A split board of directors for the Southern Coos Health District voted to terminate the employment of CEO Eugene Suksi during a special meeting Wednesday.
By a 3-2 vote, the board terminated Suksi as CEO Of Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center without case. The decision went into effect immediately.
After the vote, the two dissenting members of the board turned in their resignations, with board President David Allen and Treasurer Edie Jurgenson stepping down from their positions.
Brent Bischoff, the secretary of the board, said the board began looking into complaints about Suksi last month.
“Right after our June board meeting, the board engaged with a special HR attorney to conduct an investigation into multiple HR complaints the board had received,” Bischoff said.
Last week, the board met in executive session to review the results of that investigation. When the board returned to public, it took two votes.
The first vote, decision by a 3-2 decision, was to keep the results of the investigation private under the attorney-client privilege.
Bischoff, Norbert Johnson and Mary Schamehorn voted to keep the records private while Allen and Jurgenson voted against it.
After the vote, Jurgenson submitted her resignation from the board, citing health reasons.
Bischoff then made a motion to exercise the termination clause in Suksi’s contract. The vote again passed 3-2, with Jurgenson voting against it even after submitting her resignation.
Bischoff said he was unable to discuss specific concerns related to Suksi, saying the language he used when making his motion included, “I have lost confidence in the CEO’s ability to effectively lead the organization.”
Bischoff said Thursday morning, Allen emailed the remaining board members and resigned after serving for 17 years.
“It’s sad for me to see him resign under a contentious manner,” Bischoff said. “That’s unfortunate. I have a lot of respect for David Allen and the work he has done.”
The board tasked hospital CFO Jeremiah Dodrill to serve as interim CEO for the immediate time. The board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday to consider candidates to serve as interim CEO. Bischoff said he expects to have a couple of candidates for the board to consider.
Board members are also slated to discuss the two open positions on the board, but Bischoff said he did not anticipate naming new members at the meeting.
“I don’t expect we’ll be ready to replace board members,” he said. “I think getting the interim CEI in place is the urgent matter, then we can move forward with filling the board.”
Only after the board has been filled will it move forward with looking for a permanent CEO, Bischoff said.