The former chief executive officer of University Medical Center in Las Vegas has been indicted on five counts of felony theft and five counts of official misconduct charges and could face up to 75 years in prison if convicted. Lacy Thomas, who was dismissed from the 588-bed public hospital in January 2007, is expected to enter a plea at his arraignment on Feb. 28. A Clark County (Nev.) District Court judge set bail at $500,000.
Prosecutors allege that Thomas awarded thousands of dollars in no-bid and no-work contracts to friends and associates in Chicago during his tenure at University Medical between 2004 and 2007. Thomas was previously director of John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago. Clark County lost about $10 million in payouts and lost services as a result of such contracts, according to the prosecution. He was using taxpayer dollars to line the pockets of his friends instead of looking after the well-being of the public hospital and its patients, said Scott Mitchell, a chief deputy Clark County district attorney prosecuting the case.
Neither Thomas attorney nor officials at University Medical Center could be reached for comment by deadline. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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