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HomeNewsArchivesFour Ex-Schneider Hospital Officials Charged with Embezzlement

Four Ex-Schneider Hospital Officials Charged with Embezzlement

Oct. 7, 2008 — Principals in the Schneider Regional Medical Center scandal walked free Tuesday after what appeared to be a closed-door bail hearing at V.I. Superior Court on St. Thomas.
Since it was not open to the public, attorneys for three of Schneider Regional's former top executives said they could not comment on what happened during the hearing, except to say that the judge had issued a gag order and they were not allowed to talk to the press. Government attorney Denise George-Counts also could not confirm whether arrests had been made earlier in the day of former Schneider chief executive officers Rodney Miller Sr. and Amos Carty Jr., along with Peter Najawicz, former chief financial officer, and June Adams, former head of the hospital's governing board.
The files for Adams and the three executives were also under seal Tuesday afternoon. The files will reportedly be unsealed after the foursome comes before V.I. Superior Court Judge Michael C. Dunston for an advice-of-rights hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The V.I. Police Department's blotter, or arrest log, shows that Carty was arrested and processed around 8:55 a.m. Tuesday and formally charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, embezzlement or falsification of government accounts, embezzlement by fiduciaries, conversion of government property, embezzlement by public and private officers, grand larceny, conspiracy and fraudulent claims upon the government.
At the time of his arrest, Carty's bail was set at $250,000, according to the blotter. He left the courthouse with attorney Andrew Capdeville around 3 p.m. Tuesday after sitting in the closed courtroom for about 20 minutes.
Najawicz was processed around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Though the blotter says a warrant was issued for his arrest, it does not say which judge signed off on the document. He has been formally charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, embezzlement by fiduciaries, conversion of government property, embezzlement by public and private officers, grand larceny, conspiracy and fraudulent claims upon the government, according to the blotter. At the time of his arrest, Najawicz's bail was set at $250,000.
Najawicz was only in the courtroom for a few minutes Tuesday, and left the hearing with his attorney Robert King a little after 2:30 p.m.
Miller was processed around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. A warrant was also issued for his arrest, according to the blotter. He is charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, embezzlement by fiduciaries, conversion of government property, embezzlement by public and private officers, grand larceny, conspiracy and fraudulent claims upon the government. Miller dominated Tuesday's hearing, and remained in the closed courtroom for about an hour after the hearing started.
He was processed at the police station in the Alexander A. Farrelly Justice Complex after the hearing, and left the building soon after with his attorneys, Michael Glore and Charles Grant. At the time of his arrest, Miller's bail was also set at $250,000.
Adams was arrested and processed around 1:05 p.m. Tuesday. Under the heading "synopsis of the case," the blotter says Adams was arrested "after she was involved in criminal activities and committing various crimes." She has been charged with fraudulent claims upon the government, embezzlement of public accounts, embezzlement by fiduciaries, embezzlement by public and private officers, conversion of government property, conspiracy and perjury. At the time of her arrest, Adams' bail was set at $50,000, according to the blotter.
Adams did not appear in the courtroom Tuesday, but stayed outside the building most of the afternoon.
The charges against the group stem from a recent joint local and federal audit that revealed the hospital executives received hefty compensation packages approved by Schneider Regional board members. At the end of his five years at the helm of the hospital, Miller had allegedly racked up close to $3.8 million in salary and associated perks, while Carty and Najawicz were receiving thousands more than the $80,000 salaries included in their NOPAs — documents that show, among other things, what government employees were paid.
In addition to approving the packages, the report said, board members deliberately withheld documents and other information from investigators while the audit was going on. Members of the territory's Hospitals and Health Facilities governing board of directors recently voted to fire Carty and Najawicz, while Gov. John deJongh Jr. asked Adams and four other board members to resign. (See "Hospitals Board Fires Carty and Najawicz.")
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