Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake Shore Hospital Authority

LSHA: Pt-I. Board Chairman Brandon Beil Ignores FL Legislation Along With Everybody Else 

Brandon Beil: LSHA Board Chairman
Making his own legal determination, LSHA Chairman Brandon Beil refuses to seek an Attorney General opinion on a $20mil plus matter of great public concern.  |  Observer photo

More LSHA stories are here.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – On Thursday, June 23, the Governor's LSHA Board once again played 'fast and loose' with the Authority agenda. The two-hour meeting to review proposals for the use of the vacated Lake Shore Hospital had no discussion of the Meridian Behavioral Health Care proposal, along with no discussion of the illegally constituted board that is sitting on a cash stash of over $20 million plus.

Background: Chairman Beil Ignores Florida Legislation
Continues Flying with An Illegally Constituted Board

Shands Lake Shore Hospital (the Hospital) is the responsibility of the independent special district, last set up by the Florida legislature in 2005. The Florida legislature is the only one that can dissolve the district.

A physician who practices at Lake Shore Hospital is missing from the Authority Board. The enabling legislation of the Authority says it is a "must" have. Having a physician on the LSHA board is not up to the whim of the Governor's Board, the Executive Director, or the Authority Attorney.

It is unknown if either Executive Director Williams or Attorney Koberlein has polled the board or in some way used the executive director or the attorney as a liaison between the members to discuss the “physician” issue.

The Governor’s board refuses to ask the Attorney General for an opinion regarding the physician practicing requirement. The Gov’s Board also refuses to ask its attorney, Fred Koberlein, Jr., for a written opinion, while the same board has no issues asking him for opinions on many other issues. Attorney Koberlein encourages those discussions with the boards he represents.

Board Chairman Brandon Beil ignores the Lake Shore Hospital physician requirement by saying he looks at the requirement as just having a vacant seat. At the same time, he acknowledges that having the Hospital open up again is impossible, making it impossible ever to have a "physician practicing at Lake Shore Hospital” sitting on the Authority board.

Governor’s Board Marches On: $20 million plus of public money sitting on the table controlled by unelected people

Dale Williams: part-time lsha-executive director
Part-time LSHA Executive Director Dale Williams plays it close to the vest. Board members don't object. (file photo: Observer)

Former County Manager Dale Williams, now the part-time executive director of the Authority, has an opinion about everything, which the board follows, ignoring every Dale Williams misstep by giving him its rubber stamp approval.

When it comes to requesting the Governor’s Board look for an opinion from the AG to determine the AG’s thoughts on the legality of the board, he has remained publically silent. It is unknown if Board members have discussed this topic with him, as Executive Director Williams' time sheets show conversations with unnamed Board members and-or no topics.

Director Williams' Notes: intentionally nebulous

 • "Telephonic conferences with various parties Re: Status of Lake Shore Hospital."

 • "Discussion with individual trustees..." Trustees not named.

 • "Discussion with various parties..." Parties not named.

 • "Discussion with Lory Chancy."  Issues not named.

 • "Met with Trustee re various topics." Trustee not named; topics unknown.

 • "Met/conferenced individually with several Trustees re various issues." Issues not named.

Mr. Williams has told your reporter that "people" from the state have said to him that the missing board member is no problem, but none of them "will put it in writing." Director Williams would not reveal the "people."

During a meeting last fall, Columbia County’s Representative Chuck Brannan learned of the “physician” on the board requirement and seemed agreeable to this reporter’s suggestion of setting up an “indigent care trust fund” for the care of the indigent and dissolving the Authority.

As far as dissolving the Authority, Representative Brannan wants to hear from the County Commission (Columbia County 5), which could put the question of dissolving the Authority on the ballot – the County 5 refuses.

Representative Brannan has indicated no desire to inquire about the legality of the board.

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