A Grand Jury Found No Criminal Wrongdoing in SRHS’s Termination of Pension Plan

A grand jury has decided there were no criminal wrongdoings in Singing River Health System’s decision to terminate the pension plan.
Between June 10th and June 15th, a grand jury in Jackson County heard from current and former Singing River Health System officials, an attorney, a forensic accountant, and the FBI. After hours of testimony, the grand jury decided Singing River Health System made no criminal action by terminating the pension plan, instead decided what happened at Singing River were business mismanagement decisions.
Jackson County District Attorney Tony Lawrence said, “A lot of those business and management decisions can be good, bad and they can hurt a lot of people and in this case, some of them did hurt a lot of people, but that doesn’t make it a crime.”
An $88 million audit adjustment reported in 2014 caused a lot of speculation about where that money went and what it was used for, but the grand jury found no evidence of embezzlement or theft. As for terminating the pension plan, Singing River held the right to stop contributing.
Attorney Billy Guice said, “No question, but under the terms of the pension plan, they could have terminated in ’09. Nothing anyone could have done about it. It’s in there, in writing.”
But a moral wrong doing is still in question. The grand jury expressed that while the hospital’s actions were not criminal, retirees should have been informed about the status of the pension plan. District Attorney Tony Lawrence tells News 25 he believes the employees and retirees should get what they were promised and hopes we can now move toward a solution.

Categories: Local News, News

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