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Gem County rejects hospital agreement

A county in western Idaho was considering leasing out its hospital to a nonprofit organization, but has decided against it because of what county officials saw happeningwith the hospital in Bingham County.

The Gem County commissioners rejected a “lease and transfer agreement” drafted bythe law firm Hawley Troxellof Boise.

One of the attorneys, Tom Mortell, also drafted Bingham Memorial’s agreement in 2007. The firm was representing a group thatwanted to manage Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett as a 501 C-3.

After reviewing the proposal atthe commissioners’ request, Gem County Prosecutor Richard Linville said the agreement would give the new organization full control of the hospital.

He asked why would Gem County commissioners want to give away one of its most valuable assets.

He also stated there would be no vote, no public input and no public oversight for 99 years.

It’s much like what happened in Bingham County in 2007 and still exists today. .

Bingham Memorial’s management iscurrently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.

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