County still has NRMC seat to fill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 24, 2000

Adams County supervisors are taking a good, long look at appointments to Natchez Regional Medical Center’s board of trustees. Supervisors plan to appoint a board member to the hospital’s board of trustees at their March 6 meeting. Thelma Angelethy who declined an appointment Feb. 15.

Two members of the hospital board came up for reappointment in February — United Mississippi Bank president Sammy Porter and Natchez Middle School teacher Renza Grennell. One of the two positions was filled by Natchez investment broker John Bergeron at the Feb. 15 supervisors meeting.

Angelethy, a downtown antiques dealer, declined the appointment because she said Grennell is more qualified to serve on that board.

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At the time of Bergeron and Angelethy’s appointments, Natchez businessman Fred Middleton was also nominated as a candidate for appointment to the hospital board.

Middleton said he is willing to serve on the board despite a loss of business to his supply company in hospital contracts. According to Mississippi law, no hospital board member can benefit financially from service on the board.

As part of his appointment, Bergeron has reviewed his own business portfolio to assure that no hospital related business exists. Bergeron has leased an apartment to the hospital for NRMC’s interim CEO Karen Fiducia.

&uot;Karen and I had a discussion long ago when my name first came up for appointment that I would receive no remuneration from the hospital for that lease,&uot; he said.

Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell said he is still considering Grennell as a possible appointee.

&uot;I’ve had a number of people call me and express an interest in serving on the board,&uot; he said. &uot;But I’m still going through the process of evaluating those individuals to find who would be best for the hospital board.&uot;

Hospital attorney Walter Brown said Renza Grennell does not face a conflict of interest for her service to the hospital. Her son Darryl is a supervisor.

&uot;The law specifies that a dependent child or dependent parent cannot be appointed&uot; to a position in which they receive compensation, Brown said.

Ron Crowe, director of the Mississippi Ethics Commission, said there is no inherent conflict for Renza Grennell to serve on the hospital board while her son Darryl serves as a county supervisor.

&uot;The ethics law wouldn’t preclude it,&uot; Crowe said.

The Attorney General’s office, division of opinions, also confirmed that hospital trustees are not covered in the state’s nepotism statute, Mississippi Code Section 25-1-53.