MT. GILEAD, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday against the Morrow County Hospital Board. The Court said that the three Morrow County Commissioners hold a majority of the votes needed to both remove and appoint members of the hospital board according to Ohio law.
“Today, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously agreed with what we’ve been saying for more than a year,” Commissioner Burgess Castle said. “Ohio law gives the county commissioners a majority of the votes needed to both remove and appoint members to the taxpayer owned hospital board. But for more than a year, the hospital board has been spending taxpayer money in an illegal effort to keep former members on the hospital board. I’m glad that Court put a stop to that.”
“It’s no surprise that the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the elected County Commissioners get to make the important decisions about a county-owned hospital,” Commissioner Tom Whiston said. “Our goals as commissioners have always been to ensure that Morrow County citizens have nearby access to a life-saving emergency room, keep as many high-paying jobs in Morrow County as possible and fight for transparency and accountability to ensure taxpayers know what their money is being spent on.”
The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision means that Patrick Drouhard’s term as a hospital board member expired on March 1, 2020. The opinion also clarifies that the hospital board’s attempt to appoint him to another term was invalid and that Joe Dreyer was validly appointed to the hospital board after Drouhard’s term expired.
“The Ohio Supreme Court has spoken very clearly today,” Commissioner Warren Davis said. “If the hospital board truly serves the citizens of Morrow County, they’ll admit they made mistakes and agree to settle the remaining lawsuits without spending more taxpayer dollars in a losing effort.”