A letter just obtained by MuskogeeNOW.com from an attorney representing the Muskogee Medical Center Authority is warning Saint Francis Hospital that it is in breach of the lease it signed when it occupied the former Muskogee Regional Medical Center and failure to pay county taxes could result in legal action against the hospital.
Mack J. Morgan of the Oklahoma City firm Crowe and Dunlevy sent the letter to Jake Henry Jr., the president and CEO of Saint Francis Health Systems and specifically mentions the hospital’s failure to pay Muskogee County taxes:
Saint Francis has breached its Lease Agreement with MMCA by failing to pay the in kind payment as rent.
The hospital has steadfastly refused to pay the in-kind payment, and is currently in arrears to the tune of $1,372,807 — most of which is used to fund Muskogee schools. Sixty-two percent of the $1.3 million is earmarked for the schools — money they must currently live without.
The letter was copied to Capella, the hospital management group that formerly leased the hospital, because the medical authority did not release Capella from its obligation to pay the in-kind payments, meaning the authority could actually sue Capella, which would then have to make the payments and collect from Saint Francis to recoup the cost.
The hospital has 30 days to make the payment or face legal action from the medical authority.
The hospital’s physical building and location are owned by the citizens of Muskogee, represented by the Medical Center Authority. The authority leases the hospital to outside entities, first Capella, and now Saint Francis.