Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Lake Shore Hospital Authority

Ex Chief Jack BerryBerry gets a bye instead of boot
Education references not checked

Ex Republican Chief, Jack Berry, got a bye instead of the boot, when Columbia County's Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board failed to consider its past chief's education references and his inadequate resume, when it considered him for a job that only months ago he used to do for free.

The Observer's March 9th story, Good Ole Boy and Former Republican Chief gets Hospital Authority Nod, ended this way:

Because of the recent scandal in Lake City regarding the educational claims of the past city manager, the Authority Board made sure it checked and announced that it did check all the educational references of the candidates.

It is unknown if the Board requested Mr. Berry's DD214, which would have verified the claim on his fourteen line resume that he had Hospital Administration experience and education. No one asked about this at his interview.

All the present Board members, save for one, had Mr. Berry in the top spot. Board member Pattison, who was against the position, was absent from the meeting.

February 17th, 2010 – Authority to check education references

A look back at the audio of the February 17, 2010 Authority meeting reveals that there was special mention made of the background checks and particularly the background check for education.

Board Chairman Vann, during the general discussion regarding the background checks told the Board, "If anybody needs to be eliminated, they'll be eliminated before we get down to the short list. That's what we want to shoot for."

Neither Mr. Vann, nor anyone else volunteered how Mr. Berry's fourteen line resume qualified him to make the cut.

The selection committee was secretly assembled by Chairman Vann, who along with himself, chose the Authority Attorney, Marlin Feagle and the Authority's inside accountant, outside auditor and financial advisor, Richard Powell, to be on the selection committee.

As Authority Chairman, Mr. Berry was their boss and was instrumental in covering up the fact that Mr. Feagle had worked for years without a contract and looked the other way at the obvious ethical and legal violations of the inside account, outside auditor and financial advisor being the same person.

 A short time after that, at the very end of the meeting, Barbara Lemley asked Authority Chairman Vann, "What would be done as far as verification of their graduation from whatever institution they feel they graduated from?"

Board member and Lake City Advocate, André Washington replied, "That's a good question."

Columbia Bank President and Board member Bruce Naylor said, "That would be part of the background check, I guess."

Ms. Lemley added, "But who would know?"

Board member Dr. Wassem Khan, the Shand's Chief of Staff, "You could call the registrar's office."

Ms. Lemley added, "I don’t think you can do it verbally. I think that was the issue with Scott Reynolds."

A few moments later, Mr. Vann adjourned the Feb. 17th meeting.

March 8th – selection night -- Mr. Vann gets amnesia -- Mr. Berry's military education references not checked

After looking at Board member Dorothy Pattison's empty chair all evening, Mr. Vann forgot to mention that earlier in the day, Ms. Pattison, an opponent of the executive director position and a proponent of the care of the indigent, had resigned.

On March 8, 2010, neither the Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board, nor Bruce Naylor, who appeared to be somehow involved in the background checks, had Mr. Berry's DD214, which would verify his claim of "Medical Administration" education in the military.

During the Scott Reynolds affair at the city, the Lake City Reporter was knee deep in dragging the hapless Mr. Reynolds through the coals time and time again on its front page.

This time, it is Columbia County's Repo Man, Jack Berry, whose educational claims clearly need to be investigated, along with how with only a fourteen line resume he made the cut to the final five.

A careful look at Mr. Berry's resume reveals that Todd Wilson, the publisher of the Lake City Reporter is one of Mr. Berry's references.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On March 19, 2010, Laura Bradford wrote:

May this be a lesson to those public servants, or to anyone wishing to become one. You work for the people, period. Mr. Berry's fellowship with the publisher of the LCR should ring loud and clear to how back door politics have been a standard practice in this rural area. The people are tired of the antics that have cost many their jobs, homes and reputations due to unsavory ways of a few.

The "Sunshine Law" was instituted to expose those who wish to smile in your face and stab you in the back. Gone are those days thanks to the Governor and his new office.

The Orlando Sentinel has no problem, it seems, in reporting news whether it ruffles a few feathers or not. Maybe Mr. Wilson should take a few lessons from them instead of gagging his reporters to benefit his own interests or those of the likes of Mr. Berry. Not Good journalism.

We the people have Constitutional rights. This also goes for all agencies in this county. Blackballing is only something that was and still is a practice of Free Masons but it has no place in Government service or anywhere else that would cause harm yo anoyjrt juman.

Shame on all of you!  


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  • To find out more about Executive Director position • Go  here  - Call it a manager - call it a director - Call it another LSHA way to squander taxpayer dollars
 •  To find out more about the LSHA go here
See Mr. Berry's resume • Go here