Hospital District’s New Counsel Not A Member of the Florida Bar


The new general counsel of the North Broward Hospital District is such an outsider he isn’t even a member of the Florida Bar.

That’s a good thing at an agency that for too long has been run by insiders.

The question is whether the new General Counsel Marc Goldstone will be allowed to run his own show.

Or whether the insiders will still be in charge.  Whether the plugged-in Fort Lauderdale lawyers lusting after the district’s millions in legal fees will be running him.

We’ll have to see.

Goldstone comes to the always-controversial hospital district marketed to the public as Broward Health from Tennessee’s Community Health Systems. 

Community Health is the largest chain of publicly-traded hospitals in the United States, operating in 28 states.  Goldstone was associate general counsel.

Goldstone is a member of the New Jersey and Pennslylvania Bar.  He had Florida In-House Counsel Certification in 2007, according to his resume.

In a unique twist for a general counsel, he also paramedic certification in New Jersey at one time.

Goldstone does have one connection to Fort Lauderdale, which is a strange one.  He worked locally in 2005-2007 for Tenet Health System, which for years was one of the district’s arch competitors.

I hope Goldstone knows what he is getting into.  The North Broward district has been a cauldron of competing political interests for years. 

In fact, it is whispered in political circles that the district is quietly controlled from behind the scenes by George LeMieux.  That’s Gov. Charlie Crist’s former chief of staff and a lawyer at Gunster Yoakley.

One long-time political observer said Crist allowed LeMieux to “virtually name” the appointees to the governing board of the hospital district.  They now owe their allegiance to him.

The governing board is appointed by the governor to set the general direction of the district.  They hire administrators to actually run the public hospitals and clinics north of Griffin Road.

Goldstone’s hiring could end two years of stumbling by the governing board. 

The board hired Alan Levine as Broward Health’s CEO and president in 2006. They hired General Counsel Laura Seidman about the same time.   

Both ended up rubbing some members of the board the wrong way and leaving.

Levine was a brilliant health care professional who had been the head of the state Agency for Health Care Administration before coming to Fort Lauderdale.  He was used to making decisions on his own.

When I was still at the Sun-Sentinel, Levine told me he wanted to run the district his own way or he would quit.

That’s exactly what he did in January 2008 after some members of the board attempted to put him on a leash. 

One other big reason for Levine’s departure:  He was viewed as loyal to former Gov. Jeb Bush, having worked for him at the health care administration. 

The Crist appointees who took over the board wanted someone loyal to them and Crist.

Levine left to take over Louisiana’s state health agency about a year later, in January 2008.

Seidman lasted a little longer.  She was given a bad evaluation in April 2008 accused of not knowing enough health care law and taking too many days off.

Negotiations took place. LeMieux reportedly sent a representative to help ease her out the door.
Seidman resigned and is being paid her $228,000 salary until late March of this year, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Goldstone has already begun work.

10 Responses to “Hospital District’s New Counsel Not A Member of the Florida Bar”

  1. Sick of Broward Health says:

    That hospital district has been corrupt since it was formed. Some folks benefitted and got rich off of contracts. The lawyer was always a key position there because of all the malpractice suits. The more it changes the more it is the same

  2. Nobody can fix the district says:

    You got it right, Buddy. The district has always been a joke. The closest its ever come to being respectable was when Mr. Levine was here. The employees and physicians respected him. The lawyer was bad, and she should have been run off. I don’t know who this new guy is, but he has no idea what he’s walked into.

  3. The Old Country Doctor says:

    I’ve been practicing at the district for over 20 years and I know how bad the politics are. I have been solicited for political contributions by the “powers to be”. The implied threat is that if I don’t give, I won’t get patient referrals from the other physicians and I will get a hard time from the administration. Maybe they are cleaning up the district now. I’m not counting on it.

  4. Sick of Taxes says:

    We are lucky we have Holy Cross and We are unlucky we still have to pay taxes to Broward General.

  5. Doc says:

    The problem is that the district was always more concerned with politics than health. It makes it hard for physicians to practice there. The system needs a good hemorrhoidectomy.

  6. I. P. Freely says:

    I had good service there. Better then other hospitals here.

    I do not work for and are in no way affiliated with the district.

  7. fresh prospective says:

    I have met the Goldstone, He has an extensive resume with Health Care.He is truly qualified and will be a great asset to the NEW Broward Health. The old guard is mostly out and the new guard is focused on better healthcare and patient satisfaction. The Chair, Fernandez, is focused cleaning up the district, which I feel is really working- New technology, better doctors, investment in the future. All during tough economic times for a Public Healthcare system. Holy Cross is private and always behind the eight ball, they have major issues there but they do not have Sunshine laws to have open meetings so it remains quiet, don’t mistake no news as good news, unless you are Michael Bienes..

  8. the scoop says:

    Another problem for the former general counsel was that she was giving a lot of work to JNC members when her husband was before them trying to go to Circuit. As well as never showing up to the office and spending more time at her house in NC then around here.

    At least that was rumor going around.

  9. Hospital District’s Latest Blunder Will Cost Taxpayers : says:

    […] reported this in January.  The story is here. […]

  10. Gimby says:

    It is not a story – it is well known that Laura was sending work to the firms of JNC members. How esle can you explain a Compliance Officer who never served as a judge being appointed to the 4th DCA? Buddy, any interest in that story?