Dr. Elliot Menkowitz, who is also the president of Ganas Development, was fired after the investigation uncovered that he had given information regarding the sale of Parkhouse to Mid-Atlantic Health Care LLC, which gave that company a competitive edge over the other bidders for the property, according to an audit report issued by the Montgomery County controller.
, of Lower Pottsgrove, did not make it clear to Mid-Atlantic Health Care
was a county employee, according to the report.
There is no dispute he
failed to provide any formal notice of his
potential conflict with the commissioners, the chief operating officer and the county solicitor, the report states.
Moreover, it is difficult to believe his
introduction was made with much clarity when Dr. Menkowitzs own business partners at (Mid-Atlantic Health Care) were unaware he
was a county employee until five months later.
Menkowitz could not be reached for comment, but his attorney, Jeffrey M. Lindy, released a statement on the 71-year-old doctors behalf.
According to the controllers report, an investigation began after Menkowitz
visited the retirement department of the controllers office in anticipation of the termination of his
county employment with the expected sale of Parkhouse.
According to the report, he
made claims stating he
was not only a Parkhouse employee but was also affiliated with Mid-Atlantic Health Care
The report states he
also suggested he
had special influence over the sale process.
At this meeting, according to the report, Menkowitz also told Mid-Atlantic about employees concerns of being laid off when a new owner took the facility over.
The report also states that Menkowitz advised Mid-Atlantic he was a doctor who treated patients at Parkhouse and that Mid-Atlantic representatives did not know he was a county employee until after they were awarded the contract.
Following that meeting, Mid-Atlantic entered into an agreement with Menkowitz
development company, Ganas Development LLC.
According to the report, through that agreement Ganas
obtained exclusive development rights for excess vacant land surrounding Parkhouse
for a period of one year with any development plans being subject to MAHCs approval.
A working group of nine people met to discuss the responses the county received from the RFP, two of whom worked in the Parkhouse
The group eventually narrowed the respondents to Mid-Atlantic Health Care
and Madison Health Care.
According to the report, the members of the group who worked at Parkhouse did not realize the ethical implications of Menkowitz being a county employee and did not think to bring it up, as many of the doctors who work at Parkhouse do so via a contract and are not on the countys payroll.
The other members of the group did not know he
was a county employee.
Both companies were given the opportunity to present to the group and were given a series of questions expressing concerns the group had.
The report states that during this time many Parkhouse
employees were concerned about the future of their jobs with a new company potentially coming in to take over.
A week before Mid-Atlantics interview with the working group, Menkowitz
spoke with an employee regarding employment, and asked the employee to send him an email stating the employees concerns.
asked me to forward this email to you.
It comes from a particularly well-liked and valuable staff member at Parkhouse
and it raises questions that you ought to consider ahead of your interview on Friday.
Its similar to, but not exactly the same as, one of the questions in the questionnaire the county sent you on Friday, and in some ways it points to deeper questions to be considered than those outlined by the county, the email reads.
Rosenbloom would later send an email to Mahon telling him about a senior staff meeting that Menkowitz
was attending on Aug. 20, 2013.
Greenleaf said on Wednesday that Mid-Atlantic maintains they did not use any of the information given to them by Menkowitz
for their presentation and interview with the working group.