A state audit of the only hospital in Murray County, Okla., reveals several apparent irregularities in the spending practice of past administrators.
The audit, released last month, suggests that "the proper authorities" review the findings about Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Sulphur, Okla., "and determine if further action is necessary."
District Attorney Gary Henry, however, said further criminal charges are unlikely.
Last month, former hospital secretary Gay Celzer, who was charged last March with nine counts of embezzlement of hospital funds, pleaded guilty in the case.
Celzer was charged with taking nearly $3,000 from the hospital. Leniency was granted because she cooperated in the investigation.
After reviewing the audit, one county commissioner said it looked "like a cesspool of a financial disaster to me."
"They damn near ruined our hospital," the commissioner said of former hospital administrator Marvin Hyde and the hospital's five-member Board of Control. Three of the board's members remain in office.
Among other things, the audit shows Hyde received more than $24,000 in unauthorized travel allowance money in 1994 to 1996, even though he had been given a car to use in lieu of travel expenses.
The audit report also shows Hyde received accrued vacation pay, which included more than $2,200 in travel pay and mileage allowance in 1994 and 1995, after he received the vehicle.
The report also points out a problem that occurred in 1993, when Hyde passed out nearly $13,000 in Christmas bonuses to his employees and himself.
The money came after the Internal Revenue Service refunded nearly $42,000 to the hospital in December 1993. But the IRS recalled $36,757 of the refund.
Hyde resigned in June 1996 after 18 years with the hospital.
The report also shows the hospital was consistently behind on its tax payments-a violation of state law-despite having money to make those payments. Also, a slush fund called the "Department Head Fund" was used to buy thousands of dollars of goods, ranging from Christmas dinners and gifts for board members to more than $500 worth of glow-in-the-dark golf balls for a nighttime golf tournament.
Arbuckle Memorial is now managed by Preferred Management Corp. of Shawnee, Okla. The new administrators said the hospital should be out of debt by June 2000.