Thursday, February 2, 2017

SEIU’s Dave Regan Loses Another Court Battle to California Hospital Association

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan lost yet another legal battle to the California Hospital Association (CHA) over his secretive, sweetheart deal with hospital CEOs.

On January 13, 2017, a Sacramento County (Calif.) Superior Court judge effectively tossed out Regan’s personal lawsuit against CHA’s CEO, Duane Dauner, and three other CHA officials. Instead, the judge ordered Regan’s allegations to be sent to binding arbitration, as required by Regan’s secret 2014 “partnership” deal with the CHA.

A copy of the judge’s decision is below.

Regan’s suit, initially filed on November 24, 2015, alleges that four top leaders of the CHA violated their “fiduciary duties,” committed “dishonest acts and gross abuses of authority and discretion,” and carried out “unlawful conduct” by “undermining” Regan’s scheme to secure billions more dollars of Medicaid funding for California’s hospital corporations.

Why was Regan trying to put more taxpayer money in hospital corporations’ pockets?

It was one of the requirements of his secret deal with the CHA. Specifically, hospital CEOs required Regan to deliver $6 billion a year in additional revenues to California hospital corporations as the price for “buying” special treatment from CEOs during SEIU unionization campaigns.

And that’s not the only concession Regan gave to hospital CEOs.
Dave Regan and Duane Dauner
He also agreed to force any newly organized workers into cheap, pre-negotiated SEIU-UHW labor contracts that included a ban on strikes and a far-reaching gag clause barring SEIU-UHW from criticizing hospital companies and their gold-plated executives.

Regan’s lawsuit is yet another piece of the paper trail documenting “Wall Street” Dave’s backroom deals with hospital CEOs.

The suit also offers a window into the internal battles raging between SEIU’s officials. For example, Regan’s lawsuit says Dauner met “secretly” with officials from SEIU to “undermine” Regan’s Medicaid funding scheme.

Which SEIU officials?

LaPhonza Butler (President of SEIU Local 2015) and Jon Youngdahl (former Executive Director of SEIU California State Council), says Regan.

According to Regan’s suit, SEIU officials undercut him by telling Dauner that “UHW and its president, Plaintiff Regan, would soon lose half its membership and that Defendant Dauner needed to deal with Butler and the SEIU State Council – not Regan and UHW – if he wanted to accomplish any legislative and policy goals that were important to CHA’s members.”
Jon Youngdahl

Last spring, Tasty published a leaked 30-page document containing the questions that SEIU-UHW attorneys posed to Dauner during a closed-door legal proceeding, including grilling him about Dauner’s meetings with SEIU’s LaPhonza Butler and Jon Youngdahl.

Elsewhere in the suit, Regan alleges that Dauner “sabotaged” him and “hid” his activities from Regan and others.

Regan’s suit seeks Dauner’s removal from the board of directors of “Caring for Californians,” a partnership organization jointly established by CHA and SEIU-UHW following their 2014 deal. The organization was funded with $50 million that Regan and Dauner diverted from their organizations’ coffers.

Regan and Dauner are the Co-Chairs of “Caring for Californians.” The remaining seats on its Board of Directors are split evenly between CHA and SEIU-UHW. That’s why Regan also sued Greg Adams (Group President at Kaiser Permanente), Mark Laret (CEO of UCSF Medical Center), and James Holmes (CEO of Redlands Community Hospital). They’re CHA’s appointees to the “Caring for Californians” board, and Regan alleges they, too, committed “unlawful conduct” and violations of their fiduciary duties.

So who did Regan appoint to fill SEIU-UHW’s seats on the board?

Three SEIU-UHW staffers: Dave Kieffer, Cass Gualvez, and Arianna Jimenez.

With last month’s ruling in Sacramento Superior Court, Regan has maintained a perfect winless record in the multiple lawsuits that followed the collapse of his secret deal with the CHA.

In June of 2016, for example, a Superior Court judge ordered SEIU-UHW to withdraw a statewide initiative from the California ballot or face millions of dollars in penalties. In November 2016, the court ordered SEIU-UHW to submit to binding arbitration over Regan’s refusal to return $34 million to CHA and SEIU-UHW.
LaPhonza Butler
What’s next for Dave?

Regan, who is rumored to be stepping down from his position as SEIU-UHW’s president, apparently will be wrapped up in lawsuits for the foreseeable future.  

At least one question remains unclear. 

Who will fund Regan’s lawsuits after he steps down? In the suit discussed in this post, Regan sued as an individual, not as SEIU-UHW. Should SEIU-UHW’s members continue to pay tens of thousands of dollars to litigate Regan’s personal lawsuit?