Hospital District’s Latest Blunder Will Cost Taxpayers


Thousands? Millions?  Tens of millions?

The estimates vary wildly. The bottom line is that taxpayers on the hook for the North Broward Hospital District’s latest blunder.

This one is a whooper! 

Marc Goldstone,  the district’s general counsel for almost six months until he was fired this week, has a big problem: He is not licensed to practice law in Florida.

Let me write that again.

The billion-dollar public hosptial district had a chief lawyer who was not authorized to practice law!

District commissioners fired him when they found out.

The district’s four hospitals and two dozen clinics are marketed as Broward Health.  It’s the public health care for the northern two-thirds of Broward.

What is the consequences for taxpayers of the district’s latest slip-up?

A costly lawsuit with Goldstone.  Goldstone’s attorney is quoted in the as saying Goldstone really doesn’t have to be a lawyer to do his $260,000-a-year job.


It will all be settled in court and who will pay?  You and me.

Another series of suits might be filed by lawyers who applied for the job of general counsel six months ago and lost out to Goldstone.  After all, they were passed over for an applicant the commissioners now believe to be unqualified.

Any vendor, patient or employee unhappy with a decision Goldstone made could file a suit.

Paying a search firm to find a new general counsel will cost thousands, if commissioners decide to use one.

Plus, there is talk that district CEO Frank Nast was behind hiring Goldstone.  If four of the seven commissioners decide Nast was at fault, he will be gone. 

Cha-ching. Cha-ching.  The costs of bungling the simple job of hiring a lawyer is just beginning.  

“The consequences of this are many and could be long lived, said one commissioner. “We’re going to get it from every side. 

“There could be terribly dangerous for us down the road, said another commissioner.

The commissioners will try to get back the $130,000 or so they paid Goldstone for six months work.  Another law suit?

Was it a surprise that Goldstone wasn’t a member of the Bar?  No.  It was right in his resume which they received last year. reported this in January.  The story is here.

During his interview with commissioners, Goldstone promised to take the Bar test this year.  He also assured them he was covered by a Bar loophole that allowed him to practice as a lawyer for out-of-state corporation.

Apparently no one checked him out until this month.  It took commissioners almost six months to find out Goldstone could not practice law using a loophole. 

The key here is to find out, paraphrasing Watergate, what did Goldstone know and when did he know it?

Did he know he was not authorized to practice law in Florida?

If he took the district’s money under false pretenses, he was committing fraud.

Hey, Mike Satz.  This smells like something for your state attorney’s investigators.  

You could conduct an outside, impartial probe into this potential fraud.

This is the second embarrassment for the district in as many weeks. Earlier this month it was revealed that Commissioner Joseph Cobo may have used his influence to benefit his private health care clients.

All the controversy is very upsetting to Commissioner Rhonda Calhoun

“I’m terribly frustrated, Calhoun says. “We go five steps forward and we always seem to fall eight steps back.

Maybe its time to reconsider whether government and gubernatorial appointees should be in the business of running hospitals. 

What’s wrong with taking tax money and give it to private hospitals to treat the poor, which is the way they do it in some other parts of the state?

It’s something to think about.  


12 Responses to “Hospital District’s Latest Blunder Will Cost Taxpayers”

  1. Not the first time says:

    Same group hired and fired Laura Seidman who never even practiced Health Care Law, cost the District hundreds of thousands, never showed up to work, her evaluations said she was substandard and she was given $250,000.00 last year to quit.

  2. No Worry says:

    Why worry about the district hiring a lawyer who couldn’t practice in florida? The district has employees who don’t practice health care, either. Just go to one of their hospitals. Rude. Rude. Rude.

  3. Goldstone a Fraud says:

    If Goldstone put in his resume that he was admitted to practice law in Florida and lied, he should be prosecuted. However, the human resources people at Broward Health should really do more in the future to verify credentials. I hope they don’t hire doctors without credential checks.

    And let’s stop this “Broward Health” silliness and go back to North Broward Hospital District, which is what everybody knows they are anyway. New labels fool no one and serve no purpose other than trying to appear to be something they’re not. Don’t change the name. Change the culture.

  4. Part of the System says:

    There are over 1200 inmates participating in the soon-to-be-cut pograms of SAP, ATAAC, Anger Management, Life Skills, GED. A large number of these are under a “mitigating” sentence: e.g. “You are sentenced to 180 Broward County Jail, to be mitigated (reduced) to time served upon completion of, say, 60 SAP program”. If there is no ability to earn the miigation because the programs are non-existent, then the prisoner will serve the full term (drastically increasing population) OR move to withdraw his plea because of the opportunity to mitigate. This results in a vastly increased docket for all judges. According to the figures, the 1200+ are almost equally divided between misdemeanants and felons. As Judge Beach correctly predicted, in my mind, jail census will be at 100% from the manageable, current mid-80%’s in a surprisingly short period of time.

  5. Curious says:

    How can the county find the money to fund and run an $80,000,000 cricket stadium, which I would guess brings in almost no revenue, and can’t find money to help the Sheriff fulfil his mandate? Something is wrong here. Oh, I get it: there are more cricketers voting than inmates!

  6. Doctor says:

    Interesting that Goldstone was pimped for the job by none other than Joe Cobo. Then, when Cobo is caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and Goldstone hires a pit bull former prosecutor to investigate it, all of a sudden Goldstone is Fired?

    Not saying Cobo is doing all this, but it seems odd. By the way, has Cobo gone on any Cruises with any doctors while serving on the Board? You know…Reilly? or any others? How about, when Cobo was “honored” by the Latin Chamber, how much $$$ did the Hospital District have to contribute to get a “table” at the event? $5,000? $10,000?

    The medical staff is frustrated. We thought things were on the right track a couple years ago, but here we are again.

  7. I am a Doctor says:

    Cobo is an honorable individaul that has only giving up of his time for our community. He is not a money hangry person if not he would spend more time doing his business than trying to help others. This general counsel real broke the law if the fact are correct. He and his body Goldberg are the ones that have explioted the system. The truth behing the story will come our soon and who is real behind the story. As a doctor practicing in this community I am proud to have a commissioner like Mr. Cobo representing the citizens of Broward County.

  8. Cobo A Good Guy says:

    I know Joe Cobo. He’s absolutely a good guy — whatever else took place he has only good intentions for this community, is honest and trustworthy, and gives up lots of time with his family and business to do good for others. The guy is a rock solid good guy, and there’s no reason to be suggesting otherwise.

  9. Resident says:


    The county got the money for parks of $200,000,000 by a vote of the taxpayers, which specifically included the Central Regional Park of $40,000,000, not $80,000,000 ($22,000,000 for the 110 acres, only about $4,000,000 for the stadium, the rest to build the rest of the park). It was advertised to the public, and members of the public here were saying they wanted a cricket stadium when put to the vote.

    If the public didn’t want it, why did the public overwhelmingly vote for it. If they say, I didn’t know, well that’s their fault cause it was there for all to see.

  10. Old Country Doctor says:

    Cobo is doing business with the district where he is a commissioner. That is a bad practice. He has been caught several times. And they claim some phyisicans have a conflict? Ha ha ha

  11. Gimby says:

    Hey Buddy, how about a public records request to the District asking them for transcripts or tapes of their interviews with Marc Goldstone?

  12. here's a thought says:

    Why not ask to see the past years worth of bonus money paid to NBHD exec staff and managers. It should be published the public has a right to know. The board will be voting shortly on the bonus money to be paid this year. It will be a real eye popper when you see what the tax payers have shelled out. Also ask to see the SBHD numbers–nothing like the fools on 17th street I promise you. We are talking 3-4 million paid out last year. Check it out!