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Territorial Board OKs Termination of JFL Financial Officer

After a couple of hours in executive session, the territorial hospital board finally approved Friday the termination of Deepak Bansal, former Juan Luis Hospital chief financial officer.

Bansal was terminated by interim Juan Luis Chief Executive Officer Kendall Griffith on Nov. 29, 2013. The legitimacy of the action was questioned because of the St. Croix district board lacked a quorum to consent to the decision.

Whether to act on Bansal’s termination or resignation was a major question for the board. The meeting agenda from the office of board chairwoman Lynn Millin-Maduro contributed to the confusion. It initially listed the acceptance of Bansal’s resignation as an agenda item, not the approval of termination.

When board member Maria Tankenson-Hodge asked the board’s basis for confirming that Bansal did in fact resign, Maduro indicated that Bansal tendered his resignation on Nov. 30 in an email to her and Gov. John deJongh, Jr.

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Board member Angel Dawson asked if the board could have a copy of that email, but Maduro said she refused to open her emails to public record. Instead, she agreed to read Bansal’s email into the meeting record.

In the email read by Maduro, Bansal stated: “Even though I am doubtful that he had the proper authority to do so without board consent, I did accept the termination as I feel that JFL cannot afford any more drama.”

Hodge disagreed that Bansal’s email to Maduro confirmed his resignation.

“As I heard the email read, that certainly wasn’t resignation; it was an acknowledgement of termination,” she said. “To the extent that we are asked to do anything, I suppose the most we could do is to acknowledge that he has been terminated, and I am not sure I would even want to acknowledge that he was properly terminated because I don’t really have the basis for it.”

Maduro responded that “based on what has transpired,” Griffith was within his rights to terminate Bansal, but that Griffith needed approval from the board.

Board member Anthony Ricketts said, “The fact that Mr. Bansal in his email correspondence has indicated his willingness to step down as CFO, that kind of preempts whether or not we accept.”

Board member Wilbur Callendar added, “In other words, we don’t have to do anything.”

Millin-Maduro responded: “Yes, we do because he is stepping down simply because he was asked to step down.”

If the board did not accept the termination, the statute states, according to Millin-Maduro, that Bansal would be free to return to his former capacity as CFO.

Tankenson-Hodge indicated that in the absence of a formal resignation from Bansal, the board needs an explanation on the basis of his termination before they approve or reject it. Board member Debra Gottlieb made a motion to move into executive session, to which all present board members agreed.

When the board came out of executive session moire than two hours later, the agenda item on the table became the approval of Bansal’s termination, not acceptance of resignation. Tankenson-Hodge moved to approve, seconded by Gottlieb. The board approved Bansal’s termination, with Millin-Maduro, Hodge, Cornel Williams, Gottlieb, Callendar and Ricketts voting in favor, and Dawson and Greta Hart-Hyndman abstaining.

Present in the Schneider Regional Medical Center board room were Millin-Maduro, Tankenson-Hodge, Williams, Gottlieb, Ricketts, Dawson, Callendar, and Hart-Hyndman. Griffith and Schneider Regional Medical Center CEO Bernard Wheatley were also present.

The board is scheduled to reconvene on Feb. 4.

In other action, the board:

• Unanimously ratified the Dec. 11 electronic certified resolution for the certifying officers at JFL.

• Unanimously approved Nellon Bowry as interim chief financial officer at Juan Luis.

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After a couple of hours in executive session, the territorial hospital board finally approved Friday the termination of Deepak Bansal, former Juan Luis Hospital chief financial officer.

Bansal was terminated by interim Juan Luis Chief Executive Officer Kendall Griffith on Nov. 29, 2013. The legitimacy of the action was questioned because of the St. Croix district board lacked a quorum to consent to the decision.

Whether to act on Bansal’s termination or resignation was a major question for the board. The meeting agenda from the office of board chairwoman Lynn Millin-Maduro contributed to the confusion. It initially listed the acceptance of Bansal’s resignation as an agenda item, not the approval of termination.

When board member Maria Tankenson-Hodge asked the board’s basis for confirming that Bansal did in fact resign, Maduro indicated that Bansal tendered his resignation on Nov. 30 in an email to her and Gov. John deJongh, Jr.

Board member Angel Dawson asked if the board could have a copy of that email, but Maduro said she refused to open her emails to public record. Instead, she agreed to read Bansal’s email into the meeting record.

In the email read by Maduro, Bansal stated: “Even though I am doubtful that he had the proper authority to do so without board consent, I did accept the termination as I feel that JFL cannot afford any more drama.”

Hodge disagreed that Bansal’s email to Maduro confirmed his resignation.

“As I heard the email read, that certainly wasn't resignation; it was an acknowledgement of termination,” she said. “To the extent that we are asked to do anything, I suppose the most we could do is to acknowledge that he has been terminated, and I am not sure I would even want to acknowledge that he was properly terminated because I don't really have the basis for it.”

Maduro responded that “based on what has transpired,” Griffith was within his rights to terminate Bansal, but that Griffith needed approval from the board.

Board member Anthony Ricketts said, “The fact that Mr. Bansal in his email correspondence has indicated his willingness to step down as CFO, that kind of preempts whether or not we accept.”

Board member Wilbur Callendar added, “In other words, we don't have to do anything.”

Millin-Maduro responded: “Yes, we do because he is stepping down simply because he was asked to step down.”

If the board did not accept the termination, the statute states, according to Millin-Maduro, that Bansal would be free to return to his former capacity as CFO.

Tankenson-Hodge indicated that in the absence of a formal resignation from Bansal, the board needs an explanation on the basis of his termination before they approve or reject it. Board member Debra Gottlieb made a motion to move into executive session, to which all present board members agreed.

When the board came out of executive session moire than two hours later, the agenda item on the table became the approval of Bansal’s termination, not acceptance of resignation. Tankenson-Hodge moved to approve, seconded by Gottlieb. The board approved Bansal’s termination, with Millin-Maduro, Hodge, Cornel Williams, Gottlieb, Callendar and Ricketts voting in favor, and Dawson and Greta Hart-Hyndman abstaining.

Present in the Schneider Regional Medical Center board room were Millin-Maduro, Tankenson-Hodge, Williams, Gottlieb, Ricketts, Dawson, Callendar, and Hart-Hyndman. Griffith and Schneider Regional Medical Center CEO Bernard Wheatley were also present.

The board is scheduled to reconvene on Feb. 4.

In other action, the board:

• Unanimously ratified the Dec. 11 electronic certified resolution for the certifying officers at JFL.

• Unanimously approved Nellon Bowry as interim chief financial officer at Juan Luis.