Rea settlement conference set for February
The end could be near regarding the lawsuit filed by the City and Borough of Wrangell against former Wrangell Medical Center administrator Noel Rea and six former members of the WMC Board of Directors.
According to Borough Manager Tim Rooney, Borough attorney Robert Blasco, along with Rea’s attorney, David Shoup, held a phone conference with Judge Trevor Stephens on Friday, Jan 11 to schedule a settlement conference in the case. As a result of that meeting, the settlement conference has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Ketchikan.
Rooney added that he would be attending the conference.
“Mr. Blasco and I will both be attending on behalf of the City and Borough of Wrangell as was requested in the order from the court,” Rooney said.
The settlement may rectify a battle over a laptop computer and iPad device that are at the heart of the lawsuit. The iPad, which Rea claims he purchased from the hospital after his termination in June of last year, is wanted by the city – which claims it is Borough property and should not have been sold. The laptop, which had previously been in the possession of Rea, is now being held under lock and key by the Anchorage-based forensics firm Digital Securus.
Aside from the possible return of the disputed equipment, the terms of the agreement will require the return of $250,000 to the City and Borough of Wrangell and dismissal of the borough’s lawsuit and Rea’s counterclaim entirely with prejudice, meaning the borough and WMC cannot seek further return of monies from Rea and the recalled board members and Rea cannot seek any further payments from the hospital.