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Healthcare Districts Must Follow Letter and Spirit Of The Law

Monday, Jul. 16, 2012

Few people discussing rising health care costs are aware of the millions of dollars that are spent each year by health care districts—agencies supported by public funds. But a statewide investigation by The Bay Citizen shows apparent conflicts of interest between some board members and the firms they deal with, and the sums are staggering.

“In March, the California State Auditor found that the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System had paid $21.6 million between 2006 and 2010 to businesses in which board members or executives had a financial stake.” The charges are under subject to investigation by both the Monterey County district attorney and the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

Conflicts of interest are one of the most serious of the legal and ethical problems facing public officials and their agencies. It is critical that all special agency board members, executives, and their legal representatives follow the law. But they also must remember that the perception of wrongdoing is as damaging to public confidence as an illegal vote.

Tags: conflicts of interests

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