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|Hospital responds to Boullion lawsuit|
The lawyer representing Franklin Medical Center in a lawsuit filed by a former administrator calls the suit "frivolous and without merit."
On Monday, Michael Kramer filed the hospital's response to Robert Boullion's claims of wrongful termination and violation of state open meetings law.
Boullion sued the hospital last month, after the board voted to terminate his contract.
Boullion's suit contends the meeting at which the decision was made to fire him was held in violation of the open meetings law, which requires proper notice of items to be discussed. Boullion also claims he was instructed to not attend the meeting by hospital attorney Blake Kramer.
Michael Kramer disputed that claim in his filing Monday.
"An investigation has been conducted by the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General opinion regarding the alleged violations of the open meetings law as concerns the meeting which is the subject of plaintiff's petition," Kramer wrote on behalf of Franklin Medical. "No violations of the law were found to have occurred."
Kramer referenced an attorney general's opinion dated Aug. 24, 2009, which seemed to side with the hospital board in the dispute.
The attorney general investigated an anonymous complaint about the meeting and concluded, "It appears that the Board has a clear understanding of the Open Meetings Laws and, therefore, the complaint filed with this office will be considered resolved and no further action will be taken."
Kramer also disputed other key parts of Boullion's suit, including the contention that Boullion missed the June 12 meeting because he was instructed to by the board.
"Plaintiff was never advised to waive his right of appearance at the meeting and failed to attend the meeting due to the illness of a family member," Kramer said. "Moreover, the administrative positions item on the agenda was passed over and was not discussed in the executive session."
In the original suit, Boullion claimed he would have attended the meeting had he known the board planned to discuss his continued employment at the hospital.
Kramer disputes that claim, too.
"The failure of plaintiff to attend the meeting was a choice which he made knowing full and well that the agenda for the meeting included discussion of his job and the other administrative positions," Kramer wrote.
Kramer's response also challenged Boullion's right to sue, noting the former administrator was working without a written contract and "serves at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners" absent such an agreement.
District court judge Jimbo Stephens will hear the case on Dec. 3.