Despite some last minute legal snags, it appears 313-bed Denver Health Medical Center will be transferred to the jurisdiction of the new Denver Health and Hospital Authority.
The transfer is dependent on approval of last-minute changes to legal documents by the Human Services Committee of the Denver City Council, which meets Dec. 18. The full council would then vote on the transfer Dec. 23. Observers agree it will clear the committee and receive passage without problems.
Denver City Auditor Don Mares had stated earlier this month that he would not sign legal documents authorizing the transfer because they were riddled with errors. Mares said the errors were in conflict with a 1994 state law that established the Denver Health and Hospital Authority. He also said the errors would have created potential legal conflict regarding the authority's assumption of the hospital's debt and financial obligations regarding toxic waste cleanup. Altogether, Mares' office cited more than 40 inconsistencies, according to his spokeswoman, Romaine Pacheco.
However, Mares met with representatives of Denver Mayor Wellington Webb on Dec. 9, who had already signed off on the transfer. Mares announced after the meeting he would approve the documents if the City Council agrees to the changes.