In an article about how Valenti ‘mislead’ the Commissioner’s Court regarding bonus-able employees at UMC, the El Paso Times also reported that Valenti received a bonus last year. As you may recall, UMC almost lost its accreditation last summer and saw its bond rating decreased last fall. Given those circumstances, how much of a bonus would you give him? Guess it doesn’t matter how much you would have given him because: “a $46,813 incentive given to Valenti.” Granted, that is less than half of the $120,000 that he got the year before, but you would think that patient safety would be high on the annual evaluation(you can read our blog post about UMC’s accreditation and the entire report here). Did you get a $46,813 bonus last year?
The rest of the article talks about how Valenti “misled the County Commissioners Court by stating publicly last year that many of the annual bonuses provided to hospital employees are contractual.” Well, turns out that the only contractual bonus is for Mr. Valenti himself. The $500,000 line item for bonuses (yes, you read that number correctly, 1/2 a million dollars), was left in the budget that was approved by the Commissioner’s Court. Now that information has surfaced that the bonuses weren’t actually contractual, here is what 3 of the County Commissioners had to say about it:
“The Commissioners Court was led to believe that there was nothing that could be done about the bonus money that was set aside because they were tied to contractual obligations,” Perez said. “Now seeing the list of individuals who received the bonuses, I believe the statement made to the Commissioners Court was a misrepresentation of the facts.”
“How can we do business with somebody who lies to us?” Leon questioned. “He lied to us again.” “He intentionally lied and misled the court and I have a big problem with that,” Leon said.
“I don’t think it was a flat out lie. I think it was a misunderstanding in a lot of ways as far as how much it was contracted obligated and how those contract obligations work,” he said. Haggerty said a lot of the bonuses are contractually obligated through the hospital program, not through personal contracts for each employee. However, that’s not exactly what was said at the September meeting, he added.
Interesting that the two most vocal members of the Commissioner’s Court, Judge Escobar and Commissioner Stout, are not quoted anywhere in the article. For the past year, if there was anything having to do with either UMC or El Paso Children’s Hospital, they have been front and center. Where is the outrage? If Valenti did ‘mislead’ the court and he’s already leaving in May, why isn’t Veronica writing to the board and asking them to let him run out the remainder of his contract at home? If you can’t trust him, why continue to let him poke around in daily operations?