Southcoast Health honchos attempted the mother of all Friday news snow jobs

And so it was that Southcoast Health, operator of several major hospitals in southeastern Massachusetts, picked Friday afternoon, as Snowmaggedon neared, to officially terminate their boozy, gun-hoarding CEO Keith Hovan from his $2,382,050-a-year hack sinecure.

On the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, the flack for British prime minister Tony Blair emailed to all her fellow payroll patriots in the Labour government what became a famous directive:

“It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.”

Meaning, whenever the public is preoccupied with a larger story, it’s a perfect moment to dump some bad news on them — the worse the better.

And then a few days later, when they realize that some embarrassing tidings have been released under cover of darkness, the flack shrugs and says: Hey, that’s old news.

And so it was that Southcoast Health, operator of several major hospitals in southeastern Massachusetts, picked Friday afternoon, as Snowmaggedon neared, to officially terminate their boozy, gun-hoarding CEO Keith Hovan from his $2,382,050-a-year hack sinecure.

Just a few months ago, Hovan was happily firing nurses and other staffers at the Southcoast hospitals for refusing to submit to his imperious diktats. But now, after ingesting a bad ice cube or two last November, Hovan finds himself kicked to the curb.

As Donald Trump might say, “You’re fired!”

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. Karma is indeed a bitch.

Hovan’s removal comes less than three months after he was arrested at his mansion in Rochester and charged with assaulting his wife, after his 11-year-old daughter called 911.

His wife later posted bail for him, and the misdemeanor charges were dropped. But police also found “in excess of 40 firearms” at his home. At the urging of the Department of Children and Families, the millionaire paper-shuffler agreed to move out of the mansion and onto his yacht in Marion.

At the time of Hovan’s arrest, according to the police report, “He was covered in a liquid that smelled of an alcoholic beverage.”

Needless to say, his board vowed to stand behind the big-time contributor to Gov. Charlie Baker ($3750). Because that’s what the boards always do … until a blizzard arrives on a Friday afternoon to divert everyone’s attention.

“The Hovan family has the full support of the Board as they deal with this personal family matter.”

That’s what boards always say…. until Winter Storm Kenan arrives, preferably on a Friday afternoon. Which was when the Southcoast Health board suddenly sent out the updated memo to what hospital staff remained after Hovan’s firing spree:

“The Board of Trustees has determined it is in the best interest of Southcoast Health for Keith Hovan not to return … We thank Mr. Hovan for his past service.”

The trustees also expressed gratitude to the staff who “have continually put yourselves in harm’s way.”

Speaking of harm’s way, let’s go back to the police report, written by the officer who responded to the 911 calls from the Hovans’ daughter.

At the front door of the posh residence, the officer “observed cuts and visible blood on Hovan’s right forearm. I asked Hovan how he sustained the injury and Hovan stated that during the argument (his wife) began writing in her journal and he reached out to grab the journal from her and his forearm made contact with one of (her) teeth causing the injury to his arm.”

A new euphemism – made contact with.

“(Hovan) walked out with his arms in the air stating something along the lines of ‘It was me. I did it, my arm hit her in the face.’”

His arm did it!

The victim was found upstairs, hunched over a bathroom sink filled with “droplets of blood,” which the cop also observed on her “chest and some more on her blue pajama shirt. I also noticed a red mark below her right eye consistent with an impact of some kind. (She) was visibly shaken, spoke in a scared tone and poor eye contact.”

The lovebirds’ spat started over a TV show they were watching together, late on a Saturday night. That in itself seemed rather odd. I mean, who watches television these days, especially with anyone else? And on a Saturday night? Have the Hovans ever heard of streaming? Netflix?

Before Hovan started firing his free-thinking employees, he wrote a letter to the local newspaper praising how they were “standing shoulder to shoulder in the fight against coronavirus.”

This fight is not to be confused with Hovan’s own struggle – excuse me, his arm’s struggle – against his better half that evening last November, when he finally understood the eternal truth of the old country song:

“Drinkin’ doubles don’t make a party.”

It’s been a tough season for the ruling classes of Bristol County. They’re having to dig out from under, not just global warming, but also multiple scandals.

The former acting fire chief of New Bedford was fired last Tuesday for what the mayor’s office described as being “untruthful” and “putting on an act” about an alleged work injury, after which he collected $208,574 while out on injured relief.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before …

Meanwhile, the convicted-felon ex-mayor of Fall River, Jasiel Correia, continues his desperate efforts to avoid incarceration. Now the 30-year-old future jailbird is saying he can’t be sent off to Club Fed “in the light of the ongoing public health crisis” – wink wink nudge nudge.

If there are any other betrayals of the public trust on the South Coast that the hackerama wants to make sure nobody ever finds out about, I would point out that “it is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.”

And you can quote me on that.

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