Saturday, July 18, 2009

HHC: Show Us Your Audited Financial Reports

It looks like the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County has operated with all of the transparency of the Capital Improvement Board. Good luck trying to find any financial statements for the mammoth nonprofit, publicly-financed corporation. Consider Matt Gutwein and the HHC put on notice that we expect this information, including all audited financial statements prepared by an outside CPA firm, to be posted posted online immediately and covering at least the past five years. We'll be damned if the $400,000 a year CEO is going to run around keeping all of those facts and figures under raps. Gutwein is required by law to prepare an annual "auditor's report." The HHC's budget ordinances are published; however, it is not subject to oversight by the City-County Council. Like the CIB, it is not subject to audits by the State Board of Accounts, notwithstanding its taxing authority. Apparently the mainstream media is quite willing to jump on the bandwagon touting the benefits of a new three-quarter billion dollar hospital without doing any independent investigation of its own, but I'm not prepared to do that.

Several people have asked me this question so let me make it clear that Matt Gutwein is not a Ballard appointee. Gutwein worked under Bart Peterson when Peterson worked as Evan Bayh's chief of staff and succeeded him to that position. Gutwein became a partner at Baker & Daniels before Mayor Peterson had him installed at the HHC during his administration. Gutwein's wife, Jane Hinegar, served as a deputy mayor for Peterson. One of Gutwein's predecessors is Mitch Roob, who former Mayor Goldsmith installed to run the organization. Through it all, the HHC has been represented by Barnes & Thornburg. Gutwein is no supporter of Republicans and certainly not Greg Ballard, and he will glady help out with the public hanging of the Mayor and the Republicans on the city council on this issue, who seem a little too willing to swallow his spin on the new hospital proposal hook, line and sinker, regardless of the long-term debt and prospects for higher taxes to pay for it.

8 comments:

Downtown Indy said...

I did not know Gutwein had been (or is he still?) a partner at B&D.

I saw him on the news the other day, dodging a question for more detail about the Wishard deal when he simply said he was just a hospital administrator.

Ain't it interesting how EVERYTHING always seems to have ties back to B&D or B&T? Amazing coincidences?

Advance Indiana said...

Gutwein liked using the words "teeney-tiny" a whole lot during that council hearing the other day. It coincided with telling big, fat misrepresentations. Unfortunately, the councilors were simply unable or unwilling to counter any of the many misleading statements he made during his presentation. He's slick, but he doesn't fool me.

artfuggins said...

I am employed by a school system that had a referendum. Employees were prohibited from using school materials, time or doing anything during the school day to promote the passage of the referendum. We we warned and reminded frequently to do do so. Gutwein is on tv and attending meetings in the mornings, afternoons and evenings with flip charts and power points and his assistant with him. Does the rule apply to hospitals that conduct a referendum?????

Advance Indiana said...

It should, but it probably won't, art. Who is going to do anything about it if he breaks the law?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

http://hoosiersforfairtaxation.blogspot.com/2009/07/indianapolis-city-council-decides.html

Proposal to bailout CIB being introduced on Monday. Now is the time to contact city councilors. Link above have details.

WE NEED A FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE CIB IMMEDIATELY.

artfuggins said...

Brizzi?????

Paul K. Ogden said...

This appears like yet another example of Ballard leaving a Peterson appointment in place after the election. Why? Here's a hint: Gutwein is using Barnes & Thornburg for HHC's legal business.

It's the same thing with the agent handling the city's insurnace business. The guy was a supporter of Peterson. Peterson rewarded him by giving him the city's lucrative insurance business. After the election why didn't Ballard give this insurance business to some Republican who supported him? It's because the insurnace agent has Barnes & Thornburg as his attorney and Bob Grand didn't want his client to lose the business.

jabberdoodle said...

That is an interesting point, artfuggins -- about the financial support of a side in a referendum question. If anyone finds out, I'd like to see it posted.

One caveat is that the referendum question has not been certified yet. I'm not sure it has even been formally voted on by the H&H board yet. So, campaigning for a side might eventually be banned, but not necessarily quite yet.