Commission calls for audit of PCMC
By Doug Sanders Jr.
Editor and Publisher
The Pickens County Commission last Tuesday called for a state audit of Pickens
County Medical Center, but gave no explanation as to why they want it.
With only three commissioners present and in a very brief meeting, Commissioner
Ted Ezelle made a motion to authorize Commission Chairman David Shaw to request
an audit of the Pickens County Health Care Authority (PCHCA) by the Alabama
Examiners of Public Accounts. Commissioner Willie Colvin seconded the motion,
and it was approved by the three commissioners present--Colvin, Ezelle and
Shaw. Commissioners Tim Browning and Frederick Kennedy were absent.
The hospital was also the subject of another brief matter at the Commission
meeting. Assistant Administrator Yolanda Smith was asked to read a letter
submitted to the Commission from Carrollton Mayor Joe Lancaster.
This letter was addressed as “To Whom It May Concern,” but Lancaster also requested it be submitted as a letter to the editor to the
Pickens County Herald, and it appears as such on the editorial page.
The letter concerns the Aug. 26 meeting of the Pickens County Health Care
Authority (the board which oversees the Pickens County Medical Center).
Lancaster noted that he is invited to these public meetings in his capacity as
mayor of Carrollton. “However, on this particular occasion, I was met at the door by a member of the
Administration of PCMC who told me this was a private meeting. I was later
informed that this was, indeed, a public meeting and was attended by other
members of the community.”
Lancaster’s letter also says, “I am at a loss as to why I was not allowed to attend. From my understanding,
crucial business was discussed pertinent to the ongoing operations to the
hospital. This is of upmost importance to the community of Carrollton, and
Pickens County in general.”
His letter concludes by expressing concern that as mayor of the town that is the
county seat, he was not included in a meeting “that could have far-reaching ramifications on the community I serve.” He then asks for an apology for the townspeople of Carrollton.
Again, after the letter was read, the Commission had no reaction or comment, but
some in the audience could be heard murmuring about the letter.
The Pickens County Medical Center issued the following statement in response to
these two issues:
“The Pickens County Medical Center continues to offer quality care to its
patients. With the continued support and hard work of its employees, board, and community
supporters, things are beginning to look up. An annual audit of PCMC is conducted by the independent accounting firm of
Warren Averett, LLC; the audit for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014,
is scheduled to begin in a couple of months. Our annual Audited Financial Statements are approved by State of Alabama, Office
of Public Examiners and is presented to the Board of Directors each year; these
audit reports are available to the public upon request. We welcome any audit that the Pickens County Commission feels is necessary for
the continued success of our organization.”
“In response to Mayor Lancaster’s letter to the County Commission: Meetings of the Board of Directors of the Pickens County Health Care Authority
are not subject to the ‘Open Meetings Law’ of the State of Alabama and are therefore private. Individuals who are not Board members attend the Board meetings at the specific
invitation of the Board. Mayor Lancaster was not invited to the meeting, and as a result, was not allowed
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