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Cuyahoga County Judge dismisses two claims in MetroHealth CEO lawsuit

The Glick Center at MetroHealth in Cleveland, Ohio
MetroHealth's board fired its former CEO Dr. Akram Boutros shortly before he was set to retire. The firing sparked a legal dispute between the hospital and its former leader.

A Cuyahoga County judge has dismissed claims of retaliation and intimidation filed in a lawsuit against MetroHealth by its former leader Dr. Akram Boutros.

The judge ruled that Boutros failed to “assert that” MetroHealth “made any unlawful threats of harm to a person or property,” county records show.

The lawsuit also accuses the hospital of breach of contract and defamation. The court will continue considering those accusations.

This is the latest in a series of legal actions Boutros filed after he was fired from his position as MetroHealth's CEO in November. His firing sparked a scandal and an acrimonious legal battle between Boutros and his former employer that has rocked Cuyahoga County's safety net hospital.

The board said it fired Boutros "with cause" because he gave himself $1.9 million dollars in bonuses without board approval. Boutros denies any wrongdoing and has repaid the money in question.

The lawsuit is one of three cases that Boutros filed against MetroHealth.

In the first lawsuit, Boutros asks the court to nullify an investigation into his compensation and his termination for cause. He has also filed an appeal of his firing in county court.

Boutros took the helm of MetroHealth in 2013 and is widely viewed as a leader not only in health care but also in the community. During his time as CEO, he oversaw a transformation of the hospital system's main campus on West 25th Street in Cleveland, including the opening of a signature new building, the Glick Center, last year.

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