LEE COUNTY, Fla. - New developments in Medstar management. Kim Dickerson, the EMS Chief and Deputy Director of Lee County Public Safety, has announced her retirement. This news comes on the heels of the retirement of John Wilson, former Head of Public Safety.
Deputy Chief Scott Tuttle announced the resignation in the form of an email sent Saturday morning.
The email's subject line said "public safety all" and was sent out around 11:00 am. Wink News spoke with the former Operations Manager for Lee County Emergency Management and a former Medstar pilot. Both say Dickerson's retirement is a step in the right direction.
"There needs to be some culture change and the only way that's gonna happen is if those people who built this destructive and toxic culture step aside," said former Operations Manager, J.A. Stackenberg.
Her retirement was announced amidst an on-going scandal. The Medstar program has been grounded for a month and a half, after it was discovered it reportedly billed 80 patients over the course of a year, when it wasn't properly certified. This added up to $3 million the county will never see.
"The deficiencies have been in the billing and the personnel issues," said former Medstar Pilor, Arnold McCalister, "Medstar the unit, the people, the pilots and the paramedics that are Medstar haven't created this mess," McCalister said.
Dickerson had been on paid leave since last week.
"It is interesting to me that all of the people that have been identified as being responsible for this mess are on paid administrative leave and all the lower-level people that brought these issues to management are all unpaid while they get to the bottom of this," said McCalister.
Her retirement was news to Lee County Commissioners who told Wink, they had no idea the announcement was coming.
Stackenberg said with different leadership, he thinks Medstar's reputation can be restored.
"Once that element moves on I believe that folks will be able to rise up with good leadership and restore public safety to what it should be," he said.
Wink News did contact Kim Dickerson for comment but has not heard back yet.