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Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 02/15/2011

Gray looks to compromise on hospital board

By Nikita R Stewart

Mayor Vincent C. Gray is expected to withdraw emergency legislation Tuesday that would have expanded the board of trustees at United Medical Center after current board members agreed to step down.

Gray (D) wants the Southeast hospital, now under government control and at government expense, to be privatized while Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) has supported a longer transition to privatization. Gray said he did not believe he could work with the current board; a majority of the 11 members were appointed by predecessor Adrian M. Fenty (D).

Four board members declined to immediately resign at Gray's request. Since then, three board members - David Gragan, Robin-Eve Jasper and chairman Leon Swain - have indicated they would leave, according to a source in the Gray administration. Andrew "Chip" Richardson, former general counsel who was also asked to resign, has not yet said that he will step aside, according to the source, who requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak to the media.

Last week, Gray submitted legislation to be introduced by Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) Tuesday that increased the board from 11 members to 16 members. Three of the additional members would have been appointed by the mayor; one would be appointed by the council; and a fifth would be the director of the Department of Health. The legislation also would have given Gray the authority to designate the board chairman, giving him considerable sway over the future of the hospital.

Catania, chairman of the Committee on Health, is expected to quickly move Gray's nominations to fill vacancies on the board and Gray will be allowed to designate a new chairman, the source said.

By Nikita R Stewart  | February 15, 2011; 10:47 AM ET
Categories:  Kwame Brown, Nikita Stewart, Vincent C. Gray, vincent gray  | Tags:  Vincent C. Gray; David A. Catania; United Medical Center; board of trustees;  
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