LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County's manager says those in direct charge of the grounded Medstar medical flight program did not know of $3 million in improper billing until Sept. 6. That was more than two weeks after the program was shut down.
"Public safety director John Wilson, Emergency medical services chief Kim Dickerson, county manager Karen Hawes and I did not learn about the bills until the morning of the 6th. We moved to immediately inform the board of commissioners about what was going on," said Assistant Lee Manager Holly Schwartz.
The comments came during a news conference with Hawes and Schwartz after the regular commission meeting.
"I think the county management has done a good job," said Hawes.
But Commissioner Brian Bigelow disagrees. He again suggested that Hawes should resign.
She is not doing so. She told reporters, she will meet personally with inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration next Tuesday, the 25th. The FAA people are coming to Lee County to document the improper billing.
The Medstar program now admits it sent out about $3 million in bills for flights earlier this year, even though the helicopters and its pilots did not have the proper certificates to bill for patient flights.
A private service is filling in for Medstar, stationing a copter at Page Field in Fort Myers.