MetroHealth System in Cleveland has fired Vice President of Construction and Facilities John Carroll following an Internal Revenue Service inquiry indicating the 14-year employee accepted gifts from a contractor.
MetroHealth, a Cuyahoga County-owned system anchored by 574-bed MetroHealth Medical Center, placed Carroll on administrative leave and launched an investigation after receiving the IRS letter. It is wrong for any employee to benefit personally from a public contract, and we will not tolerate it at any level of the organization, MetroHealth said in a written statement, which reported that Carroll had been terminated as a result of ethics violations and referred to the IRS inquiry without describing or specifically confirming the substance of the governments allegations.
According to a copy of the IRS letter, East West Construction Co. in Cleveland, a contractor on MetroHealth projects, indicated it had distributed gift cards to MetroHealth employees through Carroll. An attached spreadsheet listed cards purchased at retailers such as Home Depot and Sams Club and also lists golf clubs and other items purchased as gifts, as well as dinner, hotel and travel charges described as MetroHealth marketing.
Barbara McBee, MetroHealths vice president for support services, has been tapped to assume Carrolls responsibilities. Efforts to reach Carroll or an attorney representing him were unsuccessful. East West declined to comment. -- by Gregg Blesch