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home : opinions : columns August 28, 2014


3/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
TIMES EDITORIAL: No justice for the residents of Blythe and the valley

The recent decision by the newly elected Healthcare District Board to drop its fraud case against Palo Verde Hospital chief of staff, Dr. Hossain Sahlolbei, has left a bad taste in the mouths of many who have followed the Palo Verde Hospital drama over the past decade.

Lawsuit after lawsuit has been filed, all of them dropped when a new board or new management comes to town, only to start down the road again later when Sahlolbei sours over the person giving orders and wants them replaced.

But what did everyone expect when they elected Trina Sartin and Sandy Hudson to the Healthcare District Board this past November? And did anyone expect anything different from board member Sam Burton, who seems driven to appease Sahlolbei's every desire?

In America, you get the government you vote for and neither Hudson, Burton nor Sartin have made any secret of their alliance with Sahlolbei who's been a primary source of controversy in town for most of the past 12 years.

We may never know whether it was fraud when Sahlolbei made a side agreement with anesthesiologist Dr. Brad Barth, allegedly outside the scope of hospital officials. Obviously two of Sahlolbei's most ardent supporters, Sartin and Burton, both of whom voted to drop the suit, don't see any issue... even though Burton originally voted to file the suit.

As for the biggest Sahlolbei cheerleader over the course of the past four or more years, board member Sandy Hudson wasn't able to vote on the lawsuit because the Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC) ruled that she had a conflict of interest with Sahlolbei, who rented a house owned by Hudson's husband and niece. According to the FPPC, Sahlolbei wrote the "rent" checks out to Hudson who cashed them, paid the mortgage and other bills, then sent the leftover money to her niece.

The interesting thing about this arrangement is the fact that Sahlolbei was renting the house in 2009 when Hudson voted to give him almost half a million dollars in on-call and directorship contracts.

Can someone please explain why a conflict exists now but not then? Guess that's just the way the politics roll in Blythe where no one in authority seems to be paying any attention.

We've recently witnessed the shutdown of the hospital helipad, which has served the community since the 1970s, after numerous complaints by the domestic and business partner of Healthcare District Board President Sartin.

While it's definitely a conflict because the helicopter service competes directly with Sartin's air ambulance service, and Sartin is president of a board that decides whether the hospital will bring the helipad into compliance, don't expect any action on that account either. It doesn't benefit Sartin and her company if the work to bring the helipad into compliance moves at a steady pace. In fact, the quicker the job is done, the more of a detriment it becomes to Sartin and her Desert Air Ambulance, so expect her to act in her own self interest rather than for the public she represents.

We're getting ripped off here in Blythe, both by the people we elected to look out for our better interests and by the government watchdog agencies created to protect us from these less than scrupulous public officials.

We'd like to think that one day justice will shine favorably on the more ordinary people of Blythe instead of just the ones who can buy justice for themselves. But it seems the more greedily our government leaders act, the more they seem to prosper - and it's their prosperity they're looking out for, not yours or ours.



Related Stories:
• Hospital rehires old ER doctors
• Sahlolbei gets new directorship contract
• On-call pay cuts still leave doctors with above average pay
• Hospital continues to bleed money
• TIMES EDITORIAL: It's not all bad news; in fact it's mostly good news
• GUEST OPINION: Medical staff attorney responds to allegations
• Healthcare District Board drops suit against Sahlolbei
• FPPC rules Hudson has conflict and can't vote on issues concerning hospital chief of staff, Sahlolbei
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Hospital's new interim-CEO might be too ethical to last
• TIMES EDITORIAL: No end in sight to Palo Verde Hospital drama
• TIMES EDITORIAL: Conflicts at Palo Verde Hospital will soon cost someone their life

Related Links:
• Sahlolbei attorneys file demurrer in response to suit
• Healthcare District files lawsuit against hospital surgeon, Hossain Sahlolbei
• Court grants Sahlolbei demurrer and motion to strike


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013
Article comment by: @Same Common Denominator (or Terminator)

You got it right and Blythe MUST start seeing truth as it really is. ONE person has been marauding through this whole mess, and pretends to be the "savior" of the hospital as he (deleted) to push his selfish agenda. Money (the love of it) is still the root of all evil, after all these centuries. The Dr. and his private group of personally selected doctors (deleted) who come here. (deleted) they move on to someplace they will be allowed to practice their profession without selling their souls. The hospital cannot function (deleted) Throw the bum out.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: Blythe's Entertainer U2CanBeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

@Blythe's Entertainer U2CanBeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Are you all wet?


Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: @ dui

Surely he will be repermanded in some way..I dont trust going to the hospital in the first place..This pushes me farther away...

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: Blythe's Entertainer U2CanBeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Times GOT IT WORNG AGAIN!!!!!! THAT IS JUSTICE!!!! WTG Dr. S!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: Same common demominator

AGAIN: boards come and go, ceo's come and go, staff come and go - WHO is still here and causing the hospital to go under???? The doc who runs the MEC who has a tantrum and doesn't like something or somebody - and he (deleted), leaves the country ('07), (deleted) The doc has and will continue, after the election of the twins, to pull the rug from under PVH and this community. We need revenue and this doc and co are playing games. The games distract from the FACT that other GOOD Dr.'s will NOT COME here (deleted). Again he has been in the picture for waaaayyyy to long - this is the common denominator for problems of the last decade. Wake up Blythe - our own Dr's cannot get priveleges to do surgeries or admit patients (that would be us) @PVH because of the MEC. Dr S (deleted) - has caused us all enough grief.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: To @ to @ phantom nose

When are you going to figure out that the Hospital is sinking because it is not getting any new INCOME and we pay out over 3 million in On-call and Directorships. No, instead you fight battles that make sure you get more money in your pocket like having to transport to the airport for a helicopter. Again you miss quote the past administration because they where correct in heading in a new direction of MORE and IMPROVED services. MORE being a surgery group that could help us get back the prison work. Prisoners are now required to have a gastroenterologist to perform a colonoscopy unlike your friend Dr. S! Lets get the truth out that really counts.

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: @ to @ phantom nose

Trina, (deleted) You or your supporter says the hospital is in a complete utter disaster. It would appear to a un experienced want a be.
McLain and Pinon need to get out of the sewer you created.
I believe you have a huge conflict of interest with the hospital via running daily operations with the CEO. Sandy & Sam are so obvious, can't and won't think on their own.
The nice caring lady that stood up on your behalf last night said some great things about you and the Dr. The offering to take her to the hospital and what a nice flight she had later. She even approves of his behavior. I can give you two opposite incidents. But I won't because he recently promised in the public meeting that he will take Ms McLain’s home and land away. He may want to take away my cow.
Oh another question. The doc that got a DUI the other night is one of the on call docs. What will you do about him he's such a big supporter.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ concerned citizen

Let's try this again in a way that will not be deleted. (deleted) A comment was made by a citizen during the public comment period at the first meeting in march saying that she heard (deleted) So I can imagine that you can put it all together. I guess you can accuse a certain doc or board members of doing illegal things but you can not tell what people say at meetings without it being deleted. More fair and balanced courtesy of the PVVT.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ to @ phantom nose

Yeah, I found out that the new board got handed a hospital that instead of being a mess is complete utter disaster. I also figured out that the last administration was great at collecting a paycheck and not much more. The hospital itself is falling apart and we found out that equipment that requires it be maintained and checked on a regular basis had not been checked in something like 2 years. I also learned that a board member have amnesia as to how they voted just 2 weeks ago. I also become furious when I go to the meeetings and hear how bad of that hospital is after being told by the PVVT and the old administration that everything was fine. Those involved in the sham on the community should be ran out of town like the CEO, CFO and CNO were. What did you selectively hear?

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: @ concerned citizen

If I was a betting man I would put it on one of the (deleted) Especially after hearing at the meeting 2 weeks ago a member of the community (deleted) Then the state shows up with a list of specific items they were looking for. (deleted) Seems to me that in order to be specific like the person was that they must have known there were problems in those areas. Let me guess, "its the new board members and the Dr. fault", even though the board has been in place now for 3 and a half months.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: James McMillin

"Phantom Nose" Please identify yourself! I bet you are one of the 4 involved! Hmmm? Id like to know which one?

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

It appears their are some missing documents? Could those documents of been detrimental to our famous doctor?
If so who would of destroyed them? Who has had access to those documents for the last 90 days?


Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: To @Phantom Nose

Well did you learn anything tonight?

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: Wise Up, Folks!

You are right! Nobody has been denied the opportunity to speak - even if the speech goes on and on and on. But you will NOT find a person voluntarily speaking who has something that would be deemed "offensive" to the twins or gofer or the Doc! Why? (deleted) That is just one example of the way these people see that no bad things come before the board. Can't anybody see this? If you say or do anything that certain (deleted) don't like, you are literally taking your life in your own hands.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Article comment by: @Phantom Nose

One instance of some not being allowed to speak?

(deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.


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