An ethics review and a criminal investigation have cleared a North Broward Hospital District commissioner in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., of allegations that his private employment with a devicemaker was a conflict of interest with his seat on the public hospital district board, according to legal filings.
Fla. health official cleared on conflicts issue
Miguel “Mike” Fernandez was investigated after the health district's General Counsel Sam Goren requested an advisory ethics opinion from state officials on whether Fernandez's role as a general manager of sales for Europe and Latin America for devicemaker SonoSite was in conflict with his role as a publicly appointed hospital commissioner.
The ethics officials subsequently concluded Fernandez did not have a precluded conflict of interests, even though Broward does buy equipment from SonoSite.
A Broward County prosecutor also picked up the case from local media reports. The close-out memo of the investigation, provided by the hospital, says that investigators interviewed hospital purchasing officials and concluded there was no evidence Fernandez had done anything to enrich himself using his official roles.
The investigators noted that Broward had been buying equipment from SonoSite since 2001, and that the purchasing actually slowed down after Fernandez was appointed in 2007.
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