Who Was Responsible for Protecting the St. Joseph Pension Fund?
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Equally disturbing, no one warned the retirees. They learned of the bankruptcy when GoLocal wrote the first story on August 18, 2017.
SLIDES: READ ABOUT THE PLAYERS BELOW
As early as the mid-2000s, while the pension fund was under the sole control of the Diocese of Providence, the Diocese began to cut back the necessary contributions and in some years made no contribution.
The board of the hospital for decades was a collection of some of Rhode Island’s most powerful. Former Speaker of the House Matt Smith, former Governor Joe Garrahy, former Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Weisberger, and developer Joe DiStefano all served on the board in the period of time when the hospital was running up huge debts -- and the contributions to the pension were being cut.
In 2009, Our Lady of Fatima and St. Joseph Hospital were merged with Roger Williams Medical Center — creating a bigger, but not much more fiscally viable, healthcare group. In 2014, the hospitals were sold to Prospect of California’s CharterCARE.
Hospital Conversion Act
The sale of all hospitals must be reviewed by two state agencies. The Rhode Island Department of Health has the responsibility to review how the care of patients will be impacted.
The top law enforcement officer of the state of Rhode Island - in the case of this deal, Peter Kilmartin - is statutorily assigned the responsibility of protecting the employees in the transaction. In this case, Kilmartin seems to have failed in that role.
The Attorney General is the backstop, and he failed to review or assess basic financial documents as they related to the pension fund.
GoLocal breakdowns the layers of oversight and their collective responsibilities to review the status of the pension fund and its financial health.
Related Slideshow: Who Was Responsible for Protecting the St. Joseph Pension Fund?
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin
The Attorney General has the sole responsibility under RI's Hospital Conversion Act to protect the employees of a healthcare facility during a transaction.
At the time of the agreement in 2014, Kilmartin said, “The transacting parties have worked diligently to provide regulators with the necessary documentation and information throughout this review process to make this decision, a decision I believe is in the best interest of Rhode Island’s healthcare marketplace, the community, the employees, and most importantly, the patients.”
Kilmartin said in his statement, “Conducting a hospital conversion review requires the commitment of a substantial amount of resources for the Office of Attorney General. I commend my staff for the time and careful consideration put into this review process.”
Diocese of Providence - Bishop Tobin
The Diocese of Providence has repeatedly refused to respond to questions regarding the bankruptcy of the St. Joseph pension fund.
Bishop Thomas Tobin chaired the Board of Trustees in 2008 during the period in which the hospital merged with Roger Williams Medical Center.
For nearly a decade and under the auspices of the Tobin-led Diocese, contributions to the pension fund were either only a fraction of what was needed or not made at all.
Board of St. Joseph Hospital - Prior to Merger
When the hospital was independent, its board was comprised of many of RI's most influential. Here they are.
Board of Trustees
Revised: May 2008
Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, D.D.
Chairman & Treasurer
Reverend Monsignor William I. Varsanyi, J.C.D.
Mr. John M. Fogarty
President / CEO
Mary L. Burke, R.N.
Mr. Frederick K. Butler
Steven Colagiovanni, M.D.
Karen DelPonte, Esq.
Joseph R. DiStefano, Esq.
Mr. Jeffrey R. Massotti
Joseph P. Mazza, M.D.
Mr. Marshall Raucci, Jr.
Ms. Nancy E. Rogers
Daniel J. Ryan, CPA
Joseph Samartano, Jr., DDS
Ms. D. Faye Sanders
Mr. Matthew J. Smith
Mr. Kevin P. Stiles
Reverend Monsignor Paul D. Theroux, J.C.L.
Honorable Joseph R. Weisberger
Honorable J. Joseph Garrahy
Most Reverend Louis E. Gelineau, D.D.
Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano
Most Reverend Robert E. Mulvee, D.D., J.C.D.
Rita Murphy, R.N.
Board of St. Joseph Health Services - Post Merger
Three years of actuarial reports provided to GoLocal from court-appointed receiver Stephen Del Sesto show that the board of the orphaned pension fund was provided clear information that the pension fund was insufficiently funded.
The Board never warned retirees and waited until the fund was so deficient that retirees may be forced to take a 40 percent cut to their benefits.
- St. Joseph Bankruptcy: Diocese Failed to Make Contributions to Employees Pension Fund for Years
- Moore: State Should Rescue St. Joseph’s Pensioners
- Mattiello Blasts Kilmartin on St. Joseph Pension Fund Bankruptcy
- Siedle: St. Joseph’s Pension Fund Bankruptcy Shows RI Needs AG Who Knows Pensions
- After Week of Silence, Kilmartin Issues Statement on St. Joseph Pension Bankruptcy
- NEW: Raimondo Gives Comment St. Joseph’s Pension Fund Bankruptcy, Kilmartin Refuses
- EXCLUSIVE: Major RI Pension System Files for Bankruptcy
- Who Was Responsible for Protecting the St. Joseph Pension Fund?
- Receiver: St. Joseph Pension Bankruptcy Will Impact As Many as 2,800, 40% Cuts to Benefits
- READ: St. Joseph Pension Fund Bankruptcy Documents
- United Nurses and Allied Professionals Statement on Bankruptcy of St. Joseph’s Retirement Fund
- 10 Things to Know About One of Biggest Pension Failures in RI - St. Joseph Bankruptcy