Health news Health & Medical News Prominent CHOP lawyer fired

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Prominent CHOP lawyer fired

The general counsel at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was fired Friday for "financial irregularities" that officials there declined to detail.

The hospital referred the matter involving Roosevelt Hairston Jr. of Malvern to the U.S. Attorney's Office, said Children's spokesman George Bochanski.

He would not provide particulars or say when the investigation began. Hairston, who is active in political affairs and community groups, could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Hairston teaches law at Temple University and worked for such firms as Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, and Singley & Associates. He has been part of the legal counsel department at Children's since 1997 and had been "a very active part of the hospital," Bochanski said.

Hairston became the pediatric hospital's general counsel in April. He had also been its director of government relations and community affairs. His biography is that of a politically connected and community-minded executive.

Hairston chairs the board of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the mayor's Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, which seeks to create jobs and train workers. He serves in advisory roles for Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross, according to those groups' websites.

He is an active political donor, giving more than $27,000 since 2003 to Republicans and Democrats, ranging from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bob Casey to Jim Gerlach and Rick Santorum.

Gov. Rendell appointed Hairston to the Patient Safety Advisory Committee. Laurene Baker, spokeswoman for that office, called Hairston a "very conscientious" worker who has been active in the board's legislative work.

Hairston had also been appointed to the advisory committee for MCARE, the state medical-malpractice fund, by Republican State Rep. John M. Perzel, the former House speaker.

Children's paid Hairston $727,130 in 2009, including bonuses and delayed compensation, according to the hospital's most recent tax filing.

Bochanski said Hairston had no oversight of medical matters at the hospital. He also said the investigation centered on Hairston's activities at the hospital and was not directly related to the outside organizations where he has been active.

Children's is "committed to the highest ethical behavior of all our employees, and our action in this matter affirms that commitment," chief executive officer Steven Altschuler said in a statement.

Jeffrey Kahn, Children's chief audit and compliance officer, will serve as acting general counsel.

Source: Philly.com Health News , By Chelsea Conaboy "Inquirer Staff Writer"

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