Attorney general must have good reason for investigation | Letters

The “civil investigative demand” issued by the state attorney general’s office, alleging Medicaid fraud, is quite stunning.

I worked for the state of Washington for several years before I retired. My job included regular interaction with the attorney general’s office. I’ve worked with a number of assistant attorney generals to develop similar interrogatories and “requests for production” of documents.

I know from that experience that you don’t get served with one of these demands unless the attorney general’s office has good reason to believe there’s a fire beneath the smoke.

The timing of this is unconscionable. The first the public heard of this was last Wednesday at the public hospital district commission meeting, just two days before all of the information asked for in the demand letter was due. Some or all of the people on the hospital district commission and in EMS have obviously known for some time that an investigation was underway since they were preparing the response.

I will predict that there will be people in the community who will immediately point fingers in an attempt to divert our attention from where it belongs. Let me suggest that you should ignore those people and instead look to the four people named in the civil investigation demand – Agency Medical Director Dr. Michael Sullivan, former EMS chief Jim Cole, Director of Critical Care Transport Larry Wall and Dr. J. Michael Edwards. They are the folks who owe us an explanation.

And if you haven’t voted yet, ask yourself this: with the state attorney general investigating Medicaid fraud in the hospital district, do you want three new public hospital district commissioners (a majority of the commission) who have demonstrated that they are clearly dedicated to protecting the status quo, and who have said the existing level of oversight is adequate, or do you want three new commissioners who are clearly dedicated to protecting the public interest and your tax dollars, as well as to openness and transparency?

If your interest is in the latter you might consider voting for Monica Harrington, Bill Williams and Barbara Sharp.

Richard Grout

San Juan Island