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April 24, 2014

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Glitch puts grand jury on hold over UMC

Corruption case’s next date: Unknown

Beyond the Sun

A logistical glitch Tuesday pushed back a Clark County grand jury’s decision on whether to indict former University Medical Center boss Lacy Thomas on corruption charges stemming from contracts he authorized at the public hospital.

Prosecutors had expected to finish presenting their case against Thomas and others Tuesday, but an unforeseen hang-up forced them to reschedule the case for an undetermined future date.

“Due to a procedural matter, we were unable to proceed with deliberations,” District Attorney David Roger said. He declined to discuss details, citing the confidential nature of grand jury proceedings.

Metro Police suspect Thomas awarded lucrative UMC contracts in exchange for kickbacks. Some of those contracts involved Thomas’ friends and associates in Chicago, where he was formerly chief financial officer of Cook County Hospital.

The grand jury delay will lengthen what has been a 15-month probe of Thomas’ dealings at UMC.

Meanwhile, Clark County officials announced Tuesday three finalists to permanently fill the position left vacant since Thomas was fired in January 2007.

UMC Interim Chief Executive Kathy Silver is generally regarded as having an advantage. Most county commissioners have said they think she has done a good job.

Also being considered is Brian Brannman, a 33-year Navy veteran who retired as a rear admiral in June and most recently commanded Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

The third finalist is William Foley, a medical consultant from Carmel, Calif. He previously was president and CEO of Illinois-based Provena Health and Catholic Healthcare West Arizona.

County Manager Virginia Valentine is expected to make a recommendation to commissioners in March.

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