Legal battle over North Kansas City hospital heats up - KCTV5

Legal battle over North Kansas City hospital heats up

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The allegations are flying fast and furious over the future of the North Kansas City Hospital.

At stake is whether the city can sell the hospital to a for-profit company, though, city officials stress no decisions have been made.

North Kansas City Council members held a closed session discussion Tuesday night. This comes after court documents detail more of the plans that have been brewing for nearly a year to sell the hospital.

The Missouri General Assembly is now considering the issue.

Courts are now hearing whether the council can appoint new members to the hospital's board. Those against the sale say the council is trying to pack the board in order to force the sale. The city's attorneys argue it is well within the city's legal rights to expand the board and appoint who the council deems fit.

"They suddenly change all of these years of precedent and decide they're going to appoint several new board members to pack the board," said Courtney Koger, an attorney for the hospital board, which has filed a lawsuit over the possible sale.

The city is accusing board members of misleading and manipulating the public with taxpayer dollars at stake.

"The City Council and the citizens of North Kansas City are left with no option other than to conclude it is yet another desperate attempt by the hospital's board of trustees to circumvent due process and protect their own self interests," the city claimed in a statement.

On Tuesday, hospital board chairman Mike McMontgomery testified that the mayor first talked to him about a possible sale in June with the hope of using the proceeds to pay for city infrastructure, fund the city's pension plan and lower taxes. The hospital does not pay property taxes now because it's a nonprofit entity.

A hearing on the issue will resume Wednesday.

Copyright2013 KCTV (MeredithCorp.)  All rights reserved.

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