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home : local news : local news
October 22, 2018

9/5/2018 12:58:00 PM
UMV president resigns amid fiscal controversy
Board thanks McKnight for her ‘contributions to our mission’
By DAILY NEWS STAFF



The United Methodist village Board of Directors has thanked ex-President and CEO Paula McKnight for her contributions.

According to a press release an immediate search is underway for new leadership.

"Details of that process are forthcoming," the press release from the board of directors reads. "We appreciate everyone's support throughout this important transition."

McKnight resigned after months of scrutiny. The resignation was accepted by the board of directors, apparently at a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

"We thank her for the contributions she has made to our mission, especially three straight years of a five-star rating," said the press release. "We wish her well in the next phase of her career."

The press release came from Jessica Simmons, the UMV's Marketing Director. It said all questions should be directed to Nancy Myers, UMV Board Chairman, or Larry Minnix, who has apparently been hired as a consultant. Myers can be reached via email at nmyers941@gmail.com. Minnix can be reached at larryminnix@gmail.com.

The release did not indicate whether McKnight resigned on her own, or if it came at the behest of the board of directors.

When United Methodist Bishop Frank Beard addressed UMV residents and employees at two meetings last week, he said McKnight had been given "a vote of confidence" by the board. Less than a week later, she announced her resignation.

Beard, a member of the board of directors, said UMV had been surviving off reserves the past few years.

The problems first became public in June, when paychecks bounced for some employees. Since then, employes have also complained that they were paying for insurance, but not receiving coverage. Other employees say that their retirement plans had been raided.

At one point, UMV owed the City of Lawrenceville more than $60,000 in late water payments. But that was taken care off after a city council meeting in July.

The CEO of an embattled area nursing facility has resigned.

United Methodist Village President and Chief Executive Officer Paula McKnight resigned last Tuesday, in the wake of an ongoing crisis at the two Lawrenceville nursing facilities.

An Tuesday morning email, from UMV South Campus administrator Ashli Wesley, confirmed that McKnight had "resigned her position effective immediately."

Reached via telephone the next morning, Wesley said she could make "no comment at this time."

While it's unclear whether McKnight resigned voluntarily or was forced into the action by the UMV board of directors, she left the facility some time around mid-morning on Tuesday.

Jessica Simmons, United Methodist Village director of marketing, said a board meeting was to take place later in the day. Later, she said she had nothing to report from that meeting.

A telephone call by the nespaper to a member of the board of directors following the meeting was not returned.

The first sign of trouble at the nursing homes came in early June, when a number of employee paychecks bounced.

Since then, some employees have complained that they'd been paying for health insurance despite having no coverage, and others made claims that their pension funds had been raided.

Last Thursday, Frank Beard, United Methodist Bishop serving the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, addressed residents and employees of the nursing facility, in hopes of providing reassurance.

At that time, Beard noted that the UMV Board of Directors had given McKnight a "vote of confidence," and that a CPA firm the board had hired had found "no financial mismanagement" at the nursing homes.

Beard added that the financial problems at UMV did not "occur overnight." He said that the facilities had been getting by on reserves for the past several years.

Beard said the board of directors had retained a financial consultant, and had put together a plan of action to get the facility back on stable ground.





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