of remorse on Miller's part and statements that she said were less than forthright on his pre-sentencing paperwork.
Integrity was a prime consideration for the hospital's top position, George-Counts said, and Miller's false statements on the application gave the selection committee a false impression as to his character.
Kendall disagreed. "The public interest is not served in this case by incarcerating Mr. Miller," Kendall said, noting that though Miller may have falsified the application, once he got the appointment, he made significant strides for health care in the territory.
Miller took credit for improving morale at the hospital, while facilitating its accreditation, and improvements in cardio-medicine capabilities.
"No ordinary person could have come in and made that happen," Miller said.
Miller was convicted February 9 of lying about his criminal record, which included a court-martial, to get the job at the hospital. (See: "Jury Convicts Miller of Lying.")
Miller's career in the U.S. Navy, where he reached the rank of E4 and was busted to E1, ended in 2000 with a bad conduct discharge according to George-Counts.
Kendall noted that other matters pending before the court may have prevented Miller from making full statements on the pre-sentencing paperwork.
Miller will be back in court June 8 with two former hospital executives and former hospital board chair June A. Adams, to stand trial on embezzlement, grand larceny and conspiracy charges.
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