The TRMC Board’s response to the Grand Jury is full of contempt against this august body. But we, the former members of the board of Tulare Local Health Care District, are not surprised by this response.
The allegation that the current board was not seated until May 2015 is blatantly incorrect. The present member Parmod Kumar, MD has served more than 20 years, Richard Torrez since 2008, Sherrie Bell since 2012, and Laura Gadke since about 2013. Dr. Kumar has served as Chairman of the Board for a span of about 6 years and as Chairman of several important committees during the years in question such as the Bond Oversight Committee and the Building Committee. The current board is populated by several members who had responsibilities and voting rights in the timeframe the Bond was expended.
Forensic audits of the District and the Tower Construction Project were voted on and passed 3-2 in August of 2012 for the District finances, (Kamboj, McPhetridge, Smith, in favor, Torrez, Kumar oppose.) in September of 2012 the Tower Construction Project 3-0 (Kamboj, McPhetridge, Smith in Favor). Kumar and Torrez were not present at the meeting; Skip Barwick and Dr. Kumar’s Attorney Mike Lampe were there to oppose the audit. Just like the Bond Oversight Committee we were frustrated by all the delays and change orders. When there is a question about the expenditure of “Public Monies”, it is prudent to perform a forensic audit. Previous to that the CEO was fired due to ongoing financial losses and delays in the Tower project which he was, the Supervisor. The first act of the new Board under Sherrie Bell’s leadership in December 2012 was to rehire the former CEO and the previously dismissed law firm that was not adequately serving the Board. The forensic audit was then cancelled. It is not known if a vote of the new board was taken or just ordered by one of the Board trustees, carried out by the law firm. It is not known why the new board stopped the audits. Interestingly the CEO and the law firm were fired about a year later. Members of this current board were seated during this time.
There has been a culture of lack of transparency which has carried on to date. We, the former members of the Board of TLHC District hope for answers to how the monies have been spent. We have always been, and remain Stewards of the District.
Signed the former board members of Tulare Local Health Care District,
Lonnie R. Smith, MD
Prem Kamboj, MD