Is Jim Valenti Out?
Reading some of the depositions in the El Paso Children’s Hospital debacle, I came across some testimony that seems to indicate that Jim Valenti will be leaving the University Medical Center (UMC) next year.
On July 2, 2015, Jim Valenti was deposed in the bankruptcy case. According to that deposition, Jim Valenti has two types of terms as CEO of UMC. The first is a Texas law that requires CEOs of public hospitals to be appointed very four years. Under the Texas statue, Valenti’s appointment runs through sometime in 2017. Valenti was unable to specify the month.
The second term, the appointment by the Board of Managers expires on June 1, 2016. [1, page 92]
When Jim Valenti was asked if he wanted to be reappointed as UMC’s CEO, he responded that yes, he would like to be reappointed as CEO by the Board of Managers. [1, page 93]
On August 4, 2015, James DeGroat also provided testimony about the children’s bankruptcy. DeGroat is the current chairman of the Board of Managers of UMC. DeGroat was asked who would decide the future of Jim Valenti at UMC, after his CEO contract with UMC expires on May 31, 2016.
DeGroat stated “the board of directors, probably influenced by the county commissioners” will decide if Valenti’s term is extended beyond 2016.
When asked if DeGroat anticipated if Jim Valenti would be offered an extension, he responded “no.” Asked to elaborate, James DeGroat stated that “based on informal communications” [2, page 87], he does not expect the board of managers to extend Valenti’s term as CEO.
As many of you noticed, there has been a marked tension between Jim Valenti and the commissioners’ court in the last few months. Veronica Escobar, Vince Perez and Carlos Leon have publicly clashed with Valenti on numerous issues, especially his bonuses. They represent a majority of the county commissioners.
Although Jim Valenti wants to remain in El Paso and continue to be the CEO of UMC, the Board of Managers and the county commissioners have indicated they are unlikely to reappoint him again.
1. Oral deposition of James Nicholas Valenti on July 21, 2015 in the case titled: El Paso Children’s Hospital Corporation, Chapter 11, Case No: 15-30784
2. Oral deposition of James Stephen DeGroat on August 4, 2015 in the case titled: El Paso Children’s Hospital Corporation, Chapter 11, Case No: 15-30784-HCM