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MetroHealth board member defends former CEO, resigns over Boutros bonus scandal

The Glick Center at MetroHealth in Cleveland, Ohio
MetroHealth said in the statement that Monnolly did not attend the board meeting where members voted to terminate Boutros' employment and in firing Boutros, the board was carrying out its fiduciary duty.

Terry Monnolly, co-founder of DiGioia-Suburban Excavating in North Royalton, has resigned from the MetroHealth board amid the controversy surrounding the firing of former CEO Dr. Akram Boutros.

Boutros was fired in November in a dispute over $1.9 million in bonuses the hospital says Boutros awarded himself without their knowledge. Boutros denies wrong-doing.

Monnolly disagreed with the action the Board took on Nov. 21, whenthey fired Boutros, according to documents recently released by the hospital.

"It is my belief that the Board has authorized Dr. Boutros to take all actions that he took," Monnolly wrote in a resignation email dated Nov. 30. "To terminate him, based on the belief that he would somehow take money from MetroHealth in the last month of his term, does not set well with me."

"My health is not the best, and I do not want to be at odds with the Board," he added. "I therefore tender my resignation from the Board, effective immediately.

MetroHealth said in the statement that Monnolly did not attend the board meeting where members voted to terminate Boutros' employment with cause or three of the four meetings before that.

"He did not participate in the Board’s discussion and analysis of the investigative findings that provided the basis for its decision to terminate Dr. Boutros’ employment," the statement said.

MetroHealth stands by its decision to fire Boutros and said it took that action to protect the interests of the hospital, according to the hospital statement.

Days after Boutros was fired, the hospital released an investigative report by the law firm Tucker Ellis that found that the hospital board had the right to fire Boutros for cause under their employment agreement and suggested that the former CEO could face criminal charges for "Ohio ethics violations, theft in office, and other related statutes."

Boutros has repaid the bonuses with interest and reported the situation to the Ohio Ethics Commission, according to the report.

On Nov. 28, Boutros sued MetroHealth and each member of the board. His attorney called the hospital's actions "wildly reckless, illegal, and damaging."

Two days later, Monnolly resigned from the board.

Monnolly was appointed to the board in 2005 and was the chairman of the facilities and space committee, according to a bio captured on an archived version of MetroHealth's website. He was reappointed in 2010 and was to serve until March 2022. His bio has been removed from their site.

Stephanie is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.