After 26 years as CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Peter Durkin has announced he will retire in April 2012.
The timing works out well for Durkin to avoid publicly having to deal with a complaint filed by former PPGC employee Karen Reynolds alleging massive Medicaid fraud.
Reynolds lodged her complaint in July 2009, but it was under seal until this past March and is only just starting to get traction. On October 18 Judge Ron Clark denied PPGC’s request to stop the discovery process, which is now underway according to American Center for Law and Justice attorney Frank Manion, with whom I spoke.
In addition, Reynolds saved emails and memos substantiating her allegations, which she submitted as part of her complaint to both the U.S. and Texas Attorneys General.
In that complaint Reynolds accused several officers, directors, and employees of PPGC of violating the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act and the Federal False Claims Act by billing government family planning agencies for unnecessary medical services that self-pay patients were not provided. Reynolds alleged some of the charged services were not even rendered.
Reynolds further accused PPGC personnel of falsifying medical charts after appointments to add services for reimbursement and also of making abortion-related appointments appear as if they were not, so they, too, could be reimbursed. Federal law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions unless for rape, incest, or life of the mother.
On October 29 PPGC held a Proud of Our Past, Planning Our Future Gala that honored Durkin, also raising a cool $500,000.
Special guests included Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Cecile Richards and pro-abortion Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the latter calling Durkin a “true American hero,” according to Houston.CultureMap.com.
Photos of the event included the smiling mugs of several prominent Houstonians as well as PPGC big shots named in Exhibit 1 of Reynolds’ complaint as alleged Medicaid fraud conspirators. Some notables…
Left to right: Cecile Richards, Peter Durkin, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and Parker’s domestic partner Kathy Hubbard…
Left: Rochelle Tafolla, Vice President of Communications & Marketing, PPGC Right: Melaney Linton, Chief Operating Officer, PPGC…
Reynolds levied substantial allegations against Durkin and Linton in particular, and against Tafolla as an accomplice at the very least. If these allegations prove true, not only will PPGC go down for fraud, so will these three, among many others. Linton is slated to take Durkin’s spot as CEO. Her tenure may be short. From Exhibit 1, click all to enlarge:
If PPGC is found guilty of fraud against the government, it will be wiped out. Its 2010 IRS Form 990 indicates 2/3 of its service revenue comes from state and federal taxpayers. Click to enlarge…
PPGC’s corporate offices are housed in the United States’ largest abortion clinic, located in Houston. What will become of that mega-mill if the affiliate goes down?
There was one other interesting witness’s name listed at the very end of Exhibit 1. Click to enlarge…
Hm, could it be? I checked. Through her attorneys Abby Johnson stated she could not comment on any relevant knowledge she may have about an ongoing legal matter. I see a follow-up book in Abby’s future!
[Gala photos via Houston.CultureMap.com]