It's fitting that Mt. Diablo Health Care District directors, in their final act Thursday, will probably approve with inadequate public review a deal benefiting a current and a former board member.
Next week, the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission will probably disband the health care board and turn management over to the Concord City Council. It's about time. The district hasn't run a hospital since 1996 and wasted most of more than $2.5 million it collected in the past decade.
Two large beneficiaries were current Director Grace Ellis and former Director Ron Leone, now a Concord councilman. The two laid claim to lifetime health care coverage under an outrageous deal for directors who served at least 12 years. The future liability is about $700,000, mostly for Leone, 61, because he has a much longer life expectancy.
At their meeting, district directors are expected to approve deals to pay off Ellis and Leone. Written details still had not been released Wednesday morning.
We're told the district would spend about $210,000 to free itself of a much larger liability. But Leone's portrayal of this as a magnanimous gesture is silly. He could have fully waived the benefit.
Instead, his share, $150,000, will go into a trust at the American Cancer Society, he says. But he and his wife can draw from it as they want. The exact details are unclear because Leone hasn't released his written agreement with the cancer
It seems this is little more than a payoff to Leone to avoid an even larger unreasonable and unaffordable benefit. It's sad that he's trying to sanitize it with the cancer society's name.