Former trustee Bill Stone says UofL took wrong approach on making case for merger

10/12/2011 04:43 PM

University of Louisville leaders made a “terribly flawed argument” by trying to claim that the University Hospital was not a public entity, said former U of L Trustee Bill Stone.

That argument has been central as university leaders try to finalize a merger with two private hospital groups, Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives.

Stone said on Pure Politics Wednesday that he agreed with last week’s decision by Attorney General Jack Conway that the University of Louisville Hospital is a public entity for the purposes of releasing its records — including the merger documents — to the public.

“I’m for Todd P’Pool, but on this one Jack Conway was absolutely correct,” said Stone, a Republican (at 2:30 of the interview). “I don’t know of any lawyer of merit who wouldn’t agree with Jack Conway’s assessment. That has been the weakness in U of L’s selling point. The University of Louisville Hospital is part of the university.”

Stone, the president of Louisville Plate Glass Co., went on to question the judgment of whichever U of L executive had been pushing that approach.

“I think it absolutely undermined their position,” Stone said. “I think Jack Conway, in the long run, did them a favor. It will force them to focus on what is right about the merger … Whoever has designed this tortured argument that the University Hospital is separate from the university, they need to be re-evaluated to their value to the university.”

Instead, Stone said the university should be highlighting the positives of the merger.

“I think this merger can be sold to the public on the basis of how much it will mean to this community economically, what it will mean from a prestige point of view, where it will be an incubator for Nobel Prize winning scientists,” he said starting at the 1:00 mark.

Stone also is a former Republican Party chairman in Jefferson County. He talked about why he is supporting Republican candidate Todd P’Pool in the attorney general’s race. (5:40 in the video).

And on the governor’s race, Stone summed up GOP candidate David Williams by saying, “He’s the right tasting cereal but he has put himself in the wrong box.” (7:15 of the interview). He added that he likes the Democratic ticket personally, but watch the rest of the interview to find out why he won’t vote for Gov. Steve Beshear and Jerry Abramson.


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