Employees at The MED react to Action News 5 investigation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Employees at The MED react to Action News 5 investigation

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Employees at The MED are speaking out after an Action News 5 investigation into how a Nashville firm hired by the hospital is spending Shelby County taxpayer money.

The MED hired FTI Cambio in 2007 to help save the MED from a financial fall.  In February of this year, the MED handed out pink slips to about 100 employees.  By October, the hospital announced its emergency room could close.

Friday, Action News Five investigators uncovered how FTI is spending your money. Internal invoices revealed high dollar dinners for FTI consultants, a string of travel charges, and that one consultant expensed a personal trip home.

Action News 5 also learned the MED paid FTI about $14 million as it fell into debt about $19 million.

Over the weekend, emails from MED employees began pouring into our newsroom. One MED employee said FTI's spending is something, "no one dares speak openly" about.

Another employee said, "these consultants spend too much money and have very little accountability."

Yet another employee added, "Were they paid a bonus for taking the citizens of this area's jobs and using the money for their bonus?"

Many people who sent comments were particularly upset that FTI earned a $3.5 million bonus for its success.

The MED said FTI has saved $25 million for the hospital.

Employees say travel expenses for FTI consultants are high because most of them live out of town, from California to Texas. 

Action News 5 investigators also obtained a letter from the desk of MED CEO Claude D. Watts, Jr. about the future of the hospital. 

Watts letter, dated November 9th, says, "Pay increases scheduled for fiscal year 2010 will be delayed until further notice," and that ,"Paid Time Off sellback benefit will not be offered" for employees.    

Watts’ letter went on to say, "These are difficult, but necessary, decisions."

FTI's New York office said they do not make comments on active clients. Many of the charges fall in line with FTI's contract, which includes payments for all living expenses: Food, travel, utilities, lodging.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly