Former Williamson hospital CEO pleads guilty to writing checks to himself from hospital funds – WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The former CEO at Williamson Memorial Hospital and mayor of Williamson wrote checks to himself from hospital funds at the same time the hospital was struggling to pay its workers.

Charles Hatfield, 61, of Williamson, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said Hatfield had control of the hospital’s checkbook and wrote two checks to himself totaling nearly $35,000 in 2019. The first went to Florida where he owed taxes on a condo, the second one, more than $25,000, went to his own real estate company.

“What’s really bad about that–that was right before the hospital filed bankruptcy and it was also at a time when the hospital wasn’t able to meet payroll, pay employees’ health insurance and other contributions,” Thompson told MetroNews following Hatfield’s plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

The second check was written just days before Hatfield was fired as CEO.

Thompson said investigations began by several agencies after employees began asking questions about their pay and benefits.

“They were asking, ‘How come our health insurance isn’t working?’ So we started on that and there were several agencies who were involved and investigating that including the FBI, the state police and the Secret Service,” Thompson said.

The U.S. Department of Labor- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) also played a key role, Thompson said.

Hatfield, who resigned as mayor of Williamson when the investigation ramped up, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and the full $34,872.62 in restitution.

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