Province investigates possible intimidation at care home
Personal care homes at centre of CEO controversy under investigation
A Manitoba care home at the center of a controversy over CEO compensation is now under investigation over allegations of intimidation and financial mismanagement.
Bethania Group was at the centre of a controversy surrounding CEO compensation at two of its personal care homes earlier this year.
An audit found Bethania’s board allowed its CEO to retire from his $160,000 per year job as well as collect a pre-retirement payment worth $80,000 even though he was rehired the next day.
Ray Koop was also allowed to start collecting his pension.
Shortly after an audit revealed the arrangement, Manitoba’s health minister, Theresa Oswald, demanded the care home break the contract with Koop, which she said was illegal.
Koop was already the highest paid care home CEO in the province when the new arrangements were made.
Oswald gave the board until April 2 to terminate the contract with Koop or she would replace the board members within one day.
On Friday, provincial officials said Bethania’s board had canceled Koop’s contract and returned to their original agreement with him.
Now, the province is investigating new allegations about the management of Bethania’s two care homes, and Koop has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.
Health Minister Theresa Oswald said accusations of financial mismanagement and intimidation prompted the investigation.
"Individuals were being pressured into signing a petition, for example, that was in full support of the existing CEO," said Oswald.
"When those issues were brought forward that practice was stopped."
Oswald assured the public the safety of patients at the care homes has not been an issue in the process.
"We don’t want the public to be fearful about their loved ones. This investigation is about leadership and governance," said Oswald.
Oswald added Bethania’s board of governors and the province jointly agreed to an independent investigation.
Bethania Group care homes receive about $10 million a year in provincial funding.