Officials call for Lee County Manager to step down
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY - The Lee County Medstar scandal has some officials calling for the county manager to step down. They feel the public is losing confidence in county government and manager Karen Hawes is the one to blame. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is here now live with more.
Today Clerk of Courts Charlie Green met with Hawes and other officials launching an audit of the Medstar program. He, and many others, want to know how this happened and who's responsible.
Brian Bigelow: "I think you've lost the support of this board."
During the Lee County commissioners' September 11th meeting, officials had harsh words for County Manager Karen Hawes for her role in the Medstar scandal.
Brian Bigelow: "I think maybe in the best interest of the county you might want to have a discussion with the Chairman and negotiate an end to your being the County Manager."
Commissioner Brian Bigelow asking Hawes to step down while Commissioner Frank Mann saying everything but.
Frank Mann: "I wasn't informed, he wasn't informed, nobody was informed on a serious issue that shut down a program that we've got $20 million tax dollars invested in."
Now other officials are also speaking out against Hawes.
Mayor John Sullivan: "If it was the City Manager and that type of situation happened I'd be asking the City Manager to step down."
Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan disappointed after learning about the Medstar mess. The program was found to have overbilled clients more than 300-thousand dollars and Medflight's helicopters have been grounded. That has Sullivan questioning whether Hawes is a competent leader.
Mayor John Sullivan: "I don't know. You have to wonder, did they put a square peg in a round hole? Is she capable? I don't know."
Citizens calling this a matter of life and death because during a medical emergency seconds count and Medstar can make all the difference.
AJ Boyd: "Mrs. Hawes, as a taxpaying citizen this is a service I think we need, I think we know that there's a rotten apple somewhere amongst the group."
Former Cape Councilman AJ Boyd says the Medstar fiasco could have Hawes in the hot seat for some time.
AJ Boyd: "The near future probably isn't so bright for you right now."
Now that the media frenzy has begun, Hawes is fighting to save the county's image and her own career.
Karen Hawes: "Nothing has been done illegal, if anything there was a mistake that was made."
Charlie Green plans to address Commissioners and the public next Tuesday, outlining what he plans to accomplish during the audit. We reached out to Karen Hawes for a comment today but never heard back from her.