Hospital Authority KO's
Republican Chief gets sweetheart deal
It was business as usual last night at the Lake Shore
Hospital Authority, as Columbia County once again lived
up to its reputation as one of the last remaining "good
old boy" encampments in the south, when the Hospital
Authority picked the pockets of Columbia County's
working families to benefit the past Republican Chief,
Mr. "Free – White – and Over 21" himself -- Jack Berry,
hiring him as what appears to be the nation's only part
time hospital authority manager. The hospital authority
has two employees.
Columbia Bank President and Authority Board member,
Bruce Naylor kicked off the discussion about Mr. Berry's
Mr. Naylor explained that he had met with Board
Attorney Marlin Feagle and the Authority's
inside-outside accountant, Richard Powell, to discuss
the Berry contract. The meeting was in March. Mr. Naylor
failed to mention that Mr. Berry was also there.
Mr. Naylor was previously charged by the Board with
verifying Mr. Berry’s employment and educational
Mr. Naylor told the Board, “I did not verify any
Mr. Berry claimed on his resume that he had "hospital
administration" experience while in the military.
During the March meeting the Observer asked Bank
President Naylor for a copy of Mr. Berry's
Naylor told the Observer, "We don't have it and you're
not getting it."
Then, during a break in the March meeting the
Observer asked Mr. Feagle about Mr. Berry's DD214. Mr.
Feagle told the Observer, "Jack say's he has it, but we
don't have a copy."
Last night, almost a month later, Columbia Bank
President Naylor told the Authority that he knew what a
DD214 was and that he was not in the personnel business.
He deferred the issue to Mr. Feagle.
Mr. Naylor then went through the proposed contract
between Mr. Berry and the Authority.
The contract calls for Mr. Berry to work 3 days a
week, or twenty four hours.
Mr. Naylor explained that Mr. Berry was given a 5%
increase over the median salary due to Mr. Berry's
experience. Mr. Naylor did not explain what that
experience was. Mr. Berry's salary for the part time,
three day position was boosted to $45,675.
Bank President Naylor also explained that the salary
figures were based on what they thought the market was.
Mr. Naylor did not explain how many part time Hospital
Authority Manager positions were used in his
calculations, or if this position even exists.
With the retirement benefits, health insurance
benefits "comparable to Columbia County employees" and
other benefits the realistic number for the past
Republican chief's three day work week should be in the
neighborhood of $60,000 a year.
Mr. Berry's 150 day work year translates into the
equivalent of $400 a day or $50 per hour, making him in
real dollars, the highest paid public employee in
Mr. Feagle explained that Mr. Berry is not required
to keep track of his time. "There's no clock punching
here or logging of hours."
It is unknown if the LSHA Board, that is the Board
appointed by the governor, is ever going to require an
employment check or educational check of Mr. Berry's