Ex-CEO of ambulance service agrees to $80K settlement
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The former CEO of an Oklahoma ambulance service has agreed to pay tens of thousands of dollars to settle a civil kickback case.
The U.S. Justice Department revealed Monday that Stephen Williamson will pay an $80,000 settlement, the Oklahoman reported .
Williamson was the CEO of Emergency Medical Services Authority, which manages ambulance services in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. He resigned in October after being named in a January 2017 federal lawsuit alleging a $20 million kickback scheme involving Paramedics Plus, a former Texas contractor.
Paramedics Plus provided drivers, paramedics and emergency medical technicians to EMSA between 1998 and 2013. The contractor and its parent companies will pay about $20.6 million in the settlement.
Federal officials accused Williamson of accepting expensive gifts from the contractor and requesting the contractor make political donations to preferred candidates. He has denied wrongdoing.
The ambulance service said in April it will pay $300,000 in the settlement.
“This was in large part due (to) the fact that EMSA had a strong defense,” the service’s board of trustees said Monday. “It is still EMSA’s position that the profit cap was not illegal. No evidence was found that any of the money EMSA received was mismanaged nor that any individual has been personally enriched.”
The whistleblower who originally filed the lawsuit was Stephen Dean, a former chief operating officer for Paramedics Plus. The Justice Department revealed Monday that Dean will be awarded nearly $5 million.
“I believe this settlement ensures that performance contracts between EMSA and its ambulance service vendors will no longer include verbal ‘side deals’ between agency administrators and contracted companies and will instead be fully disclosed in written agreements,” Dean said.
The state will get $2.9 million of the settlement money. Oklahoma officials intervened in the lawsuit after the federal government.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com