The CEO of Citrus Health Network sent a letter to Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel on Wednesday asking her to speed up her investigation and into executive pay at state-contracted nonprofits and clear up any impression of financial impropriety.
The letter comes after the Office of Inspector General released a preliminary report on possible excessive executive pay at DCF-contracted nonprofits. The limit is currently set at 150% of the DCF Secretary’s annual salary.
Some media coverage of the report insinuated that the listed organizations, including Citrus Health Network, were under investigation.
Miguel on Thursday clarified that the report was only a preliminary look and not an accusation of wrongdoing.
“While preliminary information has been received, the CIG is not in receipt of any referrals for investigation from any agency at this time,” she said. “Just to be clear, the intent for the CIG’s preliminary report is to show where we may receive a request for further review or verification. However, nothing within the document is final.”
But Citrus Health Network president and CEO Mario Jardon said the clarification doesn’t fully lift the cloud hanging over the organization’s head and could jeopardize its operations.
“The public nature of the report, and the subsequent media articles have led to a mischaracterization of our organization,” he wrote. “Such misinformation can tarnish the good name and reputation that Citrus Health Network has developed over more than 40 years of service, and has the potential to negatively affect other contracts and funds Citrus receives to operate our Federally Qualified Health Center division, which is not related to the Lead Agency contract.”
Jardon said the ordeal could have been avoided if DCF or OIG officials reached out to Citrus Health Network before releasing the preliminary report, or if current information had been used.
He added, “it is apparent that the only document utilized for the preliminary report was Citrus’ Form 990 from fiscal year 2017-2018, prior to Citrus’ role as Lead Agency, and that other publicly available fiscal documents related to our organization were not consulted.”
If they had been, it would have shown Jardon and Citrus’ COO don’t draw any of their salary from allocations related to the DCF contract.
The nonprofit head then asked Miguel to speed up her office’s investigation so Citrus Health Network could begin rehabilitating the damage to its public image.
Miguel’s preliminary report was the product of an investigation launched in the wake of revelations the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence had paid ex-CEO Tiffany Carr more than $7 million over three years.
In response, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Miguel to compile and investigate contract data relating to other public-private entities in Florida. Miguel expects the final report to be completed by June 30.
Jardon’s letter is below.