The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will be asked to investigate allegations of embezzlement of funds at the Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Sulphur, Okla.
District Attorney Gary Henry said last week he is making the formal request, but he wouldn't discuss the allegations that prompted it. He said it is based on some hospital employees' complaints of possible embezzlement or misdirection of funds.
Hospital Administrator Marvin Hyde said he didn't know about the request. He said a recent internal audit showed no irregularities.
The hospital board agreed at a meeting earlier in the day to align itself with a management firm. Four groups had expressed interest in the 58-bed hospital, but two have withdrawn. Hyde said the hospital is too small.
Board members have been urged to seek a management firm or consider selling the medical facility since January when it was learned the hospital owed an estimated $250,000 to the Internal Revenue Service in overdue payroll withholding taxes.
Hyde admitted he had deducted the taxes from employees' checks but diverted the funds to cover other hospital costs rather than paying the withholding tax bill.
BancFirst of Sulphur bailed the hospital out a few weeks after debt was revealed. The bank entered into a deal to buy the medical facility's equipment and fixtures and then entered into a lease-purchase agreement with the hospital as part of a sell-buyback proposal.