PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- We've just learned that the former CEO of Hacienda HealthCare has previously been accused of sexual harassment.
On Friday, the chairman of the Hacienda board, Tom Pomeroy, stated that several Hacienda employees claimed that Bill Timmons had sexually harassed them or treated them poorly.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Hacienda HealthCare investigation]
Timmons resigned from his CEO post last week in the wake of the scandal surrounding the Hacienda patient who became pregnant and given birth.
A nurse at the facility, Nathan Sutherland, was later arrested in the case.
Board chairman Tom Pomeroy issued the following statement Friday:
"Bill Timmons served as the CEO of Hacienda Healthcare for nearly 30 years. Beginning in 2006 and again in subsequent years, the Hacienda Board of Directors in place at the time was alerted to accusations that several employees felt sexually harassed or treated poorly by Timmons. Board members alerted to these allegations took them seriously. To investigate the most serious claims, the Board hired employment law attorneys who specialize in harassment cases.
"Ultimately, the Board reprimanded Timmons and also enforced serious consequences for his conduct. According to Board members in office at the time, corrective action included counseling and more than 30 training sessions in a number of areas. Timmons was also forced to forego financial bonuses and raises.
"Timmons resigned from Hacienda after a tragic incident that has shaken the company and the current Board to its core. There is no excuse for what happened to a resident of Hacienda’s Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectually Disabled, nor have we sought to make excuses. Rather, the Board, Hacienda's new CEO and our team is doing everything possible to make certain such an incident never happens again.
"In the wake of Timmons’ resignation, people have raised the question of whether he should have been fired years ago.
"While in hindsight it may appear to be an easy call, it was not that simple in the moment. While Timmons attracted controversy and detractors, his years-long advocacy for Hacienda's clients and their families helped fuel the growth of the company and increase its ability to change lives for the better.
"Regardless, no amount of success changes one critical fact: What happened at Hacienda should never have happened – and can never happen again.
"Currently, the Hacienda Board is undertaking a full review of its governorship role in the company. Already, policy changes have been made, including requiring more direct reporting to the Board and changes in financial and personnel record-keeping. As we have said since this very serious matter first surfaced, we will do everything in our power not only to cooperate fully with law enforcement to find the perpetrator, but also to restore Hacienda’s credibility as a quality organization – one devoted to the safety and welfare of our clients and team members.
"We offer our sincerest apologies to the victim and her family for the anguish they have experienced and will continue to experience as they work through their grief."