University Medical Center, Las Vegas, fired its chief executive officer, Lacy Thomas, 50, after an external audit revealed that the 588-bed hospitals financial losses in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006 exceeded $34 million, more than twice what Thomas had previously disclosed. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police also disclosed the existence of a criminal investigation related to allegedly no-bid contracts and involving Thomas, the chief financial officer and the chief operating officer at the Clark County-owned hospital, and several vendors, including Affiliated Computer Services, Dallas. According to an affidavit presented to county commissioners, Thomas allegedly awarded contracts to friends who did not complete the work assigned. At deadline, telephone calls to Thomas residence were not returned. On the Web site of KLAS-TV, Thomas is quoted as saying: I categorically deny such accusations, and specifically and unequivocally state that I took all actions in the best interest of UMC. ACS spokesman Kevin Lightfoot said the company has a valid contract with the hospital and has met its obligations. The allegations that the contract or any other actions by ACS were inappropriate are untrue, Lightfoot said. However, ACS is investigating the matter and will cooperate with authorities, he said.
Kathy Silver, the hospitals associate administrator of managed care, business development and planning, was named acting CEO. George Stevens, Clark Countys chief financial officer, was named the hospitals acting CFO. Hospital CFO Richard Powell and COO Marlo Hodges, who previously worked with Thomas at John Stroger Cook County Hospital, Chicago, have been placed on paid administrative leave. -- by Mark Taylor