Complaints filed with the Ohio attorney general accuse Fred Manchur, the former CEO of Kettering Health, and Dave Weigley, the current president of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, of abusing charitable funds, according to a report from WHIO-TV on March 24. The news station in Dayton, Ohio, obtained the complaints through a public records request and reports that the documents name Manchur and Weigley as the "masterminds behind the abuse of charitable funds."
The allegations include that Manchur and Weigley used funds to expense trips and pay the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to move its office. "Manchur is also accused of using funds to remodel his home in Kettering," WHIO-TV reports.
In a second complaint, "Manchur was accused of making decisions without bringing the topics to the Board of Directors. Such decisions include the recent decision to rebrand the network and the appointment of his son, Richard Manchur, as the President of Kettering Health Dayton."
In a report on air, Brandon Lewis, a reporter with the station's I-Team investigations, said that the newsroom filed the public records requests after receiving tips about a possible investigation.
Last December, Spectrum reported on Manchur's abrupt departure from his role as CEO of the health system. Multiple former executives interviewed for that story raised questions about a potential investigation from the Office of the Ohio Attorney General. According to a dozen health care executives who spoke to Spectrum, stories about Manchur's largess have followed him throughout his career:
Noted for his vision and recruiting prowess—widely characterized as a mix of generosity and arm-twisting pressure—Manchur built a notorious reputation among many Adventist health care executives. Nicknames like “Five Star Freddy” and “Fast Freddy” were repeated in several interviews with former CEOs. Executives repeatedly described a perceived lack of separation between the personal and professional wherever Manchur worked. “In Fred’s mind there is no line between himself and the hospital,” one said.
As the chairman of the Kettering Health board, Dave Weigley announced the interim CEO following Manchur's departure. However, in January of this year, Weigley left the board and was replaced by Celeste Ryan Blyden, the executive secretary of the Columbia Union. In a statement, Weigley said that he was stepping down due to his wife's battle with cancer.
Kettering Health provided WHIO-TV with a statement on March 24:
In recent months, we became aware of allegations of impropriety at Kettering Health. The allegations do not involve the Kettering Health Foundation, and our investigation confirmed the same. As an organization, we remain committed to integrity and improvement and our goal remains to ensure that Kettering Health delivers every day on our mission to provide the highest quality care to the patients and communities we serve.
On March 27, the Dayton Daily News reported that Kettering Health has hired an outside firm to conduct an internal investigation. The newspaper also reported that the anonymous complaints to the attorney general's office that it obtained under Ohio public records law reference the involvement of other employees:
A complainant who identified as an employee alleged Manchur had “the CFO hide true finances at board meetings, not allowing true financials to be shown.” The current interim president of Kettering Health is Michael Mewhirter, who was formerly a CFO for Kettering Health, but he was not referenced by name in the complaints.
The Daily News also examined the compensation of key figures based on Kettering Health's nonprofit disclosures with the IRS:
In the most recent public disclosure form available, which was for 2021, Manchur’s base compensation was over $1.6 million, in addition to a bonus of $407,160 and other reportable compensation of $82,317. Retirement funds and other nontaxable benefits exceeded $40,000.
Manchur’s base pay ranged between $1.2 million and $1.5 million between 2015 and 2020. While he did not take a bonus in 2020, Manchur’s bonuses typically ranged from $390,258 in 2015 up to $465,325 in 2019, according to the IRS records. Manchur’s largest total compensation in recent years was reported in 2017 when his total compensation exceeded $5 million, including a bonus of over $230,000 and other reportable compensation over $3.4 million.
Complaints to the AG’s office also pertain to Manchur’s employment of family members, such as his son Richard Manchur who was named president of Kettering Health Dayton (formerly Grandview) in 2019.
IRS tax forms from 2021 report compensation for Manchur’s son and son-in-law. Richard Manchur was reported as receiving compensation in the amount of $830,952, and Manchur’s son-in-law, Jared Keresoma, was reported as receiving compensation in the amount of $419,435. Keresoma is the vice president of operations at Greene Memorial Hospital.
The Dayton Daily News in 2011 reported that Kettering Health employed executives’ family members more often than other local health systems.
Kettering Health released a statement on March 27 regarding the allegations. "We are—and have been—fully aware of allegations of inappropriate fiscal and operational management at Kettering Health," the statement says. "Our board and leadership team take these allegations seriously and are committed to integrity, improvement, and upholding the trust of our staff, providers, and community."
Kettering Health declined to answer more specific questions from Spectrum, including the name of the outside investigating firm and whether a report would be shared with the public.
On March 28, the Columbia Union Conference published a statement about the developments. “Kettering Health made it clear that as issues are identified through the investigation process, they are being addressed immediately, and changes are being made,” the statement reads.
“In every aspect of our operations, the Columbia Union is committed to exercise accountable leadership with the utmost integrity and practice good stewardship of the fiduciary obligations entrusted to our care.”
Updated on March 27 with additional reporting from the Dayton Daily News and on March 29 with statements from Kettering Health and the Columbia Union Conference.
Alexander Carpenter contributed reporting.
Alex Aamodt is the managing digital editor of Spectrum.
Title image: screenshot from WHIO-TV
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