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El Camino Healthcare District board launches investigation into one of its own

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Town Crier File Photo
The El Camino Healthcare District is investigating one of its own members for alleged misconduct.

The El Camino Healthcare District will investigate a member of its own board for alleged misconduct. During a July 15 special meeting, the board voted 3-1 to form an ad hoc committee to review a complaint regarding “disrespectful conduct” by board member Julia Miller toward hospital staff at a recent board meeting.

In the special meeting, board chairman Gary Kalbach declined to reveal details of the complaint – regarding which the one dissenting member, Peter Fung, voiced concerns. Fung asked to delay the vote until after the election in November. Miller, who is up for re-election in a contested race, was recused from the meeting.

Kalbach noted that he was only moving to form an investigative committee and had “no intention” of impeaching Miller from the board. But he said that Miller has had a history of repeated misconduct.

In an interview with the Town Crier this week, Miller said she doesn’t know who filed the complaint or the content of the complaint. She called Kalbach’s accusations of her repeated misconduct “very slanderous, unidentifiable and unspecific.” She also claimed that she was not informed of the complaint ahead of the release of the agenda for the July 15 meeting.

“You don’t make public accusations without having a conversation,” Miller said.

Miller believes the investigation is a “witch hunt” of a political nature, due to her re-election campaign. Two other board members who voted in favor of forming the committee, Kalbach and John Zoglin, have taken out nomination papers for re-election. As of last week, three others are challenging for board seats.

The incident in question purportedly occurred during the healthcare district’s June 16 board meeting, though it is unclear which of Miller’s remarks caused the complaint. Toward the end of the meeting, Miller spoke up about funding for the RoadRunners transportation service, which gives rides to the hospital to patients who need assistance. Miller questioned whether the board should be increasing funds to the service given the number of riders. There were no immediate signs of concern toward Miller’s conduct during that meeting by other participants.

“The investigation will show my behavior was just fine,” Miller said. “All I was doing was protecting taxpayer money and how it was distributed.”

Miller, a former Sunnyvale mayor, has served on the board since 2012.

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