Jefferson Parish IG vows to monitor leasing of hospitals - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Jefferson Parish IG vows to monitor leasing of hospitals

Updated:
JP Inspector General David McClintock JP Inspector General David McClintock
Jefferson Parish, La. -

With his office now ready to move forward, Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock says he'll begin monitoring the leasing of the parish's two publicly-owned and financially struggling hospitals.

"This is best looked at in the sense of a preventative action. These are not things inspector generals [sic] often engage in, but it is perfectly appropriate for us to engage in," McClintock said.

The move comes as the governing boards of West Jefferson Medical Center and East Jefferson General Hospital consider lease offers from three entities: Louisiana Children's Medical Center, Ochsner Health Systems and HCA, a group out of Nashville, Tenn.

"Everyone will be aware that we're there, we're watching, that our goal is to make sure that the parish has suitable oversight and accountability protocols that are enforceable and effective for us to understand what is going with the hospitals, from the moment the contract is signed to the moment the lease expires 30 years down the road," McClintock said.

He adds that he has no reason to believe any wrongdoing has been committed to this point.

However, pointing to the expensive problems surrounding the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center, McClintock said these types of massive public projects need an extra layer of oversight.

"You tend to see when a process like that is transparent from the beginning, that the contractors that are bidding on those projects recognize that there's going to be a heightened level of oversight and the bids tend to come in differently because they understand this is going to be watched more closely," he said.

Ultimately, the Parish Council will make final leasing decisions on the hospitals.

A special meeting on the issue is expected sometime soon.

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