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Oregon hospital COO ousted after criminal history found

June 8, 2022 GMT

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — A recently hired Oregon hospital chief operations officer no longer holds the job after hospital officials say they learned he had been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of wire fraud and false representation of a Social Security number.

Larry Butler Jr., who most recently held the COO position at Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, had been convicted for defrauding the Louisiana Health Cooperative Inc. and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Louisiana, The World reported.

In a statement announcing the sentence in 2015, federal prosecutors said Butler used false credentials to obtain pay and benefits from the two nonprofit healthcare companies.

Hospital officials said the convictions did not show up during a significant background check.

“Bay Area Hospital uses a comprehensive background check process to vet all of its new hires,” the hospital said on a Facebook post. “Even the best system can be manipulated by an unscrupulous individual.”

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The hospital also said no patient or employee data was threatened during Butler’s brief tenure at the hospital but they are conducting a thorough audit of their systems.

In a statement announcing his hiring, Bay Area Hospital touted Butler’s experience, mostly in healthcare institutions in California, but did not mention the healthcare agencies in Louisiana.