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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

MetroHealth 'Whistleblower' Alleges Retaliation After Exposing Botox Thefts

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 10:41 AM

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in Cuyahoga County, the director of internal audit at MetroHealth recently reported that two MetroHealth vice presidents and at least one employee’s relative had accepted free Botox injections and other services from MetroHealth’s Pepper Pike Dermatology Clinic.

During a Dec. 15 quarterly presentation to the Audit Committee, Simpson Huggins III revealed his findings — which also included "thousands of dollars in improper expenditures and reimbursements for personal expenses accepted by Chief Executive Officer Akram Boutros including what appeared to be personal trips to London, Venice, and Abu Dhabi," according to a statement by Huggins' attorney.

Both allegations would constitute felony violations. 

Read the full complaint below.

Huggins claims that "retaliation" began immediately. He was excluded from the Finance Committee meeting that followed the Audit Committee, and then confronted in the hallway by general counsel Michael Phillips, Vice President of Human Resources Debbie Warman, and a MetroHealth detective. According to Huggins, Phillips accused him of "overstepping his bounds" and looking at records he “shouldn’t be looking at.”

Before being escorted off the property, Huggins' flash drive, hospital ID and filing cabinet keys were confiscated.

Huggins was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

In a statement released by the hospital, MetroHealth "categorically denies all allegations in the complaint and discovery notice.”

Huggins v. The MetroHealth System

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