* Law Street Media…
On Friday, a lawsuit was filed against Saint Anthony Hospital in the Northern District of Illinois. The suit was brought by former employee Stella Wolf who stated that the hospital and its president, Guy Medaglia, participated in discriminatory and retaliatory practices, including inappropriate behavior towards female employees and illegal hiring practices. The plaintiff said that her objection to these practices ultimately resulted in her termination. […]
This hostility only increased after Medaglia requested that the plaintiff create three unnecessary positions for a Illinois Senator’s son, daughter, and the daughter’s boyfriend. Medaglia apparently told Wolf that state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who later pled guilty to federal corruption charges, would be giving them a $5,500,000 grant to the hospital in exchange for this favor.
Wolf opposed this move and believed that doing so would be illegal under Illinois law. The defendant then decided to circumvent her authority and instructed another HR member to draft salary offers to the three prospective employees. Wolf claimed that these offers were far above what a person of their position would ordinarily be paid.
Wolf was asked on another occasion to terminate the current insurance broker and hire the son of the then-Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Madigan, which Wolf refused to do. After these requests, Medaglia began blaming Wolf for their lack of funding.
* From the lawsuit…
Nevertheless, Wolf continued to object to what she believed were Medaglia’s illegal actions. For example, Wolf opposed Medaglia’s June 2019 instruction to create two unnecessary positions for Senator Martin Sandoval’s two adult children and daughter’s boyfriend (Jennifer Sandoval, Martin Sandoval, Jr., (“Sandoval II”), and Matthew Castillo) in exchange for a $5,500,000 state grant Sandoval secured for the Hospital. At the time, Sandoval was already under investigation for public corruption and has since pleaded guilty to federal charges before dying on December 5, 2020.
Faced with Wolf’s opposition, Medaglia circumvented her and ordered a Director of HR to draft offer letters with salaries for Ms. Sandoval, Sandoval II, and Castillo, which were not consistent with their positions. SAH then employed all three.
SAH was awarded a second $5,500,000 state grant that summer, which was paid out September 17, 2019.
Medaglia made frequent, publicly reported contributions to Sandoval family political campaigns.
Later that summer, Medaglia explained that then-Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Madigan had requested that his son, Andrew Madigan, replace the Hospital’s existing insurance broker. To that end, Medaglia instructed Wolf to share the Hospital’s current rates with the younger Madigan so he could undercut them.
Wolf objected to the Madigan scheme, noting that their current broker had been providing exemplary service and significant savings. Despite Medaglia’s insistence that in Chicago you “pay to play” and this was one of those times it was necessary to play, or words to that effect, Wolf insisted on securing three competitive bids. As a result of that process, Wolf recommended remaining with the Hospital’s current broker.
Medaglia blamed Wolf for a lack of financial support from the State in a leadership meeting, noting that Senator Sandoval was by then under indictment for political corruption and Madigan was “not happy with us,” or words to that effect.
Keep in mind that people can and do allege quite a bit of stuff in lawsuits that turns out not to be true. Also, I’ve reached out to Madigan’s folks for comment and will update if I hear back.
*** UPDATE *** Sun-Times…
The hospital does not comment on pending litigation or “debate speculative claims,” said Ryan B. Jacobson, an attorney and spokesman for Saint Anthony Hospital.
“We deny any wrongdoing, and fully expect the evidence will prove Ms. Wolf’s accusations are unfounded, if not entirely fabricated,” Jacobson said in a statement.
A Madigan spokeswoman did not immediately comment. Craig Tobin, who had represented Sandoval in a separate federal lawsuit, told the Chicago Sun-Times, “I’m unable to make a comment because my former client’s deceased.
“I do find it a little incredulous that those types of direct statements would have been made,” Tobin said, adding that Sandoval was “not a novice, politically.”