Rogers: How I was Railroaded by the District


The Citizen

Carole Rogers says she was removed from the group attempting to mediate a solution to the board’s conflict with Sutter Health over the fate of San Leandro Hospital because of a private document brought to the attention of the board’s chair.

Rogers, in an interview this morning, told The Citizen the mediation meeting scheduled for Tuesday was held in a “secret location.” There has been no confirmation whether the meeting was actually cancelled, although sources say another Director Dr. Vin Sawhney planned to protest the meeting because of Rogers’ removal last week by Board Chair Dr. Rajendra Ratnesar. Eden Township Healthcare District CEO Dev Mahadevan said he was notified Monday night of the meeting’s cancellation to be held in Oakland–the same location featured in the video posted on The Citizen.

According to Rogers, Dr. Walter Kran–another appointed director to the mediation team–told Sawhney the meeting was moved from an office building in downtown Oakland to an unspecified location. Kran told Sawhney to meet him at his home at 8:30 a.m.–thirty minutes before the planned hearing–and to follow him.

Rogers’ appointment and removal began after the infamous “non-meeting” Sept. 3 where the public was not allowed to make public comments before the District board entered into a closed meeting. That night, Rogers told those remaining in the lobby of Eden Medical Center she had accepted a role in the mediation of Sutter’s wish to purchase San Leandro Hospital. Things went sour afterwards, according to Rogers.

All members of the mediation team were offered the opportunity to submit documents they believed would help the mediator make a decision. A day after her appointment, Rogers submitted documentation renewing previous concerns over the validity of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Sutter and the District in 2007. She had claimed during a board meeting the month before her belief the document had no legal standing since two of the board members–Ratnesar and former Director Dr. Francisco Rico were employees of Sutter. The MOU is regarded as the main document allowing Sutter to close San Leandro Hospital and reformulate it as a rehabilitation facility under the auspices of the Alameda County Medical Center.

Rogers received an email from Mahadevan that night saying Ratnesar had removed her from the mediation committee because of the document he reportedly called “inappropriate.” Rogers protested and consulted with her lawyer because “we don’t trust advice we’re getting from the our legal counsel.” It is unclear how Ratnesar was alerted to any information given by Rogers or any member to the mediator. “So much for a fair and impartial mediator,” Rogers said.

On Monday, Rogers sent a demand to Ratnesar to be reinstated on the committee, of which Sawhney also supported. According to Rogers, Sawhney planned to protest yesterday’s mediation hearing. In response to a question whether Tuesday’s hearing was rescheduled because of Sawhney’s protest, Mahadevan said today, “you could put it that way.”